Vladimir Putin rode bareback for the cameras once.
Shirtless, he cast his line into the water, and carried a scoped hunting rifle into the bush.
But in arm wrestling?
Over the question of who won the Cold War?
“He put me down in a millisecond,” says Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California, who once served as a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan and a bar-table sparring partner with a certain rising Russian KGB colonel.
Rohrabacher, 66, a Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has told Southern California Public Radio– KPPC– that he once arm-wrestled Putin, who turns 59 next month, in the early 1990s. A congressman since 1988, Rohrabacher says he met some “young political leaders” visiting from Russia and invited them to a football game. Three accepted the invitation, including Putin, then deputy mayor of St. Petersburg.
“We went out and we played touch football and Scooter Libby (who went on to become Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff) was one of the players and a bunch of my right-wing friends were there,” the congressman said.
“We all ended up going to the Irish Times pub afterwards. And we were having a little bit too much to drink, I guess. But anyway, we started arguing about who won the Cold War, etc, and so we decided to settle it like men do when they’ve had too much to drink in the pub.”
“So we got down to these arm-wrestling matches and I ended up being paired off with Putin,” he said. “And he’s a little guy, but boy I tell ya — he put me down in a millisecond. He is tough! He just – muscles were just unbelievable.”
GOP Rep. arm-wrestled Putin: “He put me down in a millisecond..muscles were just unbelievable”: http://t.co/NBc1DqGeUd
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) September 13, 2013