ABC kicked off Mitt Romney's visit to London, Thursday, by hyping "controversial" comments from the candidate's advisers.
A Good Morning America
graphic adopted the worst possible interpretation for remarks by
anonymous Romney aides that the President doesn't respect the
"Anglo-Saxon heritage." The network graphic blasted, "Romney Takes London: Advisor Quote Questions Obama Heritage."
Saying that Romney aides "questioned Obama's heritage" hints at birtherism or other charges that the operatives clearly did not make. Reporter David Muir included the quote from one adviser who suggested that the White House "doesn't fully appreciate the shared history" Britain and America have.
Other remarks, not mentioned by Muir, include attacking Obama as a "left-winger" and promising to return the bust of Winston Churchill. How, exactly, do these comments question Obama's heritage?
the Democratic line, Muir quoted a tweet by David Axelrod: "Mitt's trip
off to flying start, even before he lands, with stunningly offensive
quotes from his team in British press."
Perhaps trying to lower Romney in comparison to Obama, Muir reminded viewers of the Democrat's 2008 tour of Europe: "A trip that will inevitably be compared to then-candidate Barack Obama's overseas trip four years ago. A thick crowd of two hundred thousand in Berlin."
Muir has a pattern with this. On July 1, he hyped Obama's Bain attacks, insisting that the Republican "can't escape" attack ads.
A transcript of the July 26 segment, which aired at 7:08am EDT, follows:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to go to the race for the White House now. Your voice, your vote. And Mitt Romney in London this morning meeting with the British Prime Minister during his first stop on a big trip overseas. ABC's David Muir is our man on the Romney campaign. And, David, Romney says he's says he's not going to attack President Obama on this trip. But he's had to answer for a British tabloid report that suggests that his campaign is doing just that.
ABC GRAPHIC: Romney Takes London: Adviser Quote Questions Obama Heritage
DAVID MUIR: Absolutely right, George. Mitt Romney landing here in London to that controversial headline that his alleged criticism of the Anglo-Saxon relationship. Word from advisers quoted in a newspaper here without their names being quoted. But this, of course comes as Romney hopes to remind voters back in America of his Olympics resume and tries to look presidential on the world stage. In London this morning, Mitt Romney meeting with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
MITT ROMNEY: I'm hoping to see at least one swing at that.
Just the beginning of many high-level meetings on his first trip overseas as the presumptive Republican nominee. But Romney arrived here to that headline in the Telegraph, quoting unnamed Romney advisers who said their candidate believes, quote, "We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage and he feels the special relationship is special." One adviser then quotes as saying, "The White House didn't fully appreciate the shared history we have." President Obama's senior campaign adviser David Axelrod jumping on it, tweeting "Mitt's trip off to flying start, even before he lands, with stunningly offensive quotes from his team in British press." In an interview with NBC, Romney responding.
MITT ROMNEY: I'm generally not enthusiastic about adopting the comments made by people who are unnamed. I have a lot of advisers.
MUIR: Romney adding the U.S. does have a very special relationship with Great Britain.
MITT ROMNEY: But I also believe the President understands that. So, I don't agree whoever that adviser might be.
MUIR: Romney will also travel to Israel and Poland. A trip that will inevitably be compared to then-candidate Barack Obama's overseas trip four years ago. A thick crowd of two hundred thousand in Berlin.
OBAMA: America has no better partner than Europe.
MUIR: Four years later, it is Mitt Romney's turn. He'll be here in London at the opening ceremonies tomorrow night. So will his wife, Ann, who is also here for another reason, to watch her horse, Rafalca, compete in the games. In that interview, Romney saying that is Ann's sport. He's not sure when the horse competes. That she'll be here watching that. He'll be here at the opening ceremonies as all eyes watch him as he tries to look presidential on this world tour. Israel, Poland next. Robin, back to you.