Entries in Great Britain (2)


Romney Doesn’t Know or Agree with Advisers Who Spoke to British Press

Scott Olson/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Mitt Romney said on Wednesday that he is “not sure” who the advisers are who spoke anonymously to a British newspaper but said that he disagrees with their suggestion that President Obama doesn’t understand the relationship between the U.K. and the U.S.

“Well, first of all, I– I’m– I’m generally not enthusiastic about– adopting the comments made by people who are unnamed,” Romney said in an interview with NBC News.  “I have a lot of advisers.”

“So I’m not sure who this person is.  But I can tell you that we have a very special relationship between the United States and Great Britain,” he said.  “It goes back to our very beginnings– cultural and– and– historical.”

Romney was greeted upon arriving in London earlier Wednesday by a story in The Telegraph newspaper that used quotes from two unnamed advisers who were critical of the president.

“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” an adviser told the British paper of Romney.  “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.”

But on Wednesday night, Romney said he did not agree with whoever was quoted in the paper.

“But I also believe the president understands that.  So I– I don’t agree with whoever that adviser might be,” Romney told NBC.  “But do agree that we have a very common bond between ourselves and Great Britain.”

The piece in The Telegraph prompted a heated back and forth between the Romney and Obama campaigns, with Vice President Joe Biden joining the fray and accusing Romney of “playing politics with international diplomacy.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Heralds US/UK Exceptionalism in Address to British Parliament

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- In a rare speech by a foreign leader to the British Parliament in Westminster Hall, President Obama heralded what might be called American/British exceptionalism, in terms of how both countries have evolved and grown, and how the United States and United Kingdom are the only world superpowers trying to help other peoples do so.

The shared ideals show that "it's possible for the sons and daughters of former colonies to sit here as members of this great Parliament," the president said, referring to the Members of Parliament of Indian, Pakistani, and African descent, "and for the grandson of a Kenyan who served as a cook in the British Army to stand before you as President of the United States."

The president said that the two nations, unlike most others, "do not define citizenship based on race or ethnicity. Being American or British is not about belonging to a certain group. It's about believing in a certain set of ideals -- the rights of individuals and the rule of law."

In a veiled criticism of emerging superpowers such as India and China, the president said that "Americans and British have always believed that the future of our children and grandchildren will be better if other people's children and grandchildren are more prosperous and free -- from the beaches of Normandy, to the Balkans to Benghazi. That is our interest and our ideal. And if we fail to meet that responsibility, who would take our place?"

Customarily only monarchs address both Houses of Parliament in the Hall, originally built in 1097 under William II (Rufus), the son of William the Conqueror. President Obama was only the fourth foreign leader since World War II to speak in Westminster, following the Pope in September 2010, Nelson Mandela in 1996, and Charles de Gaulle in 1960.

"I'm told the last three speakers here have been The Pope, Her Majesty the Queen, and Nelson Mandela," the president said at the beginning of his speech, "which is either a very high bar or the beginning of a very funny joke."

The president arrived Wednesday at the Sovereign's Entrance of the Palace of Westminster and was met by Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod and Lord Great Chamberlin, and given a tour of Parliament. He spoke before a crowd of 1,600, including 1,400 from the Houses of Commons and Lords, and 200 invited guests.

The president cited the NATO campaign in Libya as an example of their shared values, telling the crowd that "it would have been easy at the outset of the crackdown in Libya to say that none of this was our business -- that a nation's sovereignty is more important than the slaughter of civilians within its borders. That argument carries weight with some. But we are different. We embrace a broader responsibility."

He pledged to "not relent until the people of Libya are protected, and the shadow of tyranny is lifted."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio