Publicly, President Obama and Dmitry Medvedev said today that delicate discussions over a European missile defense were ongoing. Inadvertently publicly, Obama told Medvedev to tell Vladimir Putin to chill and give him until after the election to wrangle a deal, reports the Washington Post. The pair met today in Seoul, and were accidentally picked up by a microphone speaking rather frankly. “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space,”Obama tells Medvedev, who responds, "Yeah, I understand." "This is my last election," Obama continues. "After my election I have more flexibility."
After the video surfaced, the White House copped to as much, saying that with elections this year in both the US and Russia, “it is clearly not a year in which we are going to achieve a breakthrough.” Mitt Romney, meanwhile, himself no stranger to accusations of "flexibility," pounced on the faux pas: “President Obama signaled that he’s going to cave to Russia on missile defense, but the American people have a right to know where else he plans to be ‘flexible’ in a second term.”