At the tail end of his 90 minute meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev Monday, President Obama said that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with controversial issues such as missile defense, but incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to give him “space.”Some commentary from Hot Air (here and here) and Legal Insurrection. (H/t Instapundit). Romney and Gingrich have also responded. (See also here). The White House controlled media has already begun to put a positive spin on the statement, trying to explain it away as an instance of candor about having to deal with a hostile Congress (apparently the Democratic Senate doesn't count).
The exchange was picked up by microphones as reporters were let into the room for remarks by the two leaders.
President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.