Some conservatives have expressed concerns that a second term for President Barack Obama means a chance for the President, who will no longer face reelection, to force radical, unpopular “change” upon the United States. A statement the President made on Monday may fuel those concerns.
Unaware that they were being filmed, Obama was caught by television camera confidently telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that once he wins reelection, he will have the “flexibility” to make a deal on ballistic missile defense in Europe, according to Daily Mail.
In part of the exchange, Obama urged Moscow to give him space until after the November ballot. Medvedev said he would relay the President’s message to incoming Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The conversation reportedly went as follows:
Obama: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.”
Medvedev: “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…”
Obama: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”
Medvedev: “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”
The conversation was focused only around an American missile defense system being put together in Europe that is unpopular with Russia as the country’s leaders believe it may be used to target their homeland.
In response to questions about the exchange, the White House responded by saying that the President simply meant that because both countries were in the midst of an election year, he didn’t believe there would be a breakthrough regarding the system.
Obama’s remarks, however, may beg the question for people worried about him having a second term: What other issues will the President have more “flexibility” to tackle once he no longer has to worry about angering voters?