Former Obama transition chief slams Cameron’s EU policy

A leading American political adviser has launched a stinging attack on David Cameron's foreign policy. John Podesta has sharply criticised David Cameron's approach to the European Union.

A leading American political adviser has launched a stinging attack on David Cameron’s foreign policy. Writing in a personal capacity, John Podesta – a former aide to President Clinton and President Obama, and President of the Center for American Progress – has sharply criticised David Cameron’s approach to the European Union.

Mr Podesta was chief of staff to President Bill Clinton from 1998-2001 and co-chair of President Obama’s transition from the election to inauguration. On the website of his think tank, the Center for American Progress, he wrote:

“America’s “special relationship” needs to be with a Britain that is at the heart of, and making the case for reform and openness in, the European Union…

“Worryingly, under David Cameron’s leadership, the Conservative Party’s traditional Euro-skepticism has become more extreme. Consider, for example, his decision to have Conservative members leave the European People’s Party—the mainstream center-right grouping within the European Parliament that includes German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats and French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP—to form a new parliamentary group with a maverick collection of racist, homophobic, and xenophobic members of the European Parliament.

“Beyond the obvious political symbolism this entails—it is hardly good for Britain’s prestige when its European parliamentarians sit with those who have argued the election of a black U.S. president hails the end of civilization—the decision also illustrates Cameron’s willingness to forgo political influence to placate extreme elements of his own party.

In tonight’s debate, Nick Clegg described David Cameron’s alliance as “a bunch of nutters, homophobes, anti-Semites, and climate change deniers.”

Disclaimer: I worked for the Center for American Progress from 2008-09.

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