President Obama at the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit. (Jewel Samad / AFP / Getty…)
Reporting from Washington — A day after President Obama’s hushed remarks to a Russian leader sparked outrage from GOP circles, House Speaker John A. Boehner backed off the criticism, and suggested Mitt Romney should do the same, while the president is traveling abroad.
“While the president's overseas, I think it's appropriate that -- that people not be critical of him or of our country,” Boehner said Tuesday.
Obama was captured on a live microphone telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev he would have “more flexibility” to negotiate on a missile defense system in Europe after the fall elections. Leaders were gathered in Seoul for a nuclear security summit.
Romney called the presidents remarks “troubling” and “alarming,” during a CNN interview Monday evening, and the Republican presidential candidate accused Obama of “telling us one thing and doing something else” in talks over a missile defense system in Europe.
Other critics and GOP leaders latched on to the comments to question Obama's long-term commitment to the missile defense system, which the U.S. has promoted but the Russians have objected to.
The president’s advisors said those involved in talks over the missile system agreed to discuss the issue later because of elections in both Russia and the U.S. The president himself clarified his remarks to reporters in Seoul.
Boehner had raised concerns Monday about Obama’s comments, but on Tuesday declined to go further. He declined to agree with Romney’s assertion that Russia was the U.S. “number one geopolitical foe,” and suggested tamping down the rhetoric while the president is representing the nation abroad. “Well, clearly, the president is overseas,” Boehner said.
Original source: Boehner says Obama not to be criticized while abroad