The Washington Times - July 25, 2012, 02:48PM

Even before Mitt Romney left for a six-day overseas trip, the White House was deploying Vice President Joseph  R. Biden Jr. to try to knock down any incoming attacks on President Obama’s foreign policy.

Now that Mr. Romney has landed in London, Mr. Biden, who chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before leaving for the Obama administration, is waging a full-throated defense of anonymous and racially tinged criticism that the Romney camp is disavowing.

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Mr. Biden pounced on a London newspaper story that quoted an unnamed Romney aide who said the White House doesn’t appreciate the “Anglo-Saxon heritage” and “special relationship” between the United States and Great Britain. Mr. Romney, the aide is quoted as saying, would abandon Mr. Obama’s “left-wing” coolness towards London.

“Despite his promises that politics stops at the water’s edge, Governor Romney’s wheels hadn’t even touched down in London before his advisors were reportedly playing politics with international diplomacy, attempting to create daylight between the United States and the United Kingdom where none exists,” Mr. Biden said in a statement.

Contrary to the quote, Mr. Biden argued, the U.S. relationship with the British has never been stronger and Mr. Obama and Prime Minister Cameron have worked “hand-in-hand” on every national security challenge the two countries face.

“The comments reported this morning are a disturbing start to a trip designed to demonstrate Governor Romney’s readiness to represent the United States on the world’s stage,” Mr. Biden said. “Not surprisingly, this is just another feeble attempt by the Romney campaign to score political points at the expense of this critical partnership. This assertion is beneath a presidential campaign.”

But the Romney camp disavowed the comments and accused the Obama campaign of giving an anonymous quote serious credence in an attempt to divert attention from the economy and a struggling campaign message operation.

“Today, the race for the highest office in our land was diminished to a sad level when the vice president of the United States used an anonymous and false quote from a foreign newspaper to prop up their flailing campaign,” a Romney spokesman said, pointing out that White House press secretary Jay Carney has often disputed the veracity of news reports based on anonymous sources.

The Daily Telegraph reported that a Romney adviser had said, “We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and [Mr. Romney] feels that the special relationship is special — the White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.”

Mr. Romney is scheduled to meet with Mr. Cameron Thursday before traveling onto Israel and Poland.