July 27th, 2012
11:56 AM ET
6 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.

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"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."

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

    And we're all waiting for Romney to flip-flop and declare his comments were taken out of context. He really favors Lochte over Phelps. For a guy who has been a politician for the past 15 years (running for President for the past decade) Romney seems to be amazingly clueless on how to handle press questions.

    Michelle Obama got this one right. She dodged choosing one guy over the other and just went with the
    "Go team USA" message. Duh.

    July 27, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. gunnde

    His name is Williard Mitt Romney, and he goes by Mitt, not Willard or Mittens. I'm surprised CNN doesn't delete every post that references President Obama or Governor Romney using derogatory slang. They should, because neither the incumbent nor his presumed challenger deserve or merit that. Using derogatory names is like bullying ... not cute, not funny, and not appropriate. Regardless, this isn't newsworthy. The economy heading south again today is newsworthy. Why not ask the First Lady, Governor Romney and President Obama about that so everyone can weigh in on an outcome that really does matter.

    July 27, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. Rick in Phx

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


    "Mitt the Twit" lol lol lol.................. CLASSIC

    July 27, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. papanez

    Romney cannot help himself. He's a venture capitalist who makes his fortune betting on companies. He only sees dollars and cents. He is no diplomat. He cannot represent the United States of America because he has little class on the world stage. It is beyond his intelligence that saying something like, "Go Team USA." This is the USA against other countries. This isn't major league baseball where it's OK if he roots for the Red Sox; being the out of touch doofus that he is. So he's shown in just what, 2 days?, that he has no idea of what diplomacy or statesmanship is. God help us.
    Obama/Biden 2012

    July 27, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. Frank

    Watching this ultra-rich cult member self-immolate in London has been immensely entertaining. Think of all the facepalming, the splitting sides, and the tears wheezingly squeezed out from between clenched eyelids that we'll miss out on if we don't elect this guy. Mitt Romney is to awkward-situation comedy what Gerald Ford was to physical comedy.

    July 27, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  6. Progressive

    Romney embarrass himself and his country overseas. Thank goodness he'll never make it to the oval office.

    July 27, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  7. ChristopherM

    Mittens once again showed on his European vacation that he's like school in the summer...no class.

    July 27, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I would say that since they are both Americans, I hope that they finish first and second and doesn't matter to me who gets what because they are swinning for the US.

    July 27, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  9. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Uh... how about- Whichever one of them swims faster on the day...

    Is she an expert?

    July 27, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. Mary - dallas

    Romney didn't know both are Americans; so he picked the name he s familiar with to be an American. Unfortunately, he is out there without his followers who would have sounded that on his ear that both are Americans. This just tells you that all the talking he has been doing is what someone else feeds him. He can't think for himself. So, cut him a slack. Poor Mitt!!!!!!!!!

    July 27, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. George

    Great answer by Romney: First, he made a choice instead of giving a non-answer (like MO). And he made his choice by assessing the facts, not by emotion. He's going to be a GREAT PRESIDENT!

    Also want to give him props for telling it like it is about the security issues in London; no hiding under ceremony with this guy; it's all out there for discussion. BRAVO!

    July 27, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    It appears that the only time Mitt Romney knows when to not answer a direct question is when the question is directly asking for facts. He eagerly gives his opinions out as if he were being charitable. Now the poor Lochte kid has to go out there without the support of the right wing. Poor guy. Meanwhile, Phelps is going to go out there with all of that right wing baggage weighing him down.

    July 27, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. 1twinsfan

    Mrs. Obama is so awesome but on a more serious tone, Mitt isn't just embrassing himself overseas but our country as well. Doesn't he know the art of using adjectives that sound positive but just may not be? "It was something else! That was amazing. It looks like it's going to be incredible, I can't wait."

    July 27, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "Mrs. Obama is so awesome but on a more serious tone, Mitt isn't just embrassing himself overseas but our country as well. "

    Don't get overly bothered about it. He's not showing the rest of the universe anything it doesn't already know about that half of our country.

    July 27, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. Thomas

    Good luck to them both !

    And good luck to the Romney's dancing horse .

    Not my sort of Sport , but good luck.

    July 27, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. mjw

    Money cannot buy common sense. Any itelligent person would know not to pick one, they are both representing the US. My goodness, how anyone can have confidence in this man is beyond me. He lies about ihis time a Bain, resigning retroactively, refuse to release his taxes, which we will find out soon or later he is hiding something from the American people, maybe not illegal but something we all would have questions about. He constantly insults people like the people who were serving him cookies in their backyard and he insulted them. Now is first foray on the international stage as a possible leader of the US and he has completely flopped. What a shame!!!!!!!!!!! With all that he still manages to meet with the big bankers (i.e. Barclays) LIBOR anybody? I wonder what he promised them. He seemed so akward,

    July 27, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. grey stone

    Wow...the hatred and jealousy folks display towards Romney is sad. Successful business man, devoted husband who is in love with his wife and nurturing father who is adored by his 5 children. Just because many of you are failures in so many aspects of your lives like as spouses, parents, workers, etc is no excuse to sit behind a computer and whine & spew hate. BE BETTER NOT BITTER.

    July 27, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. KO

    Uh oh Romney's talking about sports, everyone's gonna get upset like when Obama talks about sports instead of politics...

    July 27, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. biffyb

    Another Obama who cant make a decision – PRESENT!

    July 27, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  20. rta

    I guess with all of romney's money, he can't buy class, diplomacy, intelligence, common sense, grace etc. etc. etc.
    What an embarrassment. None of the Bush Neocon, right wingers, can make him look good to the world, even when they tout their extreme neo-con policies. he is a buffoon.Remember the weapons of mass destruction. Well romney is the weapon of political foolishness and that is a fact.

    July 27, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. biffyb

    @1twinsfan - Michelle hugged the Queen on her first trip...

    Just saying...

    July 27, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. Dan

    Well said First Lady Obama!

    It's nice to see someone actually understands and can comprehend that the Olympics is about sportsmanship and showing the world's young how we can compete without blaming.

    I sure hope we aren't stuck watching negative ads during the Olympics. The party that spends the most on negative ads during the Olympics always has a very, very bad November. Americans can't stand negative ads during an event that showcases the best in the world competing, but shaking hands.

    July 27, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    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."
    If he turns to his right he'll see Fair is Fair standing right next to him.

    July 27, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  24. Expat American

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

    Your lack of patriotism in supporting all members of TEAM USA is disheartening. You just made my dancing feet sad.

    July 27, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |

    @ 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 |
    Try and stick to the topic, will ya? Your red herring post is simply vapid.

    July 27, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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