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. rob

    Romney is as horrible at foreign policy and foreign relations as Bush was.

    July 26, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  2. jesse james. take them to street and shoot them like the dogs they are

    Robme you are not running for dog catcher. You want to be potus. If you have nothing to hide release the tax returns.stop that lame excause.

    July 26, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  3. Miroslava

    What, no photos of Willard, wife & horse at the Olympics?
    What is Sandusky going to do about that?

    July 26, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  4. Thinkergal

    Always trying to downplay his gaffs. tee hee

    July 26, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  5. Johnson

    He is a terrible embarressment to the United States. He said exactly what Europeans consider "the Ugly American". The man is so out of touch he could never relate to world leaders.

    July 26, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  6. Vijay

    I don't blame Romney for his flip flop. He is a puppet under Rush, Trump, Ted Nugent, Koch Brothers, TD Ameri trade founder, Karl Rove, adelson and many more. When Obama ran for presidency in 2008 he immediately distance himself with Bill Ayers, Farah Khan and many extreme Left people. But Romney didn't do this. If he had done that, he would be in better spot. A successful businessman cannot become a politician nor a successful politician cannot become successful businessman! That is true.

    July 26, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. Miroslava

    Willard, you don't get to use your Olympics 2O12 photo-opps on your campaign trial. Yes, trial. Ooops!

    July 26, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  8. Cetus

    "TRENDING: Romney's Olympics false start"

    This is not an "Olympics false start", this is a foreign policy false start with one of our closest allies. And he has the temerity to attack Obama about foreign policy?

    July 26, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  9. smille

    Has everyone forgot when Michelle hugged the Queen!!! oops!

    July 26, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  10. Michael

    MITT and his "Gang of Puppeteers" GOP, have no common sense, direction, diplomacy skills, or economic answers! MITT and his gang do not realize; The Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest five percent of Americans cost the U.S. Treasury $11.6 million every hour, according to the National Priorities Project. Between 2001 and the current projected end of the Bush tax cut extension, tax cuts for the wealthiest 5 percent will cost the U.S. Treasury $1.184 trillion. If extended through 2021 as gop lawmakers propose, the total cost will exceed $3.2 trillion. The stock market has doubled since the stimulus and 4.3 million private sector jobs have been created since 2009. GDP has been growing since 2009, Americans net worth is up $10 trillion dollars since 2009. Auto sales are up. Retail sales are up. Home sales are up. Unemployment is down. Here is some history, When the income tax started in 1913, the top rate was 7 percent. By the peak of World War II, it reached an all time high of 94 percent. It stayed at 91 or 92 percent throughout the 1950s until President John F. Kennedy’s historic 1963 tax cut took the top rate to 70 percent. Reagan cut it to 50 percent and then to 28 percent. Tax hikes under George H. W. Bush and Clinton took the top rate back up to 39.6 percent and the Bush tax cuts brought it down to 35 percent.So in 40 years we’ve seen rates ranging from 91 percent to 28 percent.

    July 26, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  11. Special relationship

    Romney, you don't go to another country and criticize their special moment. Plan bad manners.

    July 26, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  12. Dan

    And Romney wants to be the leader of the free world and he's already insulted the best ally the U.S. has in the world. So much for his foreign policy prowess. He has no experience in international affairs except when shipping jobs overseas. If you think George W. was bad, take a look at this guy. God help us if he's elected.

    July 26, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  13. Hey, Mittens, got any more of those 100K Bain jobs for doing nothing? 'Call Me, Maybe'?

    Do not judge the rest of the "colonists" by this one inept twit, after all, he only represents .006% of Americans!

    July 26, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. CBR

    It did not take Mr. Romney long to insult the British people. They have worked hard to prepare for the Olympics. He criticized this Olympic committee and tried to make comparisons to Utah. One was held in a much smaller area of the country and this Olympics will be held in one of the largest cities in the world so the experiences will be different. It is always in poor taste to toot your own horn. Perhaps people will see more of the real Mitt Romney.

    His history lesson for Brian Williams was flawed. He did not seem to know that President Clinton managed to leave a surplus. Had the next administration followed his lead we would not be in this predicament. He just decided that we had decades of spending too much. He neglected the 8 years for President Clinton. He also does not seem to understand that the very wealthy company owners or CEO;s have not been funding new initiatives that would put people to work. He wil not criticize them because of the millions they are pouring into the pacs supporting him and into his own campaign.

    July 26, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  15. Orwell sees it, again & again

    Bishop Romney, an aspiring diplomat from kolob ready to buy us & US.

    July 26, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  16. Georgia Girl

    OMG. If we thought GWB embarrassed up on the international stage. Get a load of this lying moron. Please America, make the right choice come November and send this egotistical, lying idiot back to MA, or MI, or CA or Mexico, wherever he is from. He has said that he is from all of those places, so who knows. Maybe we need his birth certificate.

    July 26, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  17. BHPT

    Mitt – quit rattling sabres and offending Brits – get home and do your taxes -

    July 26, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  18. riamb60

    It is never a good idea to visit a country and critisice it.

    July 26, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Why the hell is Cameron meeting with this loser? He's nobody unless, god forbid, he actually manages to crawl into the White House.

    July 26, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  20. ObamaUnitl2016

    This is what some republitards want for a President? someone that actually insults our greatest ally? Seriously, Willard has become the male version of sarah palin.

    July 26, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  21. Craboo

    The republicans could have run a Penguin and won, but instead they chose Romney. What happened to democracy, we are suppose to chose the best candidate and we are stuck with Lloyd and Harry.

    July 26, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  22. Bruce

    **yawn** much ado about nothing.

    July 26, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  23. MDNA = MaDge Not Applicable!

    Looks like the GOP baggers "lamestream media with a liberal bias" conspiracy just went international!

    July 26, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  24. marinedad05

    What's wrong with Mitt? He's clearly a huge embarrassment.

    And before he went, he took strong position against a sitting US president and present US policies, by criticizing the president's Israel/Middle East policy.
    He kept saying, he is criticizing the POTUS on US soil. What does Mitt think? As someone who is in the presidential election, what he says is magnified, and spread all over the world.

    This is the information age, and just because you say something within the US doesn't mean no one else will know.

    America first, Mitt, and not your need to win the white House!

    July 26, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  25. Tom

    Willard Romney is beginning to appear more and more like George W. Bush. He's showing a decided lack of good judgement. The GOP wants the USA to be led by another buffoon who was raised with "a silver foot in his mouth."

    July 26, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
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