An adviser to Mitt Romney told a London paper that Obama has not been an effective partner for Britain because he doesn’t “fully appreciate” America’s “Anglo-Saxon heritage.” The racially tinged comments come hours before Romney lands in London for a series of high level meetings and the opening of the Olympic Games.
Jon Swaine of the Daily Telegraph has the story:
In remarks that may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity, one suggested that Mr Romney was better placed to understand the depth of ties between the two countries than Mr Obama, whose father was from Africa.
“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the adviser said of Mr Romney, adding: “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.”
The comments were the latest attack by the Romney campaign on Obama’s multi-cultural heritage. Last week, Romney campaign co-chair John Sununu said Obama didn’t understand the “American system” because he “spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in Indonesia.” Sununu also said Obama needed to “learn how to be an American.” (Sununu later apologized for that remark.) Later that day Romney called Obama’s policies “extraordinarily foreign.”
Romney is denying the report: “‘It’s not true,’ said campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg. ‘If anyone said that, they weren’t reflecting the views of Governor Romney or anyone inside the campaign.’…Asked to be specific about what wasn’t true – whether the quote was fabricated or whether the sentiment was inaccurate – the campaign did not immediately respond.”
The reporter, Jon Swaine, says he talked to “a member of the foreign policy advisory team” for the Romney campaign.
The Daily Telegraph tells ThinkProgress it stands by the story.
“The Telegraph, which stands by the piece, told TPM that the paper has not received a request from the Romney campaign to retract or correct the story.”
In an interview with NBC News, Romney doesn’t dispute the accuracy of the Telegraph report, saying “I don’t agree with whoever that advisor might be.”