President Obama is taking a hard line on Vladimir Putin in 2016, but he mocked Mitt Romney for similiar warnings about Russia in 2012.
In an exit interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep, President Obama warned President-elect Donald Trump about Vladimir Putin and Russia. He also blasted some Republicans for having “a favorable view” of Putin.
A partial transcript, via NPR (our emphasis):
There was a poll that came out a couple of days ago that said that 37 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of Vladimir Putin. Think about that. Over a third of Republican voters think Putin is a good guy. This is somebody who — the former head of the KGB, who is responsible for crushing democracy in Russia, muzzling the press, throwing political dissidents in jail, countering American efforts to expand freedom at every turn — is currently making decisions that’s leading to a slaughter in Syria.
…And my point here is that it’s very important that we do not let the inner family argument between Americans, the domestic political differences between Democrats and Republicans, obscure the need for us to stand together, figure out what it is that the Russians are interested in doing in terms of influencing our democratic process and inoculating ourselves from it.
Obama is sounding the alarm now, but he mocked Mitt Romney on Russia in a 2012 debate:
Liberal rags like The Huffington Post and Salon gleefully shared the video at the time. As 2016 comes to a close, Russia is under fire for everything from hacks in the political West to Olympic doping.
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