Obama hits back in Russia 'hot mike' row

2012-03-27 08:44

kalahari.com

Seoul - US President Barack Obama on Tuesday hit back at Republicans who pounced after he was overheard telling Russia's leader he could be more flexible over a missile defence row after November's election.

Obama, who is attending a nuclear summit in Seoul, complained that the volatile political environment in the United States was not conducive to in-depth consideration of delicate issues like defence and arms control.

"The only way I get this stuff done is if I'm consulting with the Pentagon, with Congress, if I've got bipartisan support," Obama told reporters.

"Frankly, the current environment is not conducive to those kinds of thoughtful consultations. I think the stories you guys have been writing over the last 24 hours is pretty good evidence of that."

Republicans said Obama's comments in Seoul on Monday to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev - picked up by a live microphone - suggested that he planned to cave in to Moscow if re-elected.

Longstanding hurdles

"This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility," Obama was heard to tell the Russian leader, who promised to transmit the US president's position to president-elect Vladimir Putin.

Obama's most likely Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, immediately sought to make political capital out of the comments.

"President Obama signalled that he's going to cave to Russia on missile defence, but the American people have a right to know where else he plans to be 'flexible' in a second term," said Romney, who was campaigning in California.

In Washington, the White House explained it was committed to implementing a missile defence shield in Europe despite Russian objections, but that longstanding hurdles meant it would take time to conclude a deal.

Washington and Nato argue that the shield is meant to protect Western nations against missile attacks from potential future nuclear powers such as Iran. Moscow fears the shield could undermine its own nuclear capabilities.

Read more on:    nato  |  barack obama  |  mitt romney  |  dmitry medvedev  |  us  |  russia  |  us elections 2012
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Food

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Mind power dominates and can help you to uncover things from a deeper level, but it can also create entanglements if you let your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.