Thursday Reads: Mitt Romney’s Very Very Bad Day

Good Morning!!

Poor Mitt Romney. Yesterday was not a good day for his campaign. The big story of the day on both sides of the Atlantic was the one about unnamed Romney foreign policy advisers who talked to the The Telegraph and made “racially-tinged” remarks.

The quotes were so extensive and detailed that it’s hard to believe they weren’t legit. Even after Romney disavowed the remarks, the Telegraph stood by their story and noted that they had not received any requests for retractions or corrections from the Romney campaign.

The quotes that I found most disturbing were the ones about the supposed shared “Anglo-Saxon heritage” of England and the U.S.

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”.

And later in the article:

Members of the former Massachusetts governor’s foreign policy advisory team claimed that as president, he would reverse Mr Obama’s priority of repairing strained overseas relationships while not spending so much time maintaining traditional alliances such as Britain and Israel.

“In contrast to President Obama, whose first instinct is to reach out to America’s adversaries, the Governor’s first impulse is to consult and co-ordinate and to move closer to our friends and allies overseas so they can rely on American constancy and strength,” one told the Telegraph.

“Obama is a Left-winger,” said another. “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’.”

When I first read this, I was flummoxed. “Anglo-Saxon heritage”? What on earth does that mean? It sounded so incongruous, yet it rang a bell with some things I’ve read about Mormon philosophy. So I googled a bit. It seems that Mormons believe they are descended from one of the “12 lost tribes of Israel,” and Brigham Young specifically claimed that the Mormons were descended from the tribe of Ephraim:

We are now gathering the children of Abraham who have come through the loins of Joseph and his sons, more especially through Ephraim, whose children are mixed among all the nations of the earth. The sons of Ephraim are wild and uncultivated, unruly, ungovernable. The spirit in them is turbulent and resolute; they are the Anglo-Saxon race, and they are upon the face of the whole earth bearing the spirit of rule and dictation, to go forth from conquering to conquer. They search wide creation and scan every nook and corner of this earth to find out what is upon and within it. I see a congregation of them before me today. No hardship will discourage these men; they will penetrate the deepest wilds and overcome almost insurmountable difficulties to develop the treasures of the earth, to further their indomitable spirit for adventure. 10:188.

Obviously, I can’t know whether these Mormon beliefs were behind the quotes given to the Telegraph, but it seems possible.

The “foreign newspapers” that the Romney campaign so disdains had a bit of fun yesterday ridiculing the Anglo-Saxon flub.

From the Guardian: Some good Anglo-Saxon values for Mitt Romney. You should read the whole thing, but here’s the concluding paragraph:

In 1066, Britain’s mongrel nation status became complete, having been officially invaded by the Romans, the Angles and Saxons, the Jutes from Denmark, the Vikings and finally by the Normans who, critically, stopped Anglo-Saxon culture in its tracks. Twenty years after the invasion, the Anglo-Saxon nobility were in exile, or consigned to the peasantry, with only 8% of England under their control. The myth of Anglo-Saxon roots that Romney wants to perpetrate denies the enormous contribution to British culture by, essentially, the French. Without the Norman invasion of Anglo-Saxon England, our language and culture would obviously be very different – Mitt Romney would be wise not to cast us all back into the Dark Ages.

Also from the Guardian: Dear Mitt Romney: welcome to Britain! We have a few tips for a pleasant stay. Here’s just one paragraph, but please do read the whole thing.

Britain is, legendarily, a nation of animal-lovers, so you can expect people to be significantly more perturbed by the Dog On The Roof Incident than by any other aspect of your record. On the other hand, people will expect you to be unfamiliar with British cuisine, so your bizarre inability to identify common baked goods will actually be less of a handicap than at home. Just try, if at all possible, not to hurl insults at whoever is providing the baked goods. It’s probably fine to eat the baked goods in a strange fashion.

Juan Cole’s reaction to the Anglo-Saxon mess was more serious.

I really dislike Nazi references. They are for the most part a sign of sloppy thinking, and a form of banal hyperbole. But there just is no other way to characterize invoking the Anglo-Saxon race as a basis for a foreign policy relationship, and openly saying that those of a different race cannot understand the need for such ties. It is a Nazi sentiment.

If you would like some evidence for what I say, consider Adolf Hitler’s own point of view:

For a long time yet to come there will be only two Powers in Europe with which it may be possible for Germany to conclude an alliance. These Powers are Great Britain and Italy.”

Of the two possible allies, Hitler much preferred Britain because he considered it higher on his absurd and pernicious racial hierarchy. Indeed, Hitler held Mussolini a bit at arms length while hoping for a British change of heart, a hope only decisively dashed in September, 1939, when Britain declared war.

