Super PAC ad uses Olympians to tout Romney's Salt Lake experience
July 30th, 2012
11:32 AM ET
2 years ago

Super PAC ad uses Olympians to tout Romney's Salt Lake experience

(CNN) – A television ad from the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC Restore our Future uses the presumptive GOP nominee's experience running the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics as evidence of his leadership ability and financial expertise.

The ad, which the group said would air in battleground states during television broadcasts of the London Games, features gold-medal winning figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and other Olympians praising Romney for his work on the 2002 Games.

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"As an athlete, you're training your whole life for that one moment at the Olympics," Yamaguchi says in the ad. Later, she adds: "Mitt Romney brought a huge sense of hope."

Fraser Bullock, the chief operating officer of the 2002 Games, says in the ad that Romney "faced a $400 million budget deficit and turned that around to a $100 million surplus."

Jimmy Shea, who won a 2002 gold medal for ice sledding sport of skeleton, asserts that "Mitt gets things done. He changed my life."

Restore our Future said the ad was part of a previously announced $7.2 million ad buy for spots running during the Olympics.

Romney's campaign often points to his handling of the 2002 Olympics as an example of his leadership qualities and financial acumen. Romney attended Friday's opening ceremony in London, a move that highlighted his work on the Salt Lake City Games.

Last week, a rival super PAC released a spot using the Olympic "parade of nations" to mock Romney's reported overseas investment accounts. The group, Priorities USA, pulled the ad after the U.S. Olympic Committee registered a complaint because of copyright concerns.

The U.S.O.C. said Monday they would not take legal action against the Restore our Future ad, but that they prefered the Olympics not be used in political advertising.

"While we obviously prefer that that the Olympic Games would not be referenced in any political advertisement, as neither the Olympic symbols, nor Olympic footage is used in this ad, we are not going to take legal action. However, we continue to ask that the Olympic Games not be part of political advertisements," Patrick Sandusky, a U.S.O.C. spokesman, wrote in a statement.

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Filed under: 2012 • Ads • Mitt Romney
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    Salt Lake where? lol. I loved how David Cameron put Willard on blast.

    July 30, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. rs

    A grain of salt here. Mr. Romney didn't do that himself- the American taxpayer and the federal government helped a whole lot to bail out the most corrupt Olympics event in history. He dind't "build that" himself!

    July 30, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. Greenspam

    Kristie Yamaguchi sold out! Next, she will star in an act where she dressed like a Chinese villager and thanking Dems for letting her to take American jobs.

    July 30, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. mannycl

    The comment that Romney did not do it himself reminds me of Obama's comments about business entrepreneurs did not do it themselves either. Proof of the anti business bo some of the wacko liberals that still believe in some sort of sociallist solution to our problems.

    July 30, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. Ronda in Houston,TX

    Here we go again. Romney the Puppet Liar trying to take all the credit for making the Olympics a success. Hey Williard, you do know that you didn't build it yourself? The American Taxpayer and the federal government help a lot.

    July 30, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. Logic N LA

    Who will he go to for bailout of the U.S.? He used federal loans to get the Olympics on track.His business experience was lending money to successful businesses (not much risk there) He is not a leader.

    July 30, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  7. Duke One

    I love Kristi Yamaguchi ! She's a smart woman.

    July 30, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. rs

    What has to be the most troubling aspect of Mr. Romney and his campaign is they complete inability to tell the truth. I expect to disagree with politicians to some degree on policy, not on reality.

    July 30, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. Larry L

    Did the American taxpayers get a gold medal for bailing them out?

    July 30, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. B.

    I can’t wait for the debates, Obama will show Romney for the fraud that he is!
    The man really has nothing to support his need to be President and has absolutely no social skills whatsoever. He pisses off everyone that has to listen to his endless negative diatribe about Obama.

    One can imagine the damage he could do in international relations, he has Not a clue..

    July 30, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    American taxpayers should get credit for the success of the Salt Lake Olympics to the tune of $1.2 billion of unaccounted for money. Mittens did what he always does best, launder money, sell favors, and hide cash off shore.

