‘I turn on my TV – and there’s RT’: Romney slams Russian intl strategy

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (Reuters / Chris Keane)
Former US presidential candidate Republican Mitt Romney has acknowledged RT’s reach and influence. He called it part of Russia’s “strategy,” at the same time as slamming Obama and Clinton’s foreign policy mistakes.

Romney spoke to an audience of about 200 at the fourth annual E2 (Experts and Enthusiasts) summit in Park City, Utah. He backed his statements up with a PowerPoint presentation, the main focus of which was to slam the foreign policy mistakes of President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State (and now, the Democratic favorite of the presidential race) Hillary Clinton.

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He had a slide for each of Obama’s “most consequential foreign policy mistakes,” including the “Middle East apology tour” and the “reset” effort in relations with Russia.

This part of the presentation concluded with Romney asking whether Obama was “the worst foreign-policy president in history.” He answered himself in the affirmative, reports the Washington Post.

He then switched to castigating Hillary Clinton’s term as secretary of state, saying she had consolidated the world against the US by making “mistake after mistake after mistake.”

Finally, Romney flipped the PowerPoint pages to Russia and President Putin.

“What’s Putin’s strategy?” the slide asked. “Russia TV,” Romney answered. “I mean, I turn on my TV here — and there’s RT!”

This is far from the first time that RT has received the attention of high-ranking US politicians. In 2011, Hillary Clinton called for more financing for US state-sponsored media to counteract the channel, even going so far as to say Washington was losing the information war against Russia.

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The plea was reiterated this year by Clinton’s successor in the State Department, John Kerry. He also referred to RT’s growing influence and said money is needed for “democracy promotion” around the world. As a side note, RT’s budget is some $250 million (13.85 billion rubles), while US government media receive about $770 million.

In February, the former head of the US Broadcast Board of Governors Andrew Lack went as far as saying RT was a threat on a par with Islamic State and Boko Haram terrorists.

Romney’s E2 summit was initially organized in 2012 as a way to raise money for his own presidential campaign (before he eventually lost to Barack Obama). This year, six Republican presidential hopefuls attended, aiming to get funding from major CEOs and a personal endorsement from Romney.