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. Ms K.

    he insults the US trusted ally on thier home turf....and you want him to be president!!!!!

    July 26, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. ArthurP

    Foot meet mouth.

    July 26, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. jack

    What does republican John McCain think of Romney's claim he saved the Utah Olympics?

    “The Olympic Games supposedly hosted and funded by Salt Lake City, which began in corruption and bribery, has now turned into is an incredible pork-barrel project for Salt Lake City and its environs.” McCain said in a Sept. 19, 2000, speech on the Senate floor.

    July 26, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. carly

    Can Romney's campaign and specifically Romney have a single day without screwing up? This is a great indicator of why this clown would make a terrible president.

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

    Wow. Going around the world insulting our allies! NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME.

    July 26, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. proudmemberofglobalzero

    Gov. Romney as embarrassed himself and us while alienating world leaders. This is not who I want to represent my family abroad.

    July 26, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. nagrom

    Does anyone else have flashbacks to a certain Sarah Palin who was always putting her foot in her mouth? I wonder what magazines and newspapers Mitt reads????

    July 26, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. Dave in NC

    Lets see how he flip-flops on this one...just sayin'

    July 26, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. Wake up people

    Oh Willard, you are SO out of your league. No diplomacy whatsoever. President Obama has more class and intelligence in his pinky finger than Mittens has in his entire, over the hill, decrepid body.

    In the words of Jay-Z, you can pay for school but you can't buy class!

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 26, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. joe

    Open mouth, insert foot in extremely expensive shoe....

    July 26, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. MTATL67

    Romney has taken his and his camps Foot mouth disease international. Do we need any more proof that if this guy was president his forgeign policies would be disastrous not just for American but the planet.

    July 26, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. FootinMouth

    And people want this man to represent the United States for 4 years?

    July 26, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. Cyp

    This man flop flops more than the wings of a bird. He is so out of touch that i wonder where he will lead the US should they elect him.

    July 26, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Mitt Romney seeks to play down London 2012 comments"

    Yeah, well, it isn't as if Mitt Romney hasn't already had 1,001 false presidential starts here in America over the past decade. Just waiting for him to get his 2012 campaign going ... it is almost August after all ... and, yet, he's still down playing his 2008 presidential campaign comments - during this - his 2012 presidential campaign. Thank God he'll never become President, officially making this his LAST professional presidential campaign. He's got a mansion in La Jolla to rebuild for Pete's sake. Let him finally concentrate on THAT - car elevators and all.

    July 26, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  15. incredulous

    Does anyone really want this moron representing the US in any capacity?

    July 26, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  16. Double b

    What a great diplomat he is already! He can't even leave the U.S. without insulting our closest ally.Let's be sure to send him back to Utah or wherever it is he lives ( I think his $$ is in Switzerland or the Caymans)...what a maroon!

    July 26, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. joe

    What a wonderful start to Romeny's overseas trip. Go to our closest ally and insult them. What will he do in Israel–ask for a pork sandwich? Will he tell ethnic jokes in Poland?

    July 26, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    Just wait until his surrogates start yammering again about the "Soviets" while he's over there.

    Oh wait...they already have....

    July 26, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." --B. Obama

    At least he knows the difference between Great Britain and England.

    Romney-2012.

    July 26, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  20. Pete

    oh, and about that government bailout of the 2002 SLC Olympics...

    July 26, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  21. wgf

    I guess Mitt is learning that this international diplomacy stuff isn't all that easy. Good thing he's only dealing with Geat Britain, and has no actual power.

    July 26, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. ladyfon

    Liberal media at work again. He never said they weren't prepared! Show me the quote were he did? He said there are things that are disconcerting like the security issues and such. Get a GRIP!

    July 26, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  23. g

    i can see why adelson jumped on a plane to isreal,ahead of romney to make sure the press don,t ask him any questions on air

    July 26, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    You mean "False STARTS" right?
    Somebody needs to bring that idiot home. Pronto!

    July 26, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  25. Romneycares Less

    Wake up people! This man has no right to be POTUS! No convictions or thought goes into anything he says or does. He's like a child who just wants to be popular. Emotionally impaired.

    July 26, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
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