Romney Campaign Graduates From Dog Whistles to Full-On George Wallace Style Race Baiting

When I read this article in the Telegraph last night, I could hardly believe the evidence of my own eyes. JJ mentioned it this morning, but I think it is worthy of a separate post.

The Telegraph’s John Swaine writes (emphasis added):

As the Republican presidential challenger accused Barack Obama of appeasing America’s enemies in his first foreign policy speech of the US general election campaign, advisers told The Daily Telegraph that he would abandon Mr Obama’s “Left-wing” coolness towards London.

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”.

“Racial insensitivity?” That has to be the understatement of the century so far. I’ll call it what it is: racism. BTW, do you suppose Romney’s advisers know that Kenya was part of the British empire? There’s more:

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’.”

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 Churchill bust was lent to George W. Bush during his term in office. President Obama returned it to the British Embassy, and put a bust of Abraham Lincoln in the oval office instead.

Mitt Romney has been going around for the past week calling President Obama’s policies (which Romney misrepresents) “foreign.”

Then yesterday, in a speech to the VFW, Romney said the following:

The President’s policies have made it harder to recover from the deepest recession in seventy years … exposed the military to cuts that no one can justify … compromised our national-security secrets … and in dealings with other nations, given trust where it is not earned, insult where it is not deserved, and apology where it is not due….

I am an unapologetic believer in the greatness of this country. I am not ashamed of American power. I take pride that throughout history our power has brought justice where there was tyranny, peace where there was conflict, and hope where there was affliction and despair. I do not view America as just one more point on the strategic map, one more power to be balanced.

He’s implying that those are Obama’s views. Romney then goes on to blame Obama for the “over the cliff” defense budget cuts that were forced by the Republican’s refusal to compromise during the fight over increasing the debt limit. Next he accuses Obama of leaking national security secrets. Toward the end of the speech Romney goes a step too far:

It is a mistake – and sometimes a tragic one – to think that firmness in American foreign policy can bring only tension or conflict. The surest path to danger is always weakness and indecision. In the end, it is resolve that moves events in our direction, and strength that keeps the peace.

I will not surrender America’s leadership in the world. We must have confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose, and resolve in our might.

This is very simple: if you do not want America to be the strongest nation on earth, I am not your President. You have that President today.

And then last night we heard what Romney’s advisers told the Telegraph in advance of the candidate’s arrival in London.

Predictably, Romney is now denying the quotes in John Swaine’s Telegraph article. From the National Journal:

“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.”

The London paper quoted an unnamed adviser saying, “We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and [Romney] feels that the special relationship is special. The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.’’

Asked to be specific about what wasn’t true – whether the quote was fabricated or whether the sentiment was inaccurate – the campaign did not immediately respond.

The Telegraph has told Think Progress that it stands by its story.

As an American, I find Romney campaign’s behavior deeply embarrassing, and I doubt if this will be the end of it. I expect Romney to find ways to undermine President Obama–and in the process–our country’s official policies–during his travels in Great Britain, Israel, Poland, and the Czech Republic. The U.S. media needs to call out Romney on his racist dog whistles–which have now become fully audible shrieks. This is a disgrace, and I do not believe that most Americans will go along with it. Romney is playing with fire.