Shortly after landing in London to kick-off a three-country overseas tour, Mitt Romney on Wednesday disavowed an anonymous quote purportedly made by one of his advisors that President Obama’s White House did not sufficiently appreciate the shared “Anglo-Saxon” heritage of the United States and Great Britain.
“We have a very special relationship between the United States and Great Britain. It goes back to our very beginnings, cultural and historical. But I also believe the president understands that,” Romney said during an interview with Brian Williams that aired Wednesday on “NBC Nightly News.” “So I don’t agree with whoever that advisor might be. But do agree that we have a very common bond between ourselves and Great Britain.”
Romney also noted that the quote, published in the Telegraph, was anonymous, and added that many people call themselves his advisors.
“Actually we’ve gone from calling the rope line where I shake hands every day to the advice line. Because you have a lot of people that offer advice. So I’m not sure who this person is,” Romney said.
Earlier in the day, Romney’s campaign said the quote did not reflect Romney’s or the campaign’s thoughts. It came, however, after Romney and his surrogates have repeatedly described the president’s actions and administration as foreign in references that appeared to play on discredited accusations that he was not born in America.
The Obama campaign seized upon the dust-up, with Vice President Joe Biden saying that such a comment was “beneath a presidential campaign.”
Later, Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters aboard Air Force One that the comment was part of trend in which Romney or his surrogates question the president’s understanding of America and freedom.
“That really goes over a line that we think they shouldn’t,” she said.