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. Tom Irish

    It's kind of reminiscent of Obama meeting the Queen. She looked at him like he was one of the servants. The British are kind of uppity about semantics and such.

    July 27, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  2. Tree

    Romney don't care he is a Rich cat , that think he can go anywhere and speak his mind. He acts like a little Rich kid. He can not see beyond his nose. GB already knew about there security ,that was in the media, but you don't go to someone else house and give them a reminder. This desire of Romney to became President is a desire that will destroy the country. He is not ready for Prime Time , plus his staff is the old BUSH team , so t want is the saying.

    July 27, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  3. Credibility

    Look at the headlines. Mitt Romney is unfortunately not the diplomat and embarassing when off script.

    Should have gone with Huntsman with his foreign policy experience.

    July 27, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
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