Obama: Transmit this to Vladimir

2012-04-03 22:47

Washington - President Barack Obama poked new fun at his inadvertent Russian 'hot microphone' controversy on Tuesday, predicting months of gaffes and uproar as the US election race hits higher gear.

Obama is still taking heat from Republicans after he was overheard telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Seoul last week that he could be more flexible on missile defence after November's election.

Medvedev promised to transmit his position back to president-elect Vladimir Putin, prompting Obama's foes to argue the US leader was plotting a climb down on the programme, opposed by Moscow, if he wins a second term.

Obama sought to laugh off the affair on Tuesday at a lunch for journalists and newspaper editors in Washington.

"It is a pleasure to speak to all of you and to have a microphone that I can see," Obama quipped.

"Feel free to transmit any of this to Vladimir if you see him," Obama said, predicting long lively months of gaffes and minor controversies in the months to come, complete with hot mic and "Etch A Sketch moments."

That was a reference to a row sparked when an aide to Republican front runner Mitt Romney said his candidate could wipe clean conservative positions taken in the party primary as if he was using the popular child's toy.

Obama told journalists at the Associated Press luncheon that he knew reporters would cover every word the candidates say as the fight for the White House ahead of the November 6 election.

"We will complain vociferously about the unflattering words that you write, unless of course you're writing about the other guy - in which case, good job!"

Read more on:    barack obama  |  mitt romney  |  dmitry medvedev  |  us  |  us elections 2012
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