WASHINGTON — The start of Mitt Romney’s foreign tour was overshadowed Wednesday by a reported remark by an aide that President Barack Obama doesn’t understand the “Anglo-Saxon heritage” shared by Britain and the United States.
The Republican White House hopeful’s campaign scrambled to deny that one of its operatives had told a British newspaper that Romney, unlike Obama, understands the “Anglo-Saxon heritage” underpinning the so-called special relationship with Britain.
In the context of previous jibes that the Democratic incumbent, the United States’ first black leader, does not understand American values and business practice, the latest alleged comments were seen as racially charged.
But Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Hennenberg said in a statement that the British report was mistaken.
“It’s not true,” she said. “If anyone said that, they weren’t reflecting the views of governor Romney or anyone inside the campaign.”
British newspaper The Daily Telegraph said it had interviewed two Romney advisers who said their man would be better than President Barack Obama at reinforcing the special bond between the United States and Britain.
“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” an unnamed adviser told the Telegraph. “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.”
The British paper also quoted an adviser saying Obama “is a left-winger” who “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.”
The comments caused scandal just as Romney arrived in London to kick off a three-nation tour where his campaign has said he won’t attack Obama’s record, and the White House seized on the remarks as undignified and disturbing.
“Despite his promises that politics stops at the water’s edge, governor Romney’s wheels hadn’t even touched down in London before his advisers were reportedly playing politics with international diplomacy, attempting to create daylight between the United States and the United Kingdom where none exists,” Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement.
The comments, Biden said, “are a disturbing start to a trip designed to demonstrate governor Romney’s readiness to represent the United States on the world’s stage.”
Senior Obama re-election strategist David Axelrod called the comments “stunningly offensive.”
The Romney campaign hit back, saying Obama’s campaign was using the dust up as a distraction ahead of the November election.
Biden invoked “an anonymous and false quote from a foreign newspaper to prop up their flailing campaign,” Romney spokesman Ryan Williams alleged.
“We have very serious problems confronting our nation and American families are hurting, yet the Obama campaign continues to try to divert voters’ attention with specious shiny objects.”
Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’
On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.
As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.
Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:
1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."
Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR
British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate
Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.
The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.
In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.
Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6
President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.
Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.
Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019