Officially, this was from an anonymous Romney adviser right before Mitt’s gaffe-laden visit to the Olympics in London.
Of all the dog whistles you could use, “Anglo-Saxon” is one with the most racist baggage. It’s accuracy is dubious, it goes against America’s self-image as a “melting pot,” and it plays into the hands of the militias and Klansmen who want to imagine America as the great Anglo-Saxon republic.
Please … just don’t. Look, we already know that the President is black. We don’t need you trying to nudge us and remind us of the fact.
Eric Rauchway finds this quote from, of all people, Teddy Roosevelt:
… I have always insisted that we [Americans] are not Anglo-Saxon at all – even admitting for the sake of argument, which I do not, that there are any Anglo-Saxons – but a new and mixed race – a race drawing its blood from many different sources … My own view is, that if a man is good enough for me to profit by his services before the election, he is good enough for me to do what I can for him after election; and I do not give a damn whether his name happens to be Casey, or Schwartzmeister, or Van Rensselaer, or Peabody. I think my whole public life has been an emphatic protest against the Peabodys and Van Rensselaers arrogating to themselves any superiorities over the Caseys and Schwartzmeisters.…
As Rauchway points out, when you make TR looks less racist by comparison, it’s time to admit that you have a problem.