As the Telegraph gently put it, the remarks "may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity." As we would say on this side of the pond, "Duh, uh?"
There's certainly a race thing going on here--yet another subtle attempt to appeal to prejudice that dare not speak its name any longer. Mitt is one of "us." (Never mind that "us" includes--the Republicans hope--Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans, Polish-Americans, Franco-Americans [people with French heritage, not cans of fourth-rate spaghetti], Hispanic-Americans, even Jewish-Americans.) Barack Obama is not--he is one of the "other."
As the Atlantic's Wire column noted, this advisor will probably be gone from the campaign very soon. His way of thinking--which certainly reflects Mitt's--will stay behind, however.