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.”
…“Obama is a left-winger,” said [an adviser]. “He doesn’t value the Nato alliance as much, he’s very comfortable with American decline and the traditional alliances don’t mean as much to him. He wouldn’t like singing ‘Land of Hope and Glory.’”
The two advisers said Mr Romney would seek to reinstate the Churchill bust displayed in the Oval Office by George W. Bush but returned to British diplomats by Mr Obama when he took office in 2009. One said Mr Romney viewed the move as “symbolically important” while the other said it was “just for starters”, adding: “He is naturally more Atlanticist.”
The swipe about Romney’s “Anglo-Saxon heritage” is certainly interpretable as not-so-coded racism. The remark about the song, “Land of Hope and Glory,” are interesting given Romney’s propensity for spontaneously breaking out a verse of “America, the Beautiful.” But he is as unlikely to know the lyric to “Land of Hope and Glory,” a century-old British patriotic song as the president — or any American — is. (See the first verse below.)
The bust of Churchill was a gift to George W. Bush from the British government that Bush displayed in the Oval office. Obama replaced it with a bust of Martin Luther King — who is, ahem, an American — a move that outraged American right wingers. This may be because they believe that the Brits gave the bust to Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. In fact, as the photo above from the Bush White House website shows, Bush received the bust in July 2001, a month or two before the attacks.
The Romney campaign’s denial was quick and unequivocal. “It’s not true,” 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 first verse of “Land of Hope and Glory”:
Dear Land of Hope, thy hope is crowned,
God make thee mightier yet!
On Sovereign brows, beloved, renowned,
Once more thy crown is set.
Thine equal laws, by Freedom gained,
Have ruled thee well and long ;
By Freedom gained, by Truth maintained,
Thine Empire shall be strong.