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UPDATE: Mitt Romney said Wednesday that he doesn't agree with the unnamed adviser who caused a stir earlier this week by telling a British newspaper that Romney's "Anglo-Saxon heritage" makes him better suited than President Obama to foster a relationship with the U.K.
"I'm generally not enthusiastic about adopting the comments made by people who are unnamed. I have a lot of advisers," he said in an interview with NBC News' Brian Williams in London. "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 continued: "But I can tell you that 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. So I don't agree with whoever that adviser might be."
Wednesday, July 25 at 10:47 a.m.: Mitt Romney's camp moved quickly Wednesday to try to distance the candidate from a controversial comment one of his campaign aides reportedly made to a British newspaper on Tuesday.
"It's not true," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul told CBSNews.com regarding the apparent suggestion that Romney's "Anglo-Saxon heritage" makes him better suited than President Obama to foster a relationship with the U.K. "If anyone said that, they weren't reflecting the views of Governor Romney or anyone inside the campaign."
Wednesday, July 25: Mitt Romney touched down in London early Wednesday for the first leg of a week-long overseas tour to find a foot already in his mouth.
One of his advisers told Britain’s Daily Telegraph on Tuesday that Romney is better positioned than President Obama to foster a strong relationship with the U.K. because of his "Anglo-Saxon" connection to the country. "We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels the relationship is special," the unnamed aide said of Romney. "The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have."
The comments, the Telegraph aptly notes, "may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity," by suggesting that Obama’s relations with Downing Street were hindered by his father’s Kenyan origins.
Two campaign staffers spoke anonymously with the British newspaper, both affirming the presumptive GOP nominee’s commitment to improve relations across the pond, but neither offered any specific policy changes beyond Romney’s intention to restore a bust of Winston Churchill that sat in the Oval Office during the Bush years, and insisting that Romney is "naturally more of an Atlanticist" than his opponent.
The Republican candidate’s foreign policy objectives have yet to be clearly outlined, reaffirmed by one of the advisor’s comments to the Telegraph that he was "not sure what our policy response is" to the European financial crisis. On Tuesday, Romney criticized the president for taking a weak position with American adversaries like Russia, China, and Iran.
But, not everything is as difficult to predict as the future of American/British "special relationship." Somebody on the Romney team, the AtlanticWire muses, will probably be getting the ax in the near future.