Mitt Romney Starts a War of Words with Russia

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Mitt Romney has lots of great selling points -- his business experience, his success as Massachusetts Governor -- but there's one thing President Obama very clearly has on him: foreign policy experience. Only one president had Osama bin Laden killed, after all. So Romney is trying to boost his image as an international statesman by offering cold, clear-eyed, and serious analysis on our relationship with Russia. Unfortunately, it's devolving into a funny but petty flame war.

When Obama's aside to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was caught on a hot mic at a nuclear conference in Seoul -- the president said he'd be more "flexible" on missile defense "after my election" -- Romney responded that Obama was selling us out to "our No. 1 geopolitical foe." Medvedev thought that was pretty hilarious -- reminiscent not only of "ideological clichés," but also "Hollywood," Reuters reports. He offered some tips Tuesday: "I would recommend all U.S. presidential candidates … to do two things… First, when phrasing their position one needs to use one’s head, one’s good reason, which would not do harm to a presidential candidate. Also, (one needs to) look at his watch: we are in 2012 and not the mid-1970s."

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Romney retorted most sassily a Foreign Policy op-ed Wednesday, accusing Obama of being the beta girl to Vladimir Putin's mean girl. "It is not an accident that Mr. Medvedev is now busy attacking me," the Republican candidate writes. "The Russians clearly prefer to do business with the current incumbent of the White House." That's because "the sum total of President Obama's policy toward Russia has been: 'We give, Russia gets.'"

But as the Weekly Standard's Daniel Halper reports, the Russian newspaper Pravda hit back with the sickest burn of all. Sure, Russia would prefer Obama in the White House -- because having Romney in the White House would be like having "a serial paedophile as a kindergarten teacher, a rapist as a janitor at a girls' dormitory or a psychopath with a fixation on knives as a kitchen hand." Whoa. And that's not all! Check out Pravda's other colorful putdowns against Romney:

  • "this upstart nonentity"
  • "a foul-mouthed, big-headed oaf"
  • "a pea-brained, pith-headed simpleton with too much testosterone and too little common sense"
  • "A prize, good-for-nothing ignoramus"
  • "a foul-mouthed guttersnipe"
  • "overgrown self-opinionated schoolboys with super-egos but nothing whatsoever to back it up with" (a reference to both Romney and a large section of American senior politicians)
  • "out of touch, out of date and dangerously jingoistic"
  • displaying "vapid stupidity"
  • "unelectable"

The Hill'Christian Heinze thinks this war is awfully weak. We can't wait till Romney start's trolling Pravda in the comments.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.