Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Sunday attempted to defend Mitt Romney's misguided declaration earlier this year that "Russia is without question" the United States' "number one geopolitical foe."
Ryan said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that he believes Iran is the country's greatest political foe, but that Romney was only considering China and Russia when he made his remark. "I think what he was saying was among the other powers, China and Russia, that Russia stands a great threat," Ryan said.
In fact, Romney was responding to President Barack Obama's "hot mic" moment with Russian President Dimitri Medvedev, when he was overheard saying he would have greater flexibility on missile defense after the election.
"This is without question our number one geopolitical foe, they fight for every cause for the world's worst actors," Romney told CNN in March. "The idea that he has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed."
Romney's Russia gaffe became the subject of many pointed one-liners at the Democratic National Convention and presented Democrats with the opportunity to harp on his lack of foreign policy experience. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who is being considered as Hillary Clinton's replacement for Secretary of State, said Romney "talks like he's only seen Russia by watching Rocky IV."
Obama said during his convention speech that Romney and Ryan are “new to foreign policy," pausing for comedic effect.
Romney was widely criticized for failing to mention Afghanistan in his speech at the Republican National Convention, but he said on Sunday that he had already discussed Afghanistan in a speech to the American Legion the day before.
"I went to the American Legion and spoke with our veterans there and described my policy as it relates to Afghanistan and other foreign policy and our military," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I've been to Afghanistan and the members of our troops know of my commitment to Afghanistan and to the effort that's going on there. I have some differences on policy with the president. I happen to think those are more important than what word I mention in each speech."
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