Vice President Joe Biden said Mitt Romney was exposed as a foreign policy neophyte after criticizing President Obama for telling Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev—in the presence of an open microphone—that he would be freer to negotiate missile defense after the presidential election.
“I know a little bit about unguarded moments with microphones,” Biden said. “The president just stated the obvious. The idea that in this election year we’re going to be able to deal with an agreement with the Russians on further reducing the nuclear arsenal in the environment we have with the United States Congress now is difficult.”
Republicans in Congress are nervous the White House could seek, without their permission, a “unilateral” deal with Russia to reduce nuclear arsenals. They hammered Obama for the remark, which was caught on an open-microphone last week at a summit in Seoul.
“It’s going to be difficult,” Biden said. “We’re not going to have the flexibility to sit down and talk with people in this Congress that are going to be able to listen and that are going to be able to work with us, probably.”
Biden also blasted Romney for calling Russia the “No. 1 geopolitical foe” of the U.S.
“He acts like he thinks the Cold War is still on – Russia is still our major adversary. I don’t know where he’s been,” Biden said, pointing to Russian support for Iranian sanctions and allowing vital U.S. war supplies through to Afghanistan.
“This is not 1956,” Biden said. “He just seems to be uninformed, or stuck in a Cold War mentality. I think what the exchange did – it exposes how little the governor knows about foreign policy.”
Romney's campaign responded via email. Though Biden conceded there are U.S. disagreements with Russia, Lanhee Chen, Romney’s policy director, wrote that Biden "appears to have forgotten the Russian government's opposition to crippling sanctions on Iran, its obstructionism on Syria, and its own backsliding into authoritarianism. And he fails to explain why President Obama has given away concession after concession to Russia in return."
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