Saturday 16 December 2017

Cameron draws ire over failure to meet Romney

Jon Swaine in Washington

David Cameron has failed to build alliances with the Republican Party and has angered American conservatives with his "unprecedented" election-year allegiance with Barack Obama, advisers to Mitt Romney have complained.

Britain's prime minister, who hosts the Republican presidential challenger at Downing Street this morning, attracted sharp criticism after declining to meet any Republican leaders during his visit to Washington in March.

Instead, he joined the Democratic president on a visit to a key swing state and enjoyed a lavish state dinner.


"It was unprecedented," said one member of Mr Romney's foreign policy team.

Mr Cameron could be left scrambling to improve ties if Mr Romney defeats Mr Obama in November's election.

An NBC poll yesterday found that Mr Romney currently trails the US president by eight percentage points in the 12 key battleground states, but his campaign -- which is raising money faster than Mr Obama's -- is expected to steadily raise the aggression of its attacks.

American conservatives expressed surprise that the prime minister had not made more effort to forge relationships with their party.

Another foreign policy adviser to Mr Romney said: "Cameron's contacts with Republicans are really quite limited." The adviser added: "In many respects, Cameron is like Obama."

The Republican Party's shift to the Right, reflected by the rise of the Tea Party, has left it sharply out of step with British Conservatives on issues such as taxation, health care and rights for same-sex couples.

Boris Johnson, the Conservative London mayor, has spoken of his admiration for Bill Clinton, the previous Democratic president, saying the "world was better run under him" and describing aspects of George W Bush's leadership style as "terrible".

Nile Gardiner, another policy adviser to Mr Romney, described the prime minister's behaviour in Washington as a "sad exercise in hero-worship before an extremely liberal White House", which had shown itself willing to "knife London in the back" over the Falkland Islands.

Mr Obama remains neutral in the dispute over the sovereignty of the Falklands. An adviser to Mr Romney said his team was discussing the topic. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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