When President Barack Obama was caught Monday by a hot mic telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev he would have “more flexibility” on missile defense after November’s election, he opened the doors for several angles of Republican criticism, including his commitment to the missile defense program and the remark’s suggestion that he will win re-election. Obama sought to clarify his statement later.
On Tuesday, Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg’s office said Obama’s comments suggested “something that Rehberg and others have suspected for ages: that President Obama is saving his more radical agenda for a second term when he no longer needs to worry about re-election.”
Specifically, Rehberg expressed concern over the future of the 150 intercontinental ballistic missiles commanded by the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls.
“It’s very troubling to hear President Obama suggest he’ll be able to act with ‘more flexibility’ once he is freed from the constraints his ‘last election,'” Rehberg said in a statement. “If he’s eager to abandon the duty of public accountability, it will be all the more important for Congress to serve its Constitutional role as a check and balance. Whether it’s for the ICBM mission at Malmstrom or the preservation of gun rights, someone’s got to remind the President that in America the power resides with We the People, and that he answers to us, regardless of politics or elections.”
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