Hitler complained that colonialism was in danger of diluting Aryan European strength, weighing down the metropole powers. He contrasted this situation with that of the white United States, blessedly possessing its “own continent.” Indeed, it is, he argued (genocidal crackpot that he was), Britain’s special relationship with the Anglo-Saxon-dominated United states that kept it from being overwhelmed by its subhuman colonials:

“we we too easily forget the Anglo-Saxon world as such. The position of England, if only because of her linguistic and cultural bond with the American Union, can be compared to no other state in Europe.”

Yikes! Remember, I didn’t write that. I’m just quoting Professor Juan Cole.

Yesterday Romney also gave an interview to NBC’s Brian Williams. He avoided questions on several topics, including his unreleased tax returns. Romney assured Williams that he was not going to release any more tax returns. Period. End of story. I think he’s hoping that we’ll all be distracted by his trip abroad, but somehow I don’t think the Obama campaign or the media will stop asking him what he’s hiding.

In addition, as JJ reported last night, Romney told Williams that James Holmes shouldn’t have had all that weaponry that he used to murder 12 people, wound more than 50 others, and turn his apartment into a firebomb, because the weapons were all illegal. Oopsie! Another flub.

As Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates explained: “All the weapons that he possessed, he possessed legally. And all the clips that he possessed, he possessed legally. And all the ammunition that he possessed, he possessed legally.”

Holmes used a handgun, a shotgun and an AR-15 assault rifle in his massacre — all legal, thanks to the expiration of the Assault Weapons Ban in 2004, which had previously prohibited some versions of the AR-15. Holmes also had body armor, tear gas grenades, a gas mask and tactical gear. All are legal and widely available online at minimal cost (one website sells tear gas grenades for just $16 a pop).

The only way it would have been illegal for Holmes to have his guns would be if he had been diagnosed as mentally ill or was a convicted felon, but neither was the case. His only record was a speeding ticket.

The drip drip drip continued in the media’s efforts to discover the truth behind Romney’s exit from Bain Capital. Yesterday the AP released a new “Fact check” article that pokes holes in Romney’s claims that he had no involvement with Bain after he left to head up the 2002 Winter Olympics. Quoting Greg Sargent:

The Associated Press reports this morning that Mitt Romney “stayed in regular contact” with his partners at Bain in the months after the 1999 date that he has given as the time he left the company. The story also claims he “continued to oversee his partnership stakes even as he disengaged from the firm, personally signing or approving a series of corporate and legal documents through the spring of 2001.”

The story doesn’t move the ball too much, but it adds to the information that complicates his case that he bears no responsibility for any of the controversial Bain deals that took place during that period — and that he played “no role whatsoever” with the firm.

Finally, Buzzfeed reports that Democrats Plan To Go Nuclear On Romney “You Didn’t Build This” Attack. In a memo sent to the media, the Obama campaign announces they plan to hit Romney hard on multiple fronts. You can read the whole memo at the link.

That was Romney’s very very bad Wednesday. I wonder what he’ll do today? Now what are you reading and blogging about today?

62 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Mitt Romney’s Very Very Bad Day”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Romney was a registered lobbyist for the Salt Lake City Olympics.

    As a lobbyist and president of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, Romney didn’t just stabilize the balance sheet. He brought in a record $1.3 billion in federal dollars for Salt Lake City’s games and more from Utah. In 1996, the Atlanta Summer Olympics cost U.S. taxpayers $609 million. The Salt Lake Tribune wrote in March 2000: “If charming state lawmakers were an Olympic event, Mitt Romney would be draped in a flag about now, singing the national anthem.”

  2. mablue2 says:

    Wow Dr BB, that’s one hell of a post.

    Back to reading…

    • You said it mablue, excellent BB….wow.

      • dakinikat says:

        I am so glad BB has been staying on top of Mitt Shady dodges and lies. I had no idea he was this bad. The man has had so few challenges in his life that the resultant lack of character is appalling.

      • I know, I honestly do not understand how he has pull the wool over so many eyes. And I completely agree with you about Boston Boomer’s amazing reporting on the Real Mitt Romney.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Thanks you guys.

    • Fannie says:

      Ditto, Thanks BB

      • northwestrain says:

        Amazing the fantastic stories that the con man founder of the LDS came up with — that tribe of Israel got everywhere. Pacific Islanders are also part of that lost tribe mythology.

        Of course there is absolutely no scientific proof for this mythology which the LDS cult teaches. No DNA or language evidence to support this claim.

        As my aunt likes to say — the LDS religion was invented because one man got his maid pregnant.

