For all the tough talk on Russia emanating from the U.S. Republican Party, one would think the Democrats – their main challengers in November’s presidential election – would set the record straight.
But perhaps they had gone too far when the image of four Russian warships was mistakenly projected onto a giant screen at the Democratic National Convention on September 6 while a high-ranking retired admiral paid tribute to U.S. veterans.
The four ships that graced the monitors during the last night at the convention, only an hour before President Barack Obama took to the stage to deliver his address, appeared to be vessels that bore all the trademarks of Russian naval technology, including distinct radars and hulls, according to Navy Times.
Experts told the U.S. newspaper that the warships belonged to Russia’s Sevastopol-based Black Sea Fleet.
“These four ships, at the time the photo was taken, constituted the entire major surface combatant component of the Black Sea Fleet,” said A.D. Baker III, a retired naval intelligence analyst.
Several other veterans and analysts also confirmed the vessels were in fact Russian. A spokesman for the Democratic National Convention was unable to comment on the matter, the newspaper reported.
The blooper arrives at a heated moment in U.S. politics, in which the two parties have clashed over a range of foreign policy issues ahead of the presidential election.
Namely, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has blasted Obama for his “flexibility” with Moscow, part of the president’s “reset” agenda, and has taken a markedly more aggressive tone against the United States' Cold War rival and President Vladimir Putin himself.
The defining moment came last March, when Romney told CNN that Russia was America’s “number one geopolitical foe,” sending many analysts into a frenzy of chatter and, in many cases, sheer bewilderment.
The Democratic National Convention is a nationwide meeting in which delegates from the 50 U.S. states gather to officially nominate a candidate for the presidency.
The U.S. presidential election will be held on November 6.