Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney began his international tour in London today in hopes to boost his worldly image in anticipation of this November’s elections. However, the trip has started out by leaving Romney backtracking instead of building on his image.
Within hours of the former Massachusetts Governor’s arrival in this year’s Olympic City, comments broke from an anonymous aide discussing an “Anglo-Saxon heritage” shared between Britain and the United States along with Romney himself questioning the city days before the Olympics are set to begin.
According to a Reuters story, The Daily Telegraph quoted an aide as saying, “We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special. The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.”
In an interview with NBC News, the Republican candidate dismissed the comment, while stating the two countries do enjoy specialties – however he included that President Barack Obama recognizes them as well – according to Reuters.
“It goes back to our very beginnings – cultural and historical. But I also believe the president understands that. So I don’t agree with whoever that adviser might be, but do agree that we have a very common bond between ourselves and Great Britain,” Romney said.
The Obama Administration and campaign team released it’s own statement about the comment as the camp has continued to question Romney’s international policy experience.
“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, attempting to create daylight between the United States and the United Kingdom where none exists,” Vice President Joe Biden said in an official statement. “Our special relationship with the British is stronger than ever and we are proud to work hand-in-hand with Prime Minister [David] Cameron to confront every major national security challenge we face today. … The comments reported this morning are a disturbing start to a trip designed to demonstrate Governor Romney’s readiness to represent the United States on the world’s stage.”
But for the Romney campaign dismissing those comments was not the only problem to begin his international tour. Shortly after landing, and just before a special reception was scheduled at No 10 for the politician, Romney told NBC News in an interview he questioned whether London was capable of staging a successful Olympic Games, according to United Kingdom’s The Guardian.
Cameron, like the Obama campaign, was quick to react to Romney’s comments stating, while visiting the Olympic Park, “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.”
As The Guardian reported, Cameron’s remarks were meant to be light-hearted as Romney is known to of helped rescue the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002.
Romney had later tried to patch over his comments through compliments on the park by saying that it showed imagination and forethought and a lot of organization.
Biden may have said it best when addressing Romney’s aide’s remarks, “Not surprisingly, this is just another feeble attempt by the Romney campaign to score political points at the expense of this critical partnership.”