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The Anglo-Saxon president

Wow. An adviser has explained to the Brits that Romney better understands and appreciates the UK because Romney is Anglo-Saxon:

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”.

This is as close to a casually racist remark as we’re likely to get, at least I hope. I’m finding it hard how to take it otherwise. So, maybe the adviser thought he (she?) was making a positive statement about shared heritage, the way President Clinton might have talked about feeling a special bond with Ireland because of his Irish heritage. But I think this goes beyond tone deafness. This is not a statement of warm feeling, but a negative statement that without that shared heritage, you can’t really understand the UK. It is (to me) very clearly an attempt to boost Romney while declaring Obama to be Other: Obama can’t understand America because he’s not really one of us, where the “us” means Anglo Saxons. If there’s a more charitable way of taking this and its implications, let me know.

I only wish that the first stop had been Germany so that the adviser could have talked about how to fully appreciate the shared history we have with that country, we need an Aryan president.


[A couple of hours later:] The Romney campaign has officially denied it. His press secretary said:

“‘It’s not true. If anyone said that, they weren’t reflecting the views of Governor Romney or anyone inside the campaign,’ she told in an email. Saul did not comment on what specifically was not true.”

3 Responses to “The Anglo-Saxon president”

  1. Talkingpoints Memo has found a source at the Telegraph, who vouches that the Romney staffer publicly interviewed by the paper is accurate in his denial.

    Most of the campaign’s dog-whistling has been taken care of previously, anyway.

  2. Well, Johne, as I read TPM, people have speculated that the Romney staffer was Nile Gardiner, and the Telegraph has confirmed that Gardiner was not the source. As far as I can tell – and correct me if I’m wrong – the Telegraph is continuing to claim that a Romney adviser did say what the Telegraph reported was said…but that adviser is not Gardiner.

  3. Yes — Juan Cole points out that Romney has essentially admitted that it was one of his staffers.

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