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. Anonymous

    Wow, he managed to insult an entire country in a matter of minutes. Yeah, this is a person we want to represent the good old USA. What a dweeb!

    July 26, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  2. Tim

    Once AGAIN, Romney manages to say something stupid and offensive. (One must admit, he really DOES have a "talent" for that!)

    July 26, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Cryos

    Mitt is correct. Look at other articles on the Olympics how they are doing construction that should have been completed long ago and they're having to use troops for security because they didn't make proper arrangements.

    July 26, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. Mittens Rmoney

    I forgot to mention the most important thing for a successful Olympics ... lots of government money!

    July 26, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. snowdogg

    Mitt Romney is NOT ready for prime time... in so many ways

    July 26, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Now I'm convinced that this guy is dumber than GWB!

    July 26, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. Darryl

    Romney insinuating that he has concerns about the Security for the Games ? LOL..LOL..LOL...Is this guy just plain STUPID ? Is he completely out of his mond ? Is he absolutely in another world ? Or is he just the kind of man that actually thinks the world has NO Brains and the Leaders of Great Brition are encapable of securing the safety of the Games and the people playing them ? This man is finished ! Please someone tell him to just go back to Wallstreet and get behind a desk in some office ! PLEASE!!!

    July 26, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. Jojola

    Wow, he manged to insult an entire country in a matter of minutes. Yeah, this is the person we want to represent the good old USA. What a dweeb!

    July 26, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. CAL USA

    Well at least we know he won't go and apologize, because he told us that this is what he denounced Obama for. And, of course, Romney has never deviated from his original position... ever!

    July 26, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. dashabq

    @"If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." –B. Obama

    -
    Romney in 2002: “You Olympians, however, know you didn’t get here solely on your own power." and this statement has not been taken out of context or edited.

    July 26, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  11. olga79

    The press when Romney has to clean up his mess in UK looks so orchestrated. It looks like he's in China where only a select few are chosen to question him.

    July 26, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. "I'm Not Concerned About The Very Poor" - M. Romney

    Hey, taking quotes out of context is lots of fun!

    July 26, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. ChristopherM

    Great, the GOP wants to take us back to being humiliated by our president around the globe with his idiotic tacky comments. And that's interesting criticism coming from a guy whose own Olympic records are not available for public review.

    July 26, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. vic , nashville ,tn

    London news papers within 24 hrs they got it and they raise the questions Romney readiness,

    July 26, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. JackBeHumble

    If Mitt Romney is elected President, fortunately he will have a Secretary of State that will do most of the interactions with other countries at that point.

    July 26, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. Four and The Door

    Forget the fact that NBC has been all over these issues with Olympics that Mitt Romney mentioned were disconcerting? These facts are true. They are minor but true. He was being honest. Like he always is. I like that better than All Politics All The Time Obama.

    July 26, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. Joi Gibson

    Part of being President of the United States is being on the world stage and showing statesmanship and diplomacy toward other nations – thinking before you start flapping your jaws. Willard might want to remember that. WE might want to remember that when deciding who our next president will be.

    OBAMA/BIDEN/FIRST LADY MICHELLE 2012!!!!

    July 26, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. Myviewis

    I just watched CNN Newsroom with Fredricka speaking to Piers Morgan of his interview with Governor Romney and Ann Romney and the symbol of carrying the torch and everyone seemed very pleased with Governor Romney. And come to find out Romney's great-grand father was born in England and Piers Morgan said Romney is more English than he is. They seemed to have a pleasant time with Romney.

    July 26, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. NVa Native

    Mitt doesn't understand why the little people are so sensitive.

    July 26, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. dcjim1

    Nice going Willard.

    July 26, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  21. Kristina

    Mitt Romney's Olympics used over $1.2 BILLION in Federal tax payer money, while the games 4 years before only cost $600 million. He is a sham.

    July 26, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  22. first

    Did Mitt, fly or Flip-Flop to the U.K. I heard Flip-Flopped. Why do this guy always back-track on his statements and/or comments.

    July 26, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. Marla

    All I can do is laugh. If he can manage to insult the Brits this quickly, it's going to be interesting to see what he does in Israel. I wonder how they are going to take it if he starts spouting Mormonism there?

    July 26, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  24. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Hey Mitt, with all sympathies to you, I would like to make a suggestion and offer you some practical advice...When Mr. Cameron and the First Lady invite you for an evening of tea, please don't tell them you'd rather coffee! please! Thank you!

    July 26, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  25. AgeofInsanity

    Romney continues to show the world he is not ready!

    July 26, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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