WASHINGTON - US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Sunday came under political fire from two of US President Barack Obama's top lieutenants, who dismissed Romney's tough talk on Russia as being behind the times.
In separate interviews, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought to cast Romney as stuck in the days of the Cold War and unaware of the strategic interests that the United States and Russia share on Iran, Afghanistan and the world's oil supply.
The two were hitting back at Romney for criticizing Obama last week after the Democratic president assured Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have "more flexibility" to deal with the contentious issue of missile defense after the Nov. 6 general election in the United States.
Republicans seeking to oust Obama from the White House in November pounced on his comments, which had been caught inadvertently by an open microphone. Romney expressed alarm that Obama had offered assurances to Russia, which he called "our number one geopolitical foe."
The former Massachusetts governor has increasingly trained his attacks on Obama while seeking to establish himself as the Republican candidate most likely candidate for the party's nomination to challenger the president in November.