The Romney campaign is distancing itself from the comments of an unnamed aide who told the Daily Telegraph that his candidate appreciates the two countries' “Anglo-Saxon heritage” better than President Barack Obama.
“It's not true,” spokeswoman Amanda Hennenberg said in a statement. “If anyone said that, they weren't reflecting the views of Governor Romney or anyone inside the campaign.”
The comment comes as Romney begins a weeklong trip to the UK, Poland, and Israel.
Reportedly, an advisor to Romney said: “We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special." The individual added that "the White House didn't fully appreciate the shared history we have."
Political commentators said there is racial subtext to the quote because it implies Obama cannot understand the depth of the relationship between the US and the UK because his father was from Kenya.
Vice President Joe Biden attacked the assertion:
"Despite his promises that politics stops at the water's edge, Governor Romney's wheels hadn't even touched down in London before his advisors were reportedly playing politics with international diplomacy," he said in the statement. "This assertion is beneath a presidential campaign."
According to The Atlantic, the assertion weakens the credibility of Romney's campaign because the term “Anglo-Saxon" doesn't even refer to the US or UK but to two small Germanic tribes to which few Americans or Britons are directly linked.