By Alicia M. Cohn - 09/07/12 11:33 AM EDT
"You'd be hard pressed for Mitt Romney not to admit he's very new to foreign policy," Gibbs told CBS "This Morning."
Obama hit Romney hard on the topic in his speech.
"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," he said. "After all, you don't call Russia our number one enemy — and not al Qaeda — 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."
Gibbs reiterated both points.
"Someone who believes Russia's our greatest enemy rather than terrorists ... I think lacks the understanding of how to keep our country safe," he said.
Romney has said Russia is the country's "No. 1 geopolitical foe," particularly in United Nations votes. He also says that a nuclear Iran is "the greatest threat" to national security.
But the focus on national security could be an attempt to draw attention away from the economy, with the August jobs report due for release later on Friday morning.
The president "knows that we've made progress but he understands we've got a long way to go," Gibbs said of the economy, the campaign's standard answer this week to the "are we better off than four years ago?" question.
"This isn't 2008," Gibbs continued. "We understand that we've been through economic times the depths of which hopefully nobody else will have to go through."
Gibbs added that Obama, much more so than Romney in his speech last week, talked "more about the American people than himself or his opponent" and that's what the American people care about most.