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Romney Digs a Deeper Hole on His Russian Blunder

Mitt Romney is clueless:

It is not an accident that Mr. Medvedev is now busy attacking me. The Russians clearly prefer to do business with the current incumbent of the White House.

No, it’s not an accident. It couldn’t have anything to do with Romney’s decision to describe Russia as “our number one geopolitical foe,” could it? Presidential candidates should expect to encounter some resistance from abroad when they choose to use a foreign country as their target for demagoguery. Any foreign leader would prefer the person who wants the U.S. to have a constructive relationship with their government when the alternative is to be loathed and vilified. If this is the sort of cunning foreign policy leadership we can expect from Romney, why would anyone in this country prefer him?

The funny thing about Medvedev’s “attack” on Romney was how dismissive it was:

“My other advice is to check their clocks from time to time,” Medvedev said Tuesday. “It is 2012, not the mid-1970s. No matter what party a candidate represents, he has to take the current state of affairs into account.”

I suppose Romney will wear this disdain as a badge of pride. No Republican candidate ever suffered with his own voters after being mocked by a foreign head of state, and there’s no domestic political risk in bashing Russia. There aren’t many candidates that have the distinction of receiving such high-level mockery. Then again, very few of them have been quite so demagogic and antagonistic in their remarks about other countries. Romney’s massive overreaction to the “flexibility” statement has actually been a huge embarrassment for him on the international stage, and the worst part for him is that he seems not to know it.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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