Romney abroad: What’s next?

Romney caught in “Anglo-Saxon” hot water

by: Susan Webb

Posted to July 26 2012

Mitt Romney ran into hot water this week over Anglo-Saxons.

Romney foreign policy advisers told the British Daily Telegraph that Romney was better able to relate to Britain than President Obama because: “We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he [Romney] feels that the special relationship is special.” One adviser added: “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.”

The remarks were widely seen as a xenophobic, racist allusion to the fact that Obama’s father was from Kenya. Top Obama adviser David Axelrod called the comments “stunningly offensive.”

In fact, the Anglo-Saxons were not native to England, but rather Germanic invaders (undocumented immigrants?) in the 5th century. They were pagan tribal people for whom “fighting was a way of life,” and “endlessly intricate blood-feuds generated perpetual excuses for going to war.” Their idea of law enforcement was chopping off hands and noses for punishment. Is that the heritage the Romney team has in mind?

In the 19th century, according to Wikipedia, some British and American writers used the term “Anglo-Saxon” to “justify racism and imperialism, claiming that the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ ancestry of the English made them racially superior to the colonised peoples.” Is this the covert Romney message?

Romney’s team is a little out of touch with today’s England. As of 2009, about 18 percent of British residents described their ethnicity as something other than “white: British.” That includes about 6 percent – more than 3 million people – who identify themselves as Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or othe South Asians. Hundreds of millions of others are African, Caribbean, Chinese or “mixed.”

Likewise, Americans’ heritage can hardly be described as “Anglo-Saxon.” As of 2010, about 28 percent of Americans identified themselves as something other than “white or European American.”

CBS News reports that Romney’s press secretary, Andrea Saul, disputed the report of the controversial comments. “It’s not true. If anyone said that, they weren’t reflecting the views of Governor Romney or anyone inside the campaign,” she told in an email. But, says CBS, “Saul did not comment on what specifically was not true.” Romney later claimed he did not know who the advisers were.

The Telegraph reports that “the advisers could not give detailed examples of how policy towards Britain would differ under Mr Romney. One conceded that on the European crisis: ‘I’m not sure what our policy response is.'”

Romney is visiting England, Poland and Israel in an effort to beef up his foreign policy credentials. He is doing two “lucrative” fund-raising events in London.

Photo: Reproduction of an Anglo-Saxon helmet. Chris Eccles // CC 2.0

The real Romney scandal

Romney scandal worse than it seems








by:  PW Editorial Board

Posted to July 20 2012

Defenders of Mitt Romney say that his refusal to release tax returns and his stashing of money in overseas tax shelters are nothing more than what most people would do if they were rich. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham even suggested that such behavior was the “American Way.”

This is an insult to the many millions of Americans who see paying taxes as sharing in the responsibility of maintaining a democratic society.

Many say Romney won’t release his taxes because the embarrassment over what is in them will do more damage to his campaign than keeping the returns hidden from the American people.

The important point in this controversy is that whether or not Romney broke the law is not what really matters.

In fact, it is not illegal for him to hide his money in an offshore tax shelter and that, precisely, is the problem. The law allows the rich to do this. The result is that the U.S. Treasury is denied billions of dollars each year needed to keep the country going. The result is that working people have to pay to pick up the slack for the rich.

On the Bain Capital controversy the situation is similar.

Romney claims he has no say in what Bain does and is not responsible, therefore, as Bain continues to swallow other companies, chew up the workers and spit them out while it outsources their jobs.

The debate over when Romney technically left Bain is of little importance. First, he installed all the people now running the company. Second, Romney himself continues to profit from outsourcing carried out by Bain.

Workers in a Bain-owned company in Freeport, Ill., are battling this week as they try to hold off the outsourcing of their jobs this coming December. Romney is a majority stockholder in the Bain-owned company doing the outsourcing. The bottom line is that as the Illinois workers get dumped this December, Romney will get richer off their pain and misfortune.

All of this is one more reason to make sure that Romney and his Republican backers go down to defeat this November. It makes no sense to take one of the architects and chief beneficiaries of the outrageously unjust system we labor under and put him in the White House. There should be no room in the White House for a man who made his fortune by taking apart not only companies but also human lives.