        BB nice tight summary highlighting just what was wrong and what was behind the Anglo Saxon remark. I’ve never like the way some Latinos call all white folk Anglo. I’ve thought it was an insult – and the history lesson about the Anglo Saxon history is exactly why not all white folk are Anglos.

  3. From the Guardian link:

    More immigration

    It was sixth century British monk Gildas who saw the coming of the Anglo-Saxons as God’s punishment for the sins of the Britons – an apocalyptic view that would be right at home in the delusional wing of the Republican party, and proof that the basic British distrust of foreigners was alive and well long before the barbarians invaded. If the Anglo-Saxons taught us anything, it is surely that we are all foreigners in our own country. Perhaps the Republicans can draw some inspiration from that.

    Love It!

  4. bostonboomer says:

    In Brian Williams interview, Romney couldn’t explain the difference between his economic policies and GW Bush’s.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      He was pretty pathetic in that interview.

      Looked like somebody sitting there enduring a test against his will. I was unable to picture him holding his own against a leader of another country as he dodged and weaved his way through the process without actually saying anything of substance.

      Seems to me he views his years as governor of MA in the same way the rest of us here do: unimpressive.

      • dakinikat says:

        I’m glad all you MA folks are around to share the horrors! It’s like the press is still enamored of Jindal and we know better down here. The Democratic Party fell apart after Katrina and can’t field state level challengers. He waltzed to reelection because of that and little else. Every one sees his craven ambitions now in his rush to get vouchers through in any form possible. Even the northern sections of the state are upset with him and he’s off trying to be Mitt’s VP pick.

  5. Pat Johnson says:

    I think it is worth noting that we are about 100 days from the November election.

    Which means we are only 101 days out from the next presidential election for 2016.


  6. bostonboomer says:

    Josh Marshall wonders why Mitt Romney has a top foreign policy adviser who isn’t even an American citizen.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    The Telegraph has a new article about the notorious Brits who were early investors in Bain Capital, Jack Lyons and Robert Maxwell.

    The Daily Telegraph has disclosed that Lyons and his family invested $3 million in Bain Capital Fund I. His friend Robert Maxwell put in a further $2 million. Lyons was later convicted as one of the “Guinness Four”, while Maxwell was found to have committed vast fraud.

    • bostonboomer says:

      One senior British colleague used an anecdote from a rare corporate gathering at his Massachusetts home at the end of the 1980s which he claims summed up Mr Romney’s character and management style.

      “One of our wives was sick – she had been pregnant and the delivery had not gone well,” said the executive. “She had serious issues. Simultaneously, another wife of one of our colleagues had cancer.

      “As the wife of the first man was leaving the house, she was struggling,” the former colleague recalled. “Mitt turned to her and said: ‘Buck up – you could be like her,’ pointing to the second woman.”

      What a clod!

      • Pat Johnson says:

        Delivered in the same manner to the gay woman concerning her child: with a tone of derision.

        This is Mitt in a nutshell. An overprivileged son of privilege who has no understanding or empathy for us “common people”. And he never tries to actually hide it.

        A man who sees corporations sharing the same footing as people best describes how he views the world.

  8. ANonOMouse says:

    BB…..That was an excellent, thought provoking post.

    Just the use of the term “Anglo-Saxon” when discussing the relationship between Great Britian and the U.S. sets off alarm bells for most of us. Thank you providing info that may help us to connect the dots.

  9. dakinikat says:

    This is kind’ve an interesting study by the ST Louis FED on the impact of the wealth bubbles and consumption:

    Changes in wealth, according to our simple calculations, can account for almost all of the observed consumption fluctuations of the past two decades.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Chuck Todd calls out Mitt Romney for refusing to take questions from reporters this morning.

    • dakinikat says:

      He is taking comments now. Also, he just told the pm that London doesn’t appear to be ready for the Olympics. Now he is trying to walk that back too … the man has appallingly bad judgement and blurts insensitive and idiotic things. Is he deliberately trying to look like a very stupid person?

      • bostonboomer says:

        He has to be the least tactful politician evah!

        • dakinikat says:

          A foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney’s campaign warned against policies that would aid “the Soviet Union” Wednesday, making him at least the third person from Team Romney — including Romney himself — to refer to a country that hasn’t existed since 1991 in the course of attacking President Obama’s foreign policy.

          The Obama campaign has already accused Romney of having a “Cold War mindset” on foreign policy, so it naturally seized on a clip of longtime Republican diplomat Rich Williamson, a Romney adviser, speaking at the Brookings Institution Wednesday. Williamson was condemning the Obama approach to Syria.

          He called the country “strategically important to the Soviet Union.”

          That’s the Republican Party! Leading us backward in time!!

