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. Maryellen

    No need for anti Romney ads the man will kill his own chances, what a joke and an embarrassment. Obama is a well spoken diplomat, Romney no way!

    July 26, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  2. dssman

    This is from the man who headed the Salt Lake City games who needed more than 10,000 military troops provide Olymic security because he could not do it privately. In fact using the military saved him enough money to reduce the deficit that the 2002 games had. Now incredibly before he arrives in the UK he has made political gaffs. The first being a statement that because Obama isn't Anglo-Saxon he doesn't understand the English. I am sure the Israelies (who are not Anglo-Saxon) will appreciate that statement. The second on the UK Olympic Games turning out ok is a slap to the Brits. I wonder if he is up to the job of foreign relations. He didn't show up in the UK and already they are not pleased with him. His proposed policy of threatening the world with American military threats and my way or the highway foreign policy will isolate the US in the world. This policy is dangerous and would cause the U S to not be part of the international community of nations. Many countries would ally themselves with China. Nice start Mitt...

    July 26, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  3. Operator

    NBC as a source? Lets have some real journalism and not some lamestream media hack job editing it's own version of what happened.

    July 26, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  4. Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe Out-sourcing-Jobs Outsourcing-his-Money and Outsourcing America

    mitt robme already leaking secrets on his Olympic vacation trip....announcing to the press in Downing Street that he had met Sir John Sawers, the chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6!!!

    this pos mitt robme broked ALL SECURITY protocol...he should know that visiting dignitaries tend not to announce when they meet the head of MI6!!!

    Somebody better recall mitt robme before he embarasses the UNITED STATES any further with his APOLOGY TOUR!!!!!!!!!

    July 26, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  5. adinfinitum7

    Right Wingnut: What Romney really meant to say in London was .......No wait, it was Obama's fault..............Oh hell I give up. Romney sucks.

    July 26, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  6. Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe Out-sourcing-Jobs Outsourcing-his-Money and Outsourcing America

    IF mitt robme can't handle the Olympics, which he claims is one of his strong suit....how can he handle talking about russia or iran?....or the war in syria or about peace in the middle east!!!

    I know this about mitt robme...he is NOT really smart and can't think on his own two feet....caught him off guard when his responses are NOT coached by Karl Rove/Koch Brothers/Sheldon Andelson....this pos mitt robme is an EPIC FAIL!!!!!

    July 26, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  7. Marty, FL

    Romney has been unbelievably insulting with our British ally. What is he thinking?

    July 26, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  8. Tam

    Yeah, Mitt. Go where you are a guest and criticize the host. Boy, and you want to represent us? You're diplomatic?

    July 26, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  9. Mike

    Never mind Iran. Romney will start a war with the UK – nice work Mittens

    July 26, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  10. bluebird

    Did you hear that as "CEO" of the Salt Lake Olympics he was a registered lobbyist (corruption at its best) in Utah? Earning for millions $$$ for special earmarks (taxpayers money) for Salt Lake City/Utah. This even caused a residence issue when he ran for gov. of Mass.

    July 26, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  11. Liz the First

    It's Bush all over again, from the disastrous ideas on the economy to embarassing us abroad. God help us if this clown is elected. surely we can't be that stupid!

    July 26, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  12. Smako

    Does anyone here have a mind of their own or do they just parrot what the press feeds them? For weeks now we have heard from the British press how they don't have and wont have enough security. We have heard how some of the venues have serious flaws in their design that could hamper security. We have seen pictures of security guards sleeping on the floor and have heard about how the military is being called in to fill the holes in their security.
    Suddenly Mitt Romney makes one, one remark about it and it's like he is talking trash. He is only voicing the same concern that the Brits have been blathering about since the new airport terminal was completed.

    July 26, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  13. eduardo ferraz

    What a diplomat!! Is this guy high on his own ego or what??

    July 26, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  14. GonzoG

    Gee, in 2008, I thought Sarah Palin was most likely to start a war with her mouth overloading her ass. Looks like Mitten has studied the same book.

    July 26, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  15. Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe Out-sourcing-Jobs Outsourcing-his-Money and Outsourcing America

    mitt Robme’s disaster of a European vacation continues to implode. In an Olympic ceremony in Hyde Park this afternoon, London mayor Boris Johnson mocked Romney’s earlier gaffe—Disconcerting-gate—and Romney’s dumb name. “There’s guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know if we are ready. Are we ready? Yes we are!” Did Johnson make air quotes with his hands when he said “Mitt Romney”?

    What else? “Romney appeared to forget [Labour Party head] Ed Miliband’s name when they met at Westminster. ‘Like you, Mr Leader, I look forward to our conversations this morning’ Romney said to Miliband as they shook hands.”'

    O.K., what else? “One meeting was held [away] from the cameras when Romney was briefed by Sir John Sawers, the chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6. This prompted Romney’s third blunder of the day when Romney announced in Downing Street that he had met Sawers. Visiting dignitaries tend not to announce when they meet the head of MI6.”

    July 26, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  16. 1olddude

    Well, if Romney is elected in November, we all know where U.S.- British relations are headed. As for Cameron's "Middle of Nowhere" retort, anyone from Utah want to speak up here?

    July 26, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  17. Mitt walks like a WUSSSSS Romney

    There are hundreds of good reasons never to vote for Mitt but for me the number one reason is he "walks like a wuss – like someone kicked his ass in over and over again": The man sounds like a wuss and walks like one. That's enough for me.

    July 26, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  18. eduardo ferraz

    Soon he will be declaring war on England, after all they are not our most loyal allies!

    July 26, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  19. batjones

    The Romney campaign is debating whether they should extend their foreign tour. Romney says he wants go to Africa and then to Libya and maybe Egypt, and then back to Africa. An unnamed staff member thinks Romney will go to South Africa to meet President de Klerk. – lol

    July 26, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  20. Chandra

    It did not take long for the British to figure out that this Republican candidate is a total idiot!

    July 26, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  21. jv

    First trip, first apology. Ha ha ha ha ha!

    July 26, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  22. jim atmad

    Boy, Mitt sure is good at this international diplomacy thing, isn't he?

    (For Tea Partiers and other 'slow' types, that's what's known as sarcasm.)

    July 26, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  23. Thomas

    Why is he running for President ?

    The guy just doesn't have the moxie !

    He needs a running mate with charisma !

    Mitt Romney / Pee-wee Herman 2012

    July 26, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  24. mommazona

    Once again – open mouth....insert foot.

    July 26, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  25. judith

    Poor Mittens has proved he's just not ready for prime time. How can anyone who has been running for office for so long be so horribly awkward, off-putting and just plain weird? I don't know if Mitt has been so insulated from his immense wealth and his cult-like religion that he just can't relate to people in a normal fashion or he's just a fundamentally strange man? In many year of closely following every Presidential election I have never seen such a fundamentally flawed candidate. What are the Republicans thinking when they feel this very odd duck can beat the President?

    July 26, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
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