According to The New York Times, Mitt Romney’s son Matt had a special message to deliver on a recent business trip to Russia:
…Mr. Romney told a Russian known to be able to deliver messages to Mr. Putin that despite the campaign rhetoric, his father wants good relations if he becomes president, according to a person informed about the conversation.
The senior Romney’s bluster on Russia raised questions about his understanding of foreign policy, given that he has little to no experience in diplomacy.
In March, the Republican nominee attempted to seize on an off-mic comment by the president to heighten tensions with the Russian Federation. President Obama told then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more “flexibilty” after the election. Medvedev famously responded, “I will transmit this message to Vladimir.”
Romney then inserted himself into the story. He blasted the president, of course, and called Russia America’s “number one geopolitical foe,” which caused former Secretary of State Colin Powell to say, “Come on, Mitt. Think!”
Putin thanked Romney for his bluster and seized the opportunity to oppose plans for a U.S.-built missile defense system:
“I’m grateful to [Romney] for formulating his stance so clearly because he has once again proven the correctness of our approach to missile defense problems,” Putin told reporters, according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
“The most important thing for us is that even if [Romney] doesn’t win now, he or a person with similar views may come to power in four years. We must take that into consideration while dealing with security issues for a long perspective,” Putin said.
Romney’s posturing toward Russia was clearly a convenient ploy, given his history of doing business in the former Soviet Union. His “blind trust” invested in the Russian state oil company Gazprom and then sold the stock for a loss as the election season neared.
In 2007, Romney said, “My trustee has indicated publicly that he will make an effort to make sure that my investments to the extent possible and practical, will conform with my political positions.”
Figuring out Romney’s political positions must make being his trustee a full-time job.