My jaw is officially on the floor at this statement to Britain’s Telegraph by one of Mitt Romney’s advisers: Mitt Romney Would Restore ‘Anglo-Saxon’ Relations Between Britain and America.This is the attitude and kind of talking point that lurks just beneath Romney's characterization of Obama and his policies as "somehow foreign." It should come as no surprise that many right wingers are unabashed bigots and racists in private when they think they're in safe company. But here we see the hubris and delusion that everyone, or at least fifty per cent plus one of the electorate, shares their various prejudices.As the Republican presidential challenger accused Barack Obama of appeasing America’s enemies in his first foreign policy speech of the election campaign, advisers told The Daily Telegraph that he would abandon Mr Obama’s “Left-wing” coolness towards London.
In remarks that may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity, one suggested Mr Romney was better placed to understand the ties between the 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.”
But, of course, they'll soon be howling that anyone who objects to this unadulterated racism by the Romney advisor is actually the real racist.
Update: Meteor Blades has this.
The Romney campaign denies the source of the quote is an actual advisor. Greg Sargent notes that many people claim advisor status, whether it's really legitimate for them to do so or not:
But I can tell you that I spoke to Gardiner this morning on the phone, and he flatly denied that he was the person who spoke to the Telegraph. He did say he was contacted by the Telegraph reporter who wrote the story, but said he referred the call straight to Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul.Although, interestingly, he also includes this update linking to TPM:
Holding campaigns responsible for quotes coming from anonymous “advisers” is a dicey business. Anyone familiar with Beltway politics knows that all sorts of people with little influence or contact with campaigns are eager to identify themselves as ”advisers” to them. The Telegraph’s suggestion that this adviser is a member of Romney’s “foreign policy team” isn’t much better. This could easily be a reference to someone who advises the Romney campaign from the outside on these issues.
But nonetheless, the hunt is now on for the culprit, and even Joe Biden has now weighed in. Biden blasted Romney’s advisers for “reportedly playing politics with international diplomacy,” adding: “This assertion is beneath a presidential campaign.” So this story will only grow bigger.
UPDATE: The Telegraph tells TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro that the paper has not received a request from the Romney campaign for a retraction or correction.Steve M at No More Mister Nice Blog weighs in:
The Romney people want to bait Obama as "foreign," but the use of "Anglo-Saxon" is a bridge too far -- saying that, instead of the usual "Anglo-American," is going to elicit negative responses in the center as well as on the left, and it's going to upset, among other people, some Jewish voters who might otherwise be receptive to Romney's message -- a voter group Romney is courting on this trip.And from Joan Walsh:
Now, what exactly is Romney doing on this trip? Honing his foreign policy chops? No. He's opening a few more fronts in his Fox/talk-radio-style war against Obama. The entire trip is meant to push wingnut hot buttons. There's literally nothing else going on here.
But the Irish aren’t alone: The American identity of most “white” immigrant groups — especially Jews, Italians, Eastern and Southern Europeans – was forged in opposition to the supposed Anglo Saxon ideal. There are British people who don’t consider themselves Anglo Saxon, either. That Romney adviser team is super-talented. When they’re not handing the media “Etch a Sketch” imagery, or promoting “self-made businessmen” who got a major (and easily traceable) hand from government, they’re slurring most of the American electorate.
By the way, I’ve always wondered why Gingrich’s attack on Obama’s supposed “anti-colonial mindset” was supposed to be a slur. OK, let’s forget it was a lie, based on Obama’s non-existent relationship to his Kenyan father: Aren’t we all anti-colonialist? What about the Founders, whom right-wing Tea Party crackpots supposedly revere? Weren’t they the ultimate anti-colonialists?
And then we have my people: Lots of Irish Catholics are Republican now. As Romney honors our “Anglo Saxon heritage,” I hope they remember their heritage, too. I hate tribalism, and I’m not trying to stir up dated Irish-British animosity. The Romney team is.