McCain: Medvedev slam shows Russians want Obama reelected

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s slam on Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney shows that the Russians want President Obama to be reelected.

McCain said Medvedev’s comments that Romney should “look at his watch” — after Romney called Russia the “No. 1 geopolitical foe” — are a result of Obama’s “flexibility” remark to Medvedev on Monday.

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“With the kind of commitment that President Obama just made to be relayed to [Russian President-elect] Vladimir [Putin], then you could understand why the Russians might attack Romney,” McCain told The Hill. “They obviously want president Obama reelected, that’s pretty clear.”

Obama set off a wave of Republican criticism on Monday when he asked Medvedev for “space” and said he could be more “flexible” after the election on the European missile shield, in a conversation between the two leaders captured by a hot microphone.

Romney accused Obama of saying one thing and doing another, while calling Russia the top geopolitical foe.

McCain, Obama’s opponent in the 2008 presidential race, tweeted Monday that Obama’s comments made him “a real Etch A Sketch leader.”

Medvedev took aim at Romney at the South Korean nuclear summit Tuesday, saying Romney’s remark “smells of Hollywood.”

"We are in 2012 and not the mid-1970s," Medvedev said.

But McCain, who has clashed with Putin in the past, suggested a comparison to another era.

“It maybe could be, say 1920, where we now have a dictator in Russia along the lines of Lenin and his successors,” McCain said. “We now have a guaranteed dictatorship for at least 12 years in Russia, so that goes back to previous times.”