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Rogozin Taunts Romney After Airplane Flap

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney boarding his campaign jet in Los Angeles earlier this week. Brian Snyder

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin taunted Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday after the former U.S. governor told reporters that he was concerned that windows on modern airplanes are sealed shut.

"The windows don't open. I don't know why they don't do that. It's a real problem," Romney said Monday after his wife's jet was forced to make an emergency landing days earlier when smoke filled the cockpit.

"No problem! We'll send our An-2 to Romney's campaign headquarters," Rogozin quipped back on Wednesday, referring to a postwar biplane known for its shaky flight-safety record.

"Not only do the windows not close, but the doors sometimes swing open mid-flight. On the plus side, there's fresh air to breathe, and you can take in the countryside," he wrote on Facebook.

Although a U.S. reporter who was present for Romney's comments later said they were made in jest, domestic and international media rushed to interpret them as a gaffe worthy of his Republican predecessor George W. Bush.

The hashtag #RomneyPlaneFeatures was still being actively circulated with sarcastic commentary on Twitter on Wednesday.

Romney, whose net worth is estimated at $200 million, is known for his hawkish attitude toward Russia and has referred to the United States' former Cold War enemy as its "No. 1 geopolitical foe" on the campaign trail.

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