Mitt Romney is on an overseas tour, beginning in London, and his advisers are talking to the British media. One of them joined the loony right’s constant attempts to otherize Obama, to pretend that he’s anti-American and even anti-white and anti-European.
In remarks that may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity, one suggested that Mr Romney was better placed to understand the depth of ties between the two countries than Mr Obama, whose father was from Africa.
“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”.
The campaign is now claiming that this doesn’t reflect Romney’s views:
Mitt Romney’s campaign disputed a report in The Telegraph in which an unnamed adviser suggested that the Republican nominee better understands the American relationship with Great Britain than does President Obama, whose father was born in Africa.
“It’s not true,’’ said campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg. “If anyone said that, they weren’t reflecting the views of Governor Romney or anyone inside the campaign.”
This is a classic dog whistle, a tribal signal that Romney is a Real American and Obama is not. It’s standard rhetoric for the far right and is right in the wheelhouse of at least some of Romney’s advisers, like John Bolton. And it may well be a case of good cop/bad cop — an intentional and anonymous leak, denied for political purposes. Signal sent, signal denied.