Republicans pounce on President Barack Obama's open mic

(CNN) -- Republicans wasted no time Monday pouncing on President Barack Obama's now-controversial "open-mic" comment with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

In a new web video, the Republican National Committee painted a stark picture of Obama's exchange with the Russian leader, introducing the conversation with the text: "What Obama tells world leaders when he thinks you aren't listening."

The video features the clip of Obama and Medvedev holding a private conversation at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea. During their talk, which was caught on camera and on microphone, Obama asked his Russian counterpart for some "space" on the U.S.-led NATO missile defense system in Europe.

"This is my last election," Obama told Medvedev. "After my election I have more flexibility."

While Obama put his hand on Medvedev's arm, the Russian president responded saying he would transmit the information to the incoming president, current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

But Republicans seized on Obama's request as an opportunity to frame the president as a politician primarily focused on re-election.

"It's amazing what we find out about this president's policies when he thinks no one is listening and it begs the question: What else doesn't Obama want us to know about before he's reelected?" Kirsten Kukowski, RNC spokeswoman, said.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also came out against Obama's comments, saying the moment signaled that the president would "cave to Russia on missile defense."

"But the American people have a right to know where else he plans to be 'flexible' in a second term. Higher taxes, more spending and increased debt are all on the table as long as Barack Obama is in the White House, despite what he says publicly. President Obama needs to level with the American public about his real agenda," Romney said in a statement.

His team also launched a new Twitter campaign Monday, highlighting the president's remark.

From his Twitter account, Romney asked followers to fill in the blank: "@BarackObama: I'll have more flexibility to ______ after the election."

CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Brianna Keilar contributed to this report.

 
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