The New York Times and others on the left piled on Gov. Mitt Romney four years ago when the Republican presidential nominee contended that Russia was the United States’ “number one geopolitical foe,” but they now have a different opinion on the subject.
The Times editorial page slammed Romney over the remark he made to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in March 2012 and stated in their lead sentence, “Two decades after the end of the cold war, Mitt Romney still considers Russia to be America’s ‘No. 1 geopolitical foe.’ His comments display either a shocking lack of knowledge about international affairs or just craven politics. Either way, they are reckless and unworthy of a major presidential contender.”
The editorial goes on to bash Romney for daring to criticize Obama over telling then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev that he would have more flexibility on the missile defense issue after his reelection.
The Times defended Obama, calling it an “honest statement” and that the president made a “sound decision” to scrap “former President George W. Bush’s dubious plan to build a long-range missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.”
“There are real threats out there: Al Qaeda and its imitators, Iran, North Korea, economic stresses. Mr. Romney owes Americans a discussion of the real challenges facing this country and his solutions to them,” The Times editorial concluded.
However, the Times’ editorial board struck a different tone about the Russian threat on Thursday after President Obama announced new sanctions against the nation over accusations that its intelligence services interfered with the presidential election.
“While it is definitely too late, and may also be too little, there should be no doubt about the correctness of President Obama’s decision to retaliate against Russia for hacking American computers and trying to influence the 2016 presidential election,” the Times Editorial board wrote.
“Mr. Obama should have retaliated against this treatment a long time ago; still, the expulsion adds to the severity of the American response and directly affects Russian citizens, whereas the travel bans and asset freezes imposed by the sanctions may not. Russian intelligence officials rarely travel to the United States or stash their assets here.”
The Times is not the only one backtracking on their stance with Russia and U.S. relations. During a September 2012 presidential debate President Barack Obama hit Romney for his remarks on Russia’s threat.
“My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy. But from all that we’ve seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly,” Obama said on the debate stage. “After all, you don’t call Russia our No. 1 enemy—not Al Qaeda, Russia—unless you’re still stuck in a Cold War mind warp. You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally.”
Hillary Clinton, who now believes Russia favored Trump and caused her to lose the election, mocked Romney in 2012, claiming on CNN it was “somewhat dated” to be concerned over Russia adding that she too also thought he was “was stuck in a ‘Cold War mind warp’” and that Russia was, in fact, “an ally.”