This is what is known as a dog whistle. You send out campaign aides to say racist comments to the media - in a foreign country no less (and to boot, the country our founders rebelled against) - make sure they are anonymous, and when there is inevitably a firestorm, you have plausible deniability. No matter, the message got through to the people it needed to go to. Right wing racists know you're on their side, and you know, that mulatto is wrecking America. See, this way, you can get the racists riled up without scaring off the the broad middle.
The denial from the Romney campaign doesn't make any sense. His campaign advisers didn't say anything to the British newspaper that Mitt Romney hasn't himself either said or signaled. For example, Mitt Romney's campaign has an answer to all the uppity calls for him to release his tax returns, and while he hasn't put it in exactly these words, it is, essentially, "Shut up, n*gger."
The Romney campaign has promised a hard pushback, and the candidate, his surrogates and even his wife previewed some of that pushback this week. Ann Romney arrogantly blathered on television that her husband has released all the tax information "you people need to know." Mr. Romney himself resorted not only to purposefully lying regarding what President Obama said about businesses (that business owners did not build the roads that they use to ship their products, the Internet they use to sell to customers, or the universities that educated their workers), but to calling the President "foreign" over and over again. His surrogate said President Obama needed to "learn to be an American", before walking it back, but having successfully sounded the dog whistle anyway. Reportedly the Romney campaign also plans to rehash President Obama's past drug use.
Mitt's strategy to win in November is not based on values, nor policy, hell, it isn't even based on personalities. It is based on the oldest scar in American history. Mitt Romney is, at best, hiding in plain sight his intention to win based on racial animus against the President. He's not "like you", he's "foreign", he doesn't "understand [white] America." This is Romney's message.
The facts, of course, are entirely to the contrary. If there is one person in America who embodies what the United States is all about, it is Barack Obama. Barack Obama is proof that even today, we are a land of possibilities. Our pride as a nation is not in harboring racial segregation but in rising above it. Our hope as a country is not in turning on one another but in building one nation, indivisible, together.
Be that as it may, Mitt Romney is desperate, and he's not shy about going full on racist in order to try to win the presidency. In all honesty, the campaign to paint Barack Obama as an "other" has been going on since before he became president, and Romney has developed a habit of using subtle and open racism as a campaign tactic. Mitt Romney purposely drew boos from the NAACP crowd by disrespecting President Obama just so he could burnish his bigot credentials with the whackjob crowd.
Despite his rhetoric, Mitt Romney cannot win the election on economic policy. No one who advocates turning Medicare into a voucher program, leaving seniors to pay an average of $6,400 extra out of pocket per year can win an election on economics. No one whose entire economic policy consists of giving free rein to big banks more tax cuts for multinationals to ruin American neighborhoods can win this election arguing on economics.
Mitt Romney's economic policy, his view of an America with only an aristocracy and a peasant class, are also impediments in his way of getting any respectable portion of the minority vote. The reason that President Obama has now opened up a 50-point lead among Latino voters over Romney is not merely Romney's position on immigration of punishing children. It is in equal part - if not in greater part - due to the fact that black and brown people tend to bear a disproportionate amount of the short end of the economic stick.
Romney cannot win on economics. And he knows he's toast if Americans of color have anything to say about November.
And so, only one way is left for Mitt Romney. Pure, unadulterated racism. His campaign's goal is simple: to define President Obama as the drug-addicted Kenyan mulato who usurped the office of the president from its rightful owners: white people. His plan now is to appeal to the base instincts of the white racist voter that believes that something is being taken from him because a black man is in the White House.