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. Doss

    David Cameron: I'm offended that you would call Salt Lake the middle of nowhere.

    July 26, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. GOPlies

    Romney is a gift that just keeps giving. Foot in mouth is nothing new to Romney. I was kind of hoping Romney would of said the Brits are just the right height. That would of been hilarious.

    July 26, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. What?

    @Ms K – Are you serious? You, obviously, don't know the numerous insults and blunders Obama has hurled at the U.K. Read up, lady!

    July 26, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. Jess C

    Please, how can people in our country support this empty suit? You need to be pretty out of touch to even consider Romney as Presidential.

    July 26, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. What?

    @ladyfon – remember, they like to distort things to try to fit their agenda.

    July 26, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. Peace

    That was awful. Romney embarrassed himself by criticizing his host so openly. Was it not him who said he is taking the trip in order to learn and listen! How can he do that while he is criticizing???

    July 26, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. Independent from New Hampshire

    What an idiot. This here independent is voting for Obama. Good DAY sir!!

    July 26, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. cedar rapids

    "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."

    Ouch, nice response.

    July 26, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. Dave

    Considering all of Romney's recent idiotic comments and lies, I'm starting to think he should hire Sarah Palin to school him on rhetoric.

    July 26, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Mitt, are you ready to be President? Haha! Every time he opens his trap, he puts his foot in his mouth. Perhaps he could get Rick Perry to do the debates instead! Just don't ask Rick what three branches of government Romney would cut! That would sure be another gaffle, I mean another Oops moment! Dumb republicans!

    July 26, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. Florida Joe

    To quote the late Ann Richards..........."He can't help it...he was born with a silver foot in his mouth"..........Try about Bush and so true about Willard

    July 26, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. cedar rapids

    "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!"

    pssst......the Telegraph is a conservative paper.

    July 26, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. Pat

    Mitt does not know when to shut up. He may have grown up with lots of money, but he is a shell of a politician and should not be the head of any country. He does not know how to talk to people. He should have got the message during the primary debates when the rest of the GOP just chewed him up and spit him out. He is arrogant, self-centered, greedy, and on and on. He cannot even answer a direct question – why, because he flip-flops, lies and just evades any direct question. This way he can pander to everyone so he can get all votes. Does he really think most people are stupid – YES – he has shown that over and over. Just watch all the videos of him giving different versions of his stand on abortion, healthcare, etc. Why would Mitt Romney think any foreign leader would care about meeting with him. He is the greedy prototype of what many Europeans think of Americans. I don't know where his votes will come from because all of my republican friends are going to vote for Obama again. Four year ago Palin and now we have the male version of Sarah running around out there. His dad should have kept the money he spent on private schools and college because I think Mitt is more lucky than smart. He will have us in war again just because he can. I don't blame George Bush – I would not go to that convention either.

    July 26, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  14. n

    As I wait and smile to myself . . . time is on Obama's side! :)

    July 26, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  15. Ken

    And this trip was supposed to be his shining moment showing to all Americans the level of his diplomacy??
    And this was with friends!!
    Just imagine what he could do for us in unfriendly territory!!!!!

    July 26, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  16. Vader

    Another flip flop. First he criticizes, then he praises.

    Too little, too late.

    July 26, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. Rosslaw

    Obama persuaded the British and French to take the combat lead in Libya in an operation in which not a single American was lost. Romney may now bring the Brits to declare war on the United States. I guess that's what tough talking chickenhawks mean by "leading from the front."

    July 26, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. What?

    He didn't even insult them! Goodness! It is absolutely amazing to hear some of the ignorant comments after how Obama has treated the U.K. and Israel! No wonder we are goin' down!

    July 26, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. good luck

    Mitt gets to work on Day #1. He sought to display his diplomacy skills and he displays what a fool he is. Save the middle class – keep Mitt away from the white house.

    July 26, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. olga79

    One do not offend the host esp if you're a guest in their house. Lesson 1 for Romney's foreign policy.

    July 26, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  21. labman57

    Mitt is simply demonstrating his interpretation of "American exceptionalism"

    July 26, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @ladyfon

    In other words, "things that are not encouraging" simply means they're not prepared! Mitt Romney is imcompetent!

    July 26, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. Expat American

    Strike 1 already for Romney’s ‘Listen and Learn’ campaign. Can’t wait to see the next pitch once he gets to the '51st State'.

    July 26, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  24. Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe Out-sourcing Jobs-Outsourcing-his-Money and Outsourcing America

    Holding an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere in Utah...and holding Olympic Games in a cosmopolitan city like London, are two different things!....but ofcourse mitt robme is CLUELESS!!! he thinks one size fits all....just like mitt robme himself, a GW Bush redux!!!!

    Here comes the uppity mitt robme holding his nose like he knows better....critizing his own anglo-saxon brits in their own country! that's the mitt robme foreign policy credentials you can take to Swiss bank accounts!!

    when is this draft dodging pos gonna show up in Syria & Afghanistan and display his military war credentials?...guess he is hiding them just like his tax returns, governorship & his Olympic records!!!

    Holding an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere!...I couldn't have said better! Thanks Cameron. LOL

    July 26, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. dave

    I am for our President, but I do not see Romney's comments as that far out of line. Maybe not cool to say while he is right there.
    ""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."

    "

    July 26, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
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