Obama Stands By Hot Mic Comments

Missile defense 'extraordinarily complex'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2012 8:06 AM CDT
Obama Stands By Hot Mic Comments
President Obama chats with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a bilateral meeting at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, March, 26, 2012.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – Asked about yesterday's "oops" when he and Dmitri Medvedev were overheard talking about European missile defense, the first thing President Obama said was, "Are the mikes on?" That got laughs, but Obama quickly turned serious, the Washington Post reports, calling missile defense "extraordinarily complex." He added, "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," not to mention elections in Russia.

"Frankly, the current environment is not conducive to those kinds of thoughtful consultations," he continued. "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." Obama has been slammed by Republicans for addressing the "flexibility" he'll have once re-elected, with Mitt Romney asserting that Obama will "cave to Russia on missile defense." But, Obama insisted, his commitment to reducing nuclear stockpiles is "on record." Click to hear the conversation between Obama and Medvedev. (Read more President Obama stories.)

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