July 26th, 2012
01:03 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney's Olympics false start

London (CNN) – Mitt Romney told British leaders he hopes to take in an Olympics swimming competition during his time in London. With no pool in sight, the Republican presidential candidate has already made waves of his own.

Early Thursday morning in the U.K., while much of the U.S. political world was fast asleep, the British press had seized on comments the GOP contender made about London's preparations for the Olympics.

CNN's Piers Morgan sits down with Mitt and Ann Romney Thursday in London. Watch "Piers Morgan Tonight" at 9 p.m. ET for their interview.

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"You know it's hard to know just how well it will turn out," Romney said in an interview with NBC News Wednesday evening. "There are a few things that were disconcerting. The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials – that obviously is not something which is encouraging."

"Do they come together and celebrate the Olympic moment?" Romney asked. "That's something which we only find out once the Games actually begin."

The headline on the main page for London's Daily Telegraph news site was not what the Romney campaign had in mind for this visit: "Mitt Romney questions whether Britain is ready for Olympic Games."

During a visit to London's chief Olympic stadium, British Prime Minister David Cameron was asked for a response to Romney's comments. Cameron put diplomacy aside and took direct issue with Romney's remarks.

"I think we will show the whole world not just that we come together as a United Kingdom but also we're extremely good at welcoming people from across the world," Cameron said to reporters just hours before his own scheduled visit with the GOP contender.

"I will obviously make those points to Mitt Romney. I look forward to meeting him," Cameron added, mentioning the Republican candidate by name.

In what sounded like a jab at Romney's stewardship of the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Cameron appeared to draw a contrast between staging the Games in London versus Utah.

READ MORE: Romney foreign swing underway as candidate meets with British leaders

"We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere," Cameron said.

After his meeting with Cameron, Romney praised British preparations for the Games. Romney then sidestepped a question about whether he intended any criticism of London in his initial comments.

"I'm very delighted with the prospects of a highly successful Olympic Games. What I see shows imagination and forethought and a lot of organization and expect the Games to be highly successful," Romney said.

That may have been enough to satisfy the British press. The headline on the Telegraph's site after his meeting with Cameron: "Mitt Romney seeks to play down London 2012 comments"

READ MORE: London 2012: Results and Schedule

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • United Kingdom
soundoff (428 Responses)
  1. nora

    apologizing for America Mittens? I mean, this is the third time IN ONE DAY!!

    July 26, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    Damage is done ,to late now to eat your words.

    July 26, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. JasonP

    I knew if he ever became president he would destroy our standing in the world, but he's doing just fine destroying it now!! Someone please shut this man up!

    July 26, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. jnpa

    He is a total embarrassment to the U.S. I have friends in England who said they are mortified at his comments since he has been there. He has no diplomacy...it is all about Mitt. He is the arrogant American that many around the world despise.

    July 26, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. gordyb

    Typical Romney gaff and then a flip flop. And this dude wants to be president??? Another open mouth insert foot, then etch a sketch !!!!

    July 26, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Loser. Mittens is just another fat-headed egotist right winger chickenhawk who thinks "foreign policy" consists of telling everyone else what to do and how to do and enforcing it with bombs.

    July 26, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  7. Darlene

    He just can't help himself.....he must have size 13 shoes to fit that big mouth

    July 26, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  8. Donkey Party

    President Obama = international Superstar

    Willard Romney = International Embarrassment

    July 26, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. pat o'brien

    Mr. Romney's plan.....speak and retract. I have never seen such a wish-washy man...if you don't agree with what he says......wait 5 minutes. He'll say something different. WOW, just the guy we want in the oval office.

    July 26, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  10. Evil Hollywood Liberal

    Ah, Mittens......tactful as ever.

    July 26, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Mitt with a false start?!?! Why should anyone be surprised? Everything else about him is false...

    July 26, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  12. blue19

    I'm not a Romney fan but for once he was speaking his mind and raised valid points about the security staffing concerns and the potential for unions to go on strike during the games. And who else would know better about problems at the olympics than someone involved in the scandal plagued Salt lake games? With allegations of the Salt Lake committee bribing IOC officials, it merely proves Romeny has a win-at-all costs mentality, hardly the mindset the POTUS should strive for.

    July 26, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. Bill

    Romney still has not learned that his mouth is his worst enemy. He a complete buffoon.

    July 26, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  14. Mikey

    Can you imagine this idiot as POTUS? I can't. He would run around the world putting his foot in his mouth – the awkward robitic zombie constantly blurting out something stupid because he can't think of what to say in his usual "I'm simply not comfortable in my own skin" style.

    July 26, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    "ou know it's hard to know just how well it will turn out," Romney said in an interview with NBC News Wednesday evening. "There are a few things that were disconcerting. The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials – that obviously is not something which is encouraging."

    "Do they come together and celebrate the Olympic moment?" Romney asked. "That's something which we only find out once the Games actually begin."
    -------------------
    Hmm, the Gaffe-O-Meter says Mitt Romney scored a hat trick on that one. If he's not selling you something, or pulling your leg, the man seems to become unpredictable.

    July 26, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. sindylucas

    so much for foreign relations. what a moron...seriously.

    July 26, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. 40acres

    Perhaps his Anglo-Saxon connection was a little loose.

    July 26, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. sindylucas

    so much for foreign relations. what an idiot...seriously...dude is a colossal moron.

    July 26, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  19. batjones

    Loose lips sink ships. It sounds like the unnamed source of yesterdays Anglo-Saxon comments was actually Romney. The Obama critics are jealous because their wives did not get a personal hug from the Queen. Yes, even Queen Elizabeth II could not resist embracing the grace of the Obamas. My conservative friends exhale and let your heart enjoy their warmth.

    July 26, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. Dan J

    Wait, I don't get it. There were news reports all over the United States and the rest of the world stating there wasn't enough security, and there was a workers strike. Romney said he was concerned about the reports. What's wrong with that? And for David Cameron to knock Romney for holding an Olympics "in the middle of nowhere..." That is a huge insult to the United States, and I'm surprised THAT isn't being covered.

    July 26, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  21. Ken N.

    "...insult where it is not deserved". I get it now.

    July 26, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. fekt

    Mitt Romney showing his diplomatic credentials. Sadly they taste an awful lot like foot. Which in Romney's case probably tastes alot like sandals.. (sandals = flip flops, for the slower ones out there.)

    July 26, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. bxgrrl

    I wish he were so frank about his plans for his own country, should he (God forbid) get elected.

    July 26, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. A conservatave with brains

    OK. So I must admit I think Romney was being politely honest. Nothing he said seemed insulting, but apparenlly the British press does not agree with me. Still, it does beg the question how adept Romney might be as president when he's visiting foreign countries. If he creates a tiff in something as benign as this, imagine what he might do in a tough situation with a foreign country that has different cultural expectations than he's used to. I can see him hugging a Muslim woman to show how aligned he is with Islam (a very definite no no). So far, I am not seeing anything very presidential about Romney. He seems like a nice guy (no, I wouldn't want to have a beer with him, and he wouldn't anyway, as Mormons don't drink), but i don't want a nice guy to be president. I want someone who is adept at dealing with foreign countries and with adversaries at home. He isn't it.

    July 26, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. Jim

    Romney claims he saved the 2002 Utah Olympics. Romney got a big helping hand by sticking U.S. taxpayers with the bill through earmarks. The federal government poured $1.5 billion into the Utah Olympic games – more than twice the amount spent on any previous U.S. Olympics. Republican Sen. John McCain called it a “fleecing” of the U.S. Treasury.

    July 26, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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