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Obama’s Open Mic Remark, Romney’s Pounce, and Medvedev’s Hollywood Joke

(US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev (L) share a smile after their bilateral meeting in Seoul on March 26, 2012 on the sidelines of the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit.)

Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

The microphone is often a friend to Barack Obama …unless he doesn’t know it’s on.

Yesterday the president landed in hot water for an offhand remark picked up by a hot mic at a South Korea conference, suggesting to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that after he won his second term, a dispute over putting a U.S. missile defense system in Europe could be resolved.

Some Republicans pounced, saying Obama was placing political calculation ahead of America’s strategic safety. GOP candidate Mitt Romney called the comments alarming because Russia was America’s primary geopolitical foe. Romney later said he didn’t think the Obama could recover from the slip-up.

The president responded to press Tuesday saying his words—while not meant to be public—were in line with his stated goals of reducing nuclear weapons stockpiles.

Medvedev also shot back, suggesting that Romney’s jab sounded like old-fashioned Cold War talk—or a Hollywood plotline. He does have a point … haven’t we all moved on to worrying about China?

Video produced by Paca Thomas