Romney Attacked Over Adviser’s ‘Anglo-Saxon’ Gaffe

The campaign of Mitt Romney was in damage control Wednesday, as it sought to defuse a controversy over reported comments from an unnamed adviser.

The Telegraph reported Tuesday that one of Romney’s foreign policy advisers had told the newspaper that President Barack Obama does not “appreciate” the close relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.

“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the unnamed adviser reportedly said. “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.”

Another adviser was quoted as saying that Obama is “very comfortable with American decline and the traditional alliances don’t mean as much to him.”

The Romney campaign said that the report was inaccurate.

“It’s not true,” campaign spokesperson Amanda Henneberg said, according to a National Journal report. However, Henneberg appeared to allow that the statement might have been made.

“If anyone said that, they weren’t reflecting the views of Governor Romney or anyone inside the campaign,” she said.

Vice President Joe Biden blasted the Romney campaign over the remarks, which were viewed as a racist dog-whistle.

“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,” Biden said in a statement. “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.”

The Romney campaign responded, saying, “Today, the race for the highest office in our land was diminished to a sad level when the Vice President of the United States used an anonymous and false quote from a foreign newspaper to prop up their flailing campaign.”

This is not the first time that the Romney campaign has had to fend off questions of racial insensitivity. Earlier this month, Romney was blasted for saying that people who want “free stuff” should vote for Obama, immediately after addressing the NAACP convention.

The controversy was a distraction as Romney started a three-nation tour designed to burnish his weak foreign policy credentials. Obama’s foreign policy record, which includes the end of the Iraq War, the liberation of Libya, and the death of Osama bin Laden, is one of Obama’s key strengths going into the fall.

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Photo credit: Jeff Fecke


aileen cheetham
AILEEN C5 years ago

America hopefully won't let Mitt Romney abywhere near the White House.

This man is an accident waiting to happen (If it hasn't already.... his terrible visit to the UK)
What Codes and Keys does he hold.....Oh Yes the Atomic Ones...Nuff sed.

Shirley Hill
Shirley Hill6 years ago

Willard Romney = Mr. Bean with an American accent.
comment by British press on Romney's gaffe ridden International debut

sheila h.
sheila haigh6 years ago

Willard Romney = American Borat

Cheryl H.
Cheryl H.6 years ago

I am sick and tired of the Western European bias in how American history is taught and presented to the public. American history did not start with the first European settlers, it started when the Amerindians settled and those cultures and societies deserve to be given attention and respect, not brought up only when there's no way to avoid it when discussing the WASP narrative.

Lauren B.

“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the unnamed adviser reportedly said. “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.”
The heritage of the United States is way more complex and diverse than an "anglo-saxon heritage". We are a diverse people, and the implication that any of us can't understand anything but our own ancestral culture is ridiculous. Especially since most of us have a number of ancestral cultures and may not know much about them. We can understand what we try to understand, what we learn about and open up to. This has nothing to do with our race or family origins. Romney's implication that Obama, who is a perfect example of a thoughtful, intelligent American with rich ethnic heritage, can't understand the US relationship with England.

Jonathan Y.
Jonathan Y6 years ago

What does Anglo-Saxon really mean?

The ancient Celts of England were Pict, Gael, Welsh and Cornish, formerly described by Roman names like Catuvellani, Severni, or Brigantes. After the Romans but before the Normans, the Celts were invaded by Vikings, Jutes, Angles and Saxons, all from Scandinavia and N. Germany. The Latinized southern tribes merged into a single Norman culture which had Gallo-Belgic tribal origins but a Roman civilization.

We say 'Anglo-Saxon' because the Scandinavian invasions brought a new language (Old English), displacing the Celtic speech which lingers in Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. But, so did the Norman conquest-consider the huge amount of Latin/French loanwords we have. Every English word ending in 'tion' has an identical French twin, spelled 'cion' (nation-nacion, constitution-constitucion etc). Post-1066 is called Middle English and sounds like a French-English mix (get a flavor of this from heraldry). The complex language which evolved 500 years later in Shakespeare's time is Modern English.

This mixed-up history of tribes and cultures led to the difficulties of English grammar-its frustrating irregularities and exceptions compared to the Romance languages.

sheila h.
sheila haigh6 years ago

@Linda M.

Sorry. You're right. Mittens is too stupid to be a Celt. Must be Norman then.

Linda McKellar
Past Member 6 years ago

PULEEZE stop saying Romney is a Celt. We've been trying to keep that quiet so folks don't think all Celts are that stupid and vile. Heretofore I shall deny my claim to be of Celtish lineage and stick to my Viking & Pict lineage.

sheila h.
sheila haigh6 years ago

@Sarah H. - “Our founding fathers were Anglo-Saxon. They founded this country on Anglo-Saxon values.”

Sorry, Sarah, but the Anglo-Saxons (i.e. Germans) disappeared in 1066, when the Normans (i.e. the French) invaded England. So the founding fathers were more likely Norman than Anglo-Saxon, or maybe Celtic – people who were never conquered by the Anglo-Saxons.

As for Mittens, his ancestors were from Preston in Lancashire, and the Anglo-Saxons never got anywhere near there. So he can’t even claim to be of Anglo-Saxon stock. His stock is Celtish. Or Norman. Or he could claim to be of Roman (i.e. Italian) stock, if he wants to go back that far. But NOT Anglo-Saxon.

As for the “values”, seeing as the Normans logged and legislated just about everything in England and Wales on their arrival, any values are more likely to be Norman than anything else.

Another helping of French Fries, Sarah?

Ness Watson
Inez w6 years ago

I'm in the Uk and London specifically. I'm not up in arms about what he has said about us Londoners, I am up in arms about what this douche stands for though and how his beliefs will destroy women's rights in the US and how he ties his dog to a roof rack (in a dog cage) for a 100 mile drive for holiday.
The guy is a massive tool and we do not tolerate massive tools very well in the Uk, we tend to kick out and show them a true London welcome.
Can we please get this massive dick out f the UK as none of us actually want to see his racist, homophobe, sexist face. Cheers