Romney Disavows 'Anglo-Saxon' Remarks, But White House Pounces

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Romney in 'Anglo-Saxon Heritage' Flap

Sabato said there is always a difficulty in holding a candidate responsible for his surrogate's comments, especially when it's unknown just how high up in the campaign these advisers were.

Nevertheless, he called the remarks "unwise comments that even the Telegraph acknowledged bordered on racialist."

"Basically, their argument is Romney would just identify more with Cameron because he's white. That's really what they were saying," Sabato said.

Other Romney campaign surrogates have, however, on the record suggested Obama, who spent part of his childhood in Asia, did not know what it meant to be an American.

Romney campaign co-chair John Sununu last week on a call with reporters said Obama "has no idea how the American system functions, and we shouldn't be surprised about that, because he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in Indonesia."

"I wish this president would learn how to be an American," Sununu said.

Devin Dwyer and Michael Falcone contributed from Washington, D.C., along with Ann Compton in London

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