In defending his gaffe with Russian president Dmitri Medvedev, Obama blamed the media’s exposing him as proof that he was justified in saying what he said.
In case you missed the now-viral gaffe, Obama was caught on a hot mic at a moment when he thought he was not being recorded. He told Medvedev that Vladimir Putin needs to wait until after elections are over to deal with the missile defense issue:
On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space. . . . This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility. (See video below.)
Now Obama is trying to justify his gaffe. The Washington Post reports Obama’s damage control:
“I don’t think it’s any surprise that you can’t start that a few months before a presidential and congressional elections in the United States, and at a time when they just completed elections in Russia and they’re in the process of a presidential transition where a new president is going to be coming in in a little less than two months.”
“Frankly, the current environment is not conducive to those kinds of thoughtful consultations. The stories you guys have been writing over the last 24 hours is probably pretty good evidence of that. I think we’ll do better in 2013.”
Mitt Romney blasted Obama’s original remarks: “the American people have a right to know where else he plans to be ‘flexible’ in a second term.”