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. Luke,AZ

    Gov. Robme is NOT made of presidential material. He is at best a mediocre manager. By the way,where are your tax returns Willard?

    July 26, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Fortunately for Mittens, the UK is too civilized to throw shoes at him.

    July 26, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  3. winky

    Maybe Ann was looking after her dressage horse! She probably would have said you people need better security our Olympics cost a lot so you need more money!

    July 26, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. springthecat

    Jeez, doom and gloom before the Games even get underway. Why don't you withhold criticism until there is a reason for it? How negative can you get? I sense a bit of self congratulations on his own Olympic effort.

    July 26, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe Out-sourcing Jobs-Outsourcing-his-Money and Outsourcing America

    mitt robme and ann robme talk down and look down on people...now they are being uppity in front of their host and insulting them in their faces!!!

    "it is our turn now" – ann robme on being first lady
    "we've given you people everything we have" – ann robme on tax returns
    "who want more free stuff"- mitt robme, referring to black folks after they graciously invited him to speak at naacp....
    "poor people are doing just fine, they dont need a safty net" – mitt robme
    "let detroit go bankrupt" – mittt robme
    "corporations are people, my friends" -mitt robme
    "let hispanics self-deport" – mitt robme
    "let the foreclosure bottom out" – mitt robme

    you think you need this idiot mitt robme anywhere close to being POTUS...you will be SCREWED AMERICA!!!

    July 26, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. ST

    Time to apologise Mitt, in a foreign country. Something you have said you will never do, BUT now you have to do it!

    July 26, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. Jules

    He is just so not of the right stuff to be president of the US. I did love Cameron's comment about holding the Olympic is a busy metropolitan area as opposed to the middle of nowhere. Obviously, Romney got off on the wrong foot and then had to do another one of his famous flip flops.

    July 26, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. NVa Native

    Wonder if next at a formal dinner Mitt will walk up behind and massage the bare shoulders of a head-of-state or some thing? Gee-whiz, such a jolly prankster!

    July 26, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. Dan

    Wait he will change his mind as soon as men donating the money tell him to.

    July 26, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  10. Pander Express

    Poor Mitt.
    Born with a silver foot in his mouth.

    July 26, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. Woman In California

    Why is it everytime he and his mouthy wife open their big mouths they insult people? Neither of them as a clue how to interact people on a day-to-day basis. These are not the type of people we need representing us and I hope people realize this before November as there is much more to come.

    July 26, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. NVa Native

    We already had a goof-ball President for eight years and the American people don't want to go back to that. Please just keep being your goofy self Mitt.

    July 26, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Day two of the Mittens' world apology tour.

    July 26, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. Myviewis

    Honestly, I don't think most of you watch CNN because if you did you would realize that Governor Romney and Piers Morgan had a very good time in the interview and it seems people in England are pleased with him. Based on your comments I think you guys are only reading articles but not watching CNN.

    July 26, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. Wake up people

    You know I never thought I would be saying this, but Willard makes Dubya look like a rocket scientist, and we all know Dubya is dumb as a box of rocks.

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 26, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. Jay

    so Romney's dangerous as a nominee, imagine the damage he could do if he succeeds on buying the title "Leader of the Free World!"

    July 26, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. Expat American

    Romney tried to kick off his ‘Listen and Learn’ campaign with a home run. But he swung so hard that he missed the ball, fell backward and hit himself in the head with the bat.

    July 26, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. Marie MD

    Hey bishop you didn't save ghe olympics by yourself here in the states.
    Let's see yiu already ticked off the Canadians and now the British. Be careful in Poland and in particular in Israel because they don't take crap from anyone!!
    Way to start your European vacation. I take it that non of his handlers are wig him to keep him from outing foot in mouth? This is the perfect example that money can't buy him brains or ethics or just plain common sense!!!

    July 26, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Jim

    Romney claims he saved the 2002 Utah Olympics. Romney got a big helping hand by sticking U.S. taxpayers with the bill through earmarks. The federal government poured $1.5 billion into the Utah Olympic games – more than twice the amount spent on any previous U.S. Olympics. Republican Sen. John McCain called it a “fleecing” of the U.S. Treasury.
    ------------
    The most astounding aspect of the whole thing is that the Salt Lake Games were supposed to have been 100% privately funded. Their fund raising efforts were coming up about $500 million short of schedule three years out. That's why they called in an expert on raising private investment funds, Mitt Romney, to manage what was mostly a major construction project. There were lots of people who could have managed the construction, but few who had a record of raising hundreds of millions of private capital.

    To be fair, though. The SLOC used about $600 million to complete construction and nearly the same amount to added security and coordination with the Department of Homeland Security. It was little more than a year after 9/11 and we were at war.

    July 26, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. John

    Mitt don't worry you have time to correct and back peddle from your remarks on Piers Morgan show tonight. How un-presidential can you get??

    July 26, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. Wilson

    Mitt is right, I'm just waiting for the news reports that the stuff has hit the fan. That being said, just because you are right, and you think it, does not mean you have to say it.

    July 26, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  22. Larry L

    He says he's not like "W"? Really? The man is a complete moron.

    It's bad enough that he has no actual ideology or convictions – but to be so out of touch with with people everywhere! He's just a richer, more spoiled, cheesy-grits-eatin' copy of George W. Bush.

    July 26, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. Expanse

    Pander Express . . . my compliments. Well quipped.

    July 26, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  24. Miroslava

    Foot in the mouth desease. Romney, you make people cringe in embarrassment. Ugh...

    July 26, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. Jack in Florida

    He is an idiot. I can see he went to the George Bush Finishing School!!

    July 26, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
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