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Romney, however, quickly distanced himself from any such view.

“I don’t agree with whoever that adviser might be,” Romney told NBC News, “but do agree that we have a very common bond between ourselves and Great Britain.”

Nonetheless, Vice President Joe Biden and top Obama aides criticized Romney. “The comments reported this morning are a disturbing start to a trip designed to demonstrate Gov. Romney’s readiness to represent the United States on the world’s stage,” Biden said.

Later Thursday, Romney planned to hold a high-dollar fundraiser at the swanky Mandarin Oriental hotel in London’s tony Knightsbridge district. One of the hosts of that fundraiser, former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond, withdrew from the event after he resigned in the wake of a rate-rigging scandal wracking British banks.