      • ANonOMouse says:

        He is the least sensitive and also the most out-of-touch. He’s lived in a bubble of privilege for so long he hasn’t a clue about how to interact with the peons. Without the ability to empathize, walk-in-our-shoes so to speak, old Bubble Boy is a dangerous commodity.

        Ironically, for all the criticism Obama has taken (even from me) for being on the teleprompter so often, Mitt Romney is a complete loose-cannon without his prompter. I don’t know if he can survive his inability to weigh the impact of his words before they leave his mouth. The debates should be interesting because it’s becoming obvious he has no ability or agility at extemporaneous speaking.

    • Beata says:

      Has Romney made disparaging remarks about English food yet? How about their choice of rain gear? Is it up to his standards?

      • Are the trees the right height?

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Are the cookies homemade? They don’t look homemade

      • dakinikat says:

        They’re not amused …

        Commentary: if Mitt Romney doesn’t like us, we shouldn’t care
        Mitt Romney is perhaps the only politician who could start a trip that was supposed to be a charm offensive by being utterly devoid of charm and mildly offensive.

        His derisory comments questioning Britain’s preparedness for the Olympics in an interview with NBC were a strange way to build bridges with a country that he says should be restored as the umbilical ally of the United States, and a strange way to demonstrate the persuasive qualities needed as leader of the free world.

        Mr Romney is the scion of Liverpudlians who sought and found fortune and the freedom to practice the Mormon faith (eventually) across the pond. His wife Ann has Welsh pedigree.

        The Republican candidate supposedly values these connections so highly that foreign policy advisors told the Daily Telegraph that a Romney presidency would restore the “Anglo-Saxon” dimension of the transatlantic alliance.

        But his comments to NBC, particularly his doubts about Britons’ ability to celebrate the games, showed how poorly he understands the land of his forefathers.

        Sheesh … and this is a fairly conservative paper … I can only imagine what the liberal press over there is saying …

    • bostonboomer says:

      Romney’s comments have turned into a huge scandal now! I just knew there’d be more faux pas today. The guy is a complete ass–the kind of ugly American that makes Europe look down their noses at us.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        And he’s there, supposedly, to fix the damage done by Obama? Oh, I forgot, he’s also there to raise money from the Barclay guys who are up to their elbows in the LIBOR scandal. I wonder if he’s having tea & crumpets with the British royalty, while he’s there? Plutocrats!!!!

        Sorry about my over-the-top sarcasm today, I’m just sick of this Romney clusterfuck sideshow.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        And just to think, this time last year I couldn’t imagine a scenario where I’d vote for Obama. Today I can’t imagine a scenario (unless Obama or I die before we wake) where I wouldn’t vote for Obama. What a difference a year and a bunch of whacked out ratfuckers can do to change one’s mind

      • NW Luna says:

        If Ann Romney is Welsh she is not AngloSaxon. lol She likely doesn’t lnow her history any better than Mitt.

      • Beata says:

        #romneyshambles on Twitter is hilarious.

      • Beata says:

        Mitt Shady should cancel those “charm offensive” trips to Poland and Israel. Who knows what he might say there?

  11. bostonboomer says:

    Romney trails Obama by 21 percentage points in Massachusetts. He’s also behind in his other “home states” of Michigan, California, and New Hampshire.

  12. This is something that I hear a lot about from my tea party friends…Tea Party’s Dick Armey: Romney May Not Be Perfect, But Obama Is Our Lifetime’s ‘Biggest Threat To Liberty’ | Mediaite

    Look, why feel this way when Obama has been pres for the last four years and we are all still here?

    • janey says:

      because he is still black and still a democrat. the repubs don’t want anyone else in the WH but them. There goal is total power, not shared power.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      “Look, why feel this way when Obama has been pres for the last four years and we are all still here?”

      I know, but don’t forget he signed the bill that allowed “Teh Evil Gay” to serve openly in the Military thus endangering the entire straight military.not to mention our national security. And don’t forget, he now supports allowing “Teh Evil Gay” to marry thus endangering the sanctity of all straight marriages. Not only that, but he instructed his DOJ not to defend DOMA. WTF???. Also he supports “choice” and “artifical contraception” and the proposition that women should earn equal pay for equal work. OMG, he’s a SECRET MUSLIM, COVERT FOREIGNER and a REPTILLIAN ALIEN OVERLORD FROM THE PLANET URANUS.

      Let us pray, Oh Lordy, please let our country survive this assault on our (WASSZM =WhiteAngloSaxonStraightZealotMale & WASSZF) freedoms by this foreign, homosexual loving, zygote hating, usurper guy. Amen!!!

    • NW Luna says:

      Threat to the liberty of uber-rich Republicans to run over those annoying lower classes.