Mitt Romney’s campaign disputed a report in The Telegraph in which an unnamed adviser suggested that the Republican nominee better understands the American relationship with Great Britain than does President Obama, whose father was born in Africa.
“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.”
The London paper quoted an unnamed adviser saying, “We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and [Romney] feels that the special relationship is special. The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.’’
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.
Romney arrived in London on Wednesday on his first foreign trip as the GOP's presidential candidate; he will meet there with British Prime Minister David Cameron. Romney is also scheduled to visit Israel and Poland.
Speaking with members of Romney's foreign-policy advisory team, The Telegraph quoted one calling Obama "a left-winger" and saying, "He doesn’t value the [NATO] alliance as much; he’s very comfortable with American decline, and the traditional alliances don’t mean as much to him. He wouldn’t like singing ‘Land of Hope and Glory.' ”
In a statement released by the Obama/Biden campaign, Vice President Joe Biden did not quote the "Anglo-Saxon" line, but said Romney advisers were "attempting to create daylight between the United States and the United Kingdom where none exists."
Clearly hoping to bring attention to the reported remarks, Biden said, "The comments reported this morning are a disturbing start to a trip designed to demonstrate Governor Romney’s readiness to represent the United States on the world’s stage. Not surprisingly, this is just another feeble attempt by the Romney campaign to score political points at the expense of this critical partnership. This assertion is beneath a presidential campaign.”
Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod had earlier tweeted about what he called the Romney team's "stunningly offensive" remarks.