Such drama has been largely absent this year, for many reasons. The prospect of a black President has been reality for nearly 4 years, so much of the "newness" has worn off. And after a fairly despicable GOP primary season, candidate Mitt Romney has steered away from personal attacks, instead intent on simply lying about the President's record to gain traction in the polls.
Well, so much for civility.
As Mitt Romney kicks off his European trip Wednesday with a visit in London, the Romney campaign is dismissing a report from the UK's Daily Telegraph that an adviser to the campaign made comments suggesting the Republican presidential candidate's commitment to rebuilding the so-called "special relationship" between England and the United States has to do with a sense of "Anglo-Saxon heritage."Welcome back Presidential campaign racism, we hardly missed you.
According to the Telegraph, the adviser suggested that Mr. Obama could not understand the depth of the relationship between the two countries because he cannot fully appreciate the shared "Anglo-Saxon heritage."
"We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special," the adviser said of Romney, according to the Telegraph: "The White House didn't fully appreciate the shared history we have."
Andrea Saul, Romney's press secretary, disputed the comments and emphasized that they did not reflect the beliefs of the former Massachusetts governor.
"It's not true. If anyone said that, they weren't reflecting the views of Governor Romney or anyone inside the campaign," she told CBSNews.com in an email. Saul did not comment on what specifically was not true.
Per the Telegraph, this adviser and others quoted in the story spoke anonymously because they were not authorized by the Romney campaign to criticize Mr. Obama to foreign media.
On unnamed adviser in the Telegraph story, allegedly a member of Romney's foreign policy advisory team, also accused Mr. Obama of being "a Left-winger" who is "very comfortable with American decline."
When asked specifically how policy toward the U.K. would differ under Romney "the advisers could not give detailed examples," according to the Telegraph. "One conceded that on the European crisis: 'I'm not sure what our policy response is.'"
I'm honestly not sure if this quote moves the needle for Obama. Yes, it's fairly dastardly, and echoes of similarly hamhanded recent sentiments by Romney Advisor John Sununu (who later apologized). Still, in a slightly more politically correct (ie: "he doesn't understand Americans" and "you people") manner, it's not too different from Romney's standard stump speech. Explicitly making it a race statement is obviously tacky, but I don't think anyone who is already against Obama is gonna suddenly switch sides. It's also not too far removed from what's often said on Conservative radio, so, whatever.
Still, instead of issuing some outright denial, it would be nice of the Romney campaign instead said they take such allegations seriously, and would look into who said such a silly thing. But that, of course, would be too much like right.
Question: What's the deal here? Should Romney look into who said this or play dumb?