July 27th, 2012
11:56 AM ET
2 years ago

Phelps v. Lochte: Romney picks Phelps, Michelle Obama demurs

(CNN) – This year's closely watched Olympics rivalry between Team U.S.A. swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte has Americans picking sides, including presumptive GOP Mitt Romney. First lady Michelle Obama, however, is keeping her pick under wraps.

Asked simply to pick "Phelps or Lochte" on NBC Friday, Romney went with probability, rather than passion.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"I think it's more likely to be Phelps but I don't know," Romney said.

NBC attempted to pose the same question to Michelle Obama, who is leading the American delegation to the 2012 games. Weatherman Al Roker, in a moment of confusion, asked the first lady for her "thoughts on Ryan vs. Lochte."

Obama, however, seemed to understand what Roker was getting at.

"Go Team U.S.A.!" she declared, avoiding a choice between the two American athletes.

Romney and Mrs. Obama will both attend Friday evening's opening ceremony.

Later in the morning, Mrs. Obama spoke at an event for Team U.S.A. athletes, saying their achievements were being felt back home.

"You never know who you're inspiring," Obama said "You just never know. From a family like ours on the South Side of Chicago to young athletes who are going to pick up a soccer ball or start running after watching something that you all do. I know for many of you, that's how you got here, watching someone else. So you never know who you're going to inspire, because all of you are certainly inspiring me every day."

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.


Filed under: Michelle Obama • Mitt Romney
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    "Go Team U.S.A.!" she declared, avoiding a choice between the two American athletes."
    -----
    Just like her husband. Voted "present".

    July 27, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. NOT BACKWARD into the GOP FISCAL ABYSS

    Well handled by the First Lady.
    Willard still doesn't get it does he... it's not about dividing, it's about uniting. They are both on the US team.. as long as one of them wins, the US wins. The GOP doesn't get that either.

    July 27, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. Woman In California

    As usual, "Greedy Willard" is only thinking about the money aspect so he chose Phelps. The First Lady on the otherhand, sees them BOTH as Americans and did not pick one over the other. Obviously Greedy Willard is not interested in ALL Americans just the rich, successful ones.

    Complain all you want about CNN making Willard out to be the "bad guy" but he does a good job of this ALL BY HIMSELF. CNN is only continuing to printing his ignorance.

    July 27, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. Reggiedw

    In real life there are winners and there are losers. Are we now afraid to say which athlete may be the better one to win. Are we also being political correct in the olympics a well? I am really sorry for us if we cannot express our opinion about an athlete or sports team. Really pathetic!!!!!

    July 27, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. mrmew55

    Hey, fair is fair – considering most of the disastrous decisions made by the Repugnicans, I would think avoiding making a decision in some cases is the only decent thing to do – at least no one died as a result of the "present" vote!

    July 27, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. mark

    Fair is Fair

    "Go Team U.S.A.!" she declared, avoiding a choice between the two American athletes."
    -–
    Just like her husband. Voted "present".
    ------------------------------------------
    She is there with a delegation and you expect her to fall for such a loaded question – typical of you, just typical

    July 27, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. ohio

    you are kidding. This is not a leader. he has done nothing but fumble ever since he arrived in London.
    Romney is embarrassing. Phelps and Lochte are both stellar athletes–and this american is proud
    have either of them in the pool. If romney is the best republicans can do I think the GOP better
    be thinking seriously about their entire platform. Way to go Michelle-completely smart response.

    July 27, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The name Lochte just sound "foreign" to Romney and he chose Phelps because it sounded American so he just played it safe not knowing that both were Team U.S.A. just like he didn't know the name of some foreign diplomat he met with and criticizing Brits in their own country. Somebody better send Romney back to American soil before he causes more damage and apologys.

    July 27, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. LMC

    A representative of a country does not show favoritism between competing athletes from their own country (unless they're related!). Romney still doesn't get how to do it. Romney isn't our representative, but he should have acted the part anyway. Mrs. Obama acted appropriately.

    July 27, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. PaulCat

    Well said, Mrs. First Lady. We work as a team. Something the republicans in congress know nothing about.

    July 27, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. waikikijohn

    Michelle Obama, correct answer. Mitt Romney, without a script, just another embarrassing moment

    July 27, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. Lisa P

    Unless you are a friend, family member, teammate, classmate or neighbor of one or the other of them, or either Phelps or Lochte shot your dog or did you some other kind of wrong, then it seems to me that "Go Team U.S.A.!" is the only proper response. We are lucky to have two such talented swimmers representing America, which we all have helped to build and to keep going. May the best man win!

    July 27, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  13. Al-NY,NY

    ohio

    you are kidding. This is not a leader. he has done nothing but fumble ever since he arrived in London.
    Romney is embarrassing. Phelps and Lochte are both stellar athletes–and this american is proud
    have either of them in the pool. If romney is the best republicans can do I think the GOP better
    be thinking seriously about their entire platform. Way to go Michelle-completely smart response.
    ---–

    + 1

    July 27, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    ""Go Team U.S.A.!" she declared, avoiding a choice between the two American athletes."
    -–
    Just like her husband. Voted "present"."
    ====

    While Mittens said ""I think it's more likely to be Phelps but I don't know,"" and thereby, yet again, refused to take a firm position on anything so he could hedge his bets and later claim to have either been right or "not wrong."

    July 27, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. HEHE

    Stop reading into these choices by M. Obama or Romney you tools neither one means anything.

    July 27, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. mike

    of course he has no "passion"..or "compassion"

    July 27, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  17. mike

    why couldnt he say he wishes the best to both these fine American athletes I`m not going to choose or favor one or the other

    July 27, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. Critical Thinking

    Well I think we can all agree that those athelets didn't get there on their own, they had help. Phelps probably needed those roads and bridges to get to the training pool. It wasn't his years of sacrafice, working morning after morning in the pool that will make him the greatest olympian of all time. Nope it's infrastructure that did it..yep..infrastructure.

    July 27, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  19. Kishman

    Thank you Michelle Obama for displaying class and intelligence.

    July 27, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. scarf

    Romney is the personification of the adage, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

    July 27, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. vic , nashville ,tn

    @ Fair is Fair
    You and Romney has long way to go
    For First lady both are American swimmers she can’t pick and chose She support both Americans but Romney other hand dumped one American as usual

    July 27, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. CA David

    Romney is the result of the clown car Republican primary. Perry-Gingrich-Santorum-Bachman-Paul is the best that the GOP had. Its a tragedy for our country. An emotionally detached, private equity oriented, wealthy flip-flopping Mormon moderate is the best the GOP could do. Please be clear, Romney is their best and he represents their economic values and is pretending to represent their social values. The two balanced adults Huntsman and Pawlenty may be looking pretty good in hindsight. Trump is still in Hawaii with his investigators looking for the real birth certificate.

    July 27, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. Pat

    Ask Mitt an hour or two later and he will forget what he said and you will not get the same answer. Why ask him anything because you never will know how he really feels. He is either the most arrogant politician I have ever seen or apparently the dumbest. But, he does win one category – he is the richest (which mean nothing) and may be paying the least amount of taxes. But, we don't know because he will not put out his taxes like everyone else. He needs to get out of politics and do something else.

    July 27, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    What's really there to celebrate? I could just imagine what it would be like standing on the victory podium to the sound of the Star Spangled Banner only to be wearing a uniform that says made in China! Shame on the outsourcing 1%ers!

    July 27, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Bet Mitt already paid off the Equestrian judges like he's already trying to buy the election!

    July 27, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
1 2 3 4