    July 30, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  12. Logic N LA

    Mannycl- here is the difference between Liberals and Conservatives. Conservative say less government, we don't need it. Let free market prevail. all while Borrowing SBA loans, asking for tax breaks to make more money, relying on government hand outs and contracts.Falling back on bankruptcy laws when they fail. Romney borrowed from the fed to save the Olympics- that's OK. But a Liberal says- the government is there to help us all. Our heads are not burried in the sand that ANYTHING done in 2012 is done with out assistance from someone or something. Americans can start businesses once they are educated, saved money in a government secured bank or borrowed.They do not take a piece of land in the middle of nowhere and add electricity, roads, infrastructure- that our government helping them. Having the knowledge to do something as reading the contract for renting space- taught by a teacher.

    July 30, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. swing state voter

    Shame on Kristi! This man has done nothing but embarrass himself and this country
    since he stepped off the plane in London.

    July 30, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. Salt Lake City Republican

    As most people in Salt Lake City will tell you – Romney helped in Running the Olympics but his role has been high inflated. The Olympics were already very well organized and Romney only came in an executed a plan which was already in place.

    July 30, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  15. Bill from GA

    Experience, as in: GET A FEDERAL BAILOUT!!

    July 30, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Fraser Bullock, the chief operating officer of the 2002 Games, says in the ad that Romney "faced a $400 million budget deficit and turned that around to a $100 million surplus."
    -----------------
    The ad is misleading. Makes me wonder when the athletes were recorded praising Romney, recently or a decade ago. The SLOC did not face a "budget deficit" as much as it was $450 million behind in its' fund raising schedule. The Games were supposed to have been the first privately funded games in history.

    Fund raising was way behind schedule, and so they called in a private investor with a reputation for raising hundreds of millions of private capital, Mitt Romney. In other words, Mitt Romney is basically a high stakes salesman, who sells investment opportunities. The Games were eventually bailed by the US taxpayers and all of the investors had returns on their investments. Yup, Romney is a genius. Wouldn't you agree? Let's make a salesman POTUS.

    July 30, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. Chelle

    Okay I admire Kristie Yamaguchi as an athlete but does she actually know ANYTHING at all about how the Salt Lake City Olympics were bailed out? It required fuge financial assistance from the Federal Government (an earmark request from Mr. Romney) and pulling in expertise from previous Olympic cities. While Mr. Romney should get some credit, the fact is that the vast majority of the actual planning was already done – the facilities were planned, athletes village etc. Mr. Romney saved them financially by getting money from the government – oops thought he didn't like bailing out failing institutions????

    July 30, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. AnnsTheMan!

    Wait. Didn't mitt get a $600 million dollar loan from the US gov't to help make the games happen? so, he took a $400 million dollar failure, borried 600 million dollars from uncle same, and made a $100 million profit? and nobody is seeing a math error here?!!

    July 30, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  19. CBR

    The Olympics were successful. Many people were already working hard to get the job done. He gave them a positive face and he got more funding from the government. He has already used that experience to catapult into the governor's race in Mass. His record there is checkered. After two years he began running for President. He needs to give his Lt. Governor credit for the hard work she did to help him finish out his term.

    July 30, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. Jon

    The Salt Lake Olympics were on a downward spirial preparing to crash and burn when Romney was selected to rescue them. You are right Romney didn't do the Olympics himself ... there were thousands of volunteers, which were inspired by his leadership ... there were corporate sponcers, that because of the scandel that happened before Romney got involved in the Olympics, that needed to be reassured. There was the IOC itself, that was concerned.

    What most of the liberals fail to tell you, the money that the US government spent on the Olympics was committed long before Romney took control of the Olympics ... not only that, with the Government help, the Salt Lake Olympics Committed was still $400 million over budget. So Romney in fact did save the Olympics, he did turn it wround, he did inspire tens of thousands of volunteers ... and the Olympics which had security concerns because of 9-11 went off without a hitch. Good job Romney ...

    You liberals might not like Romney ...you may try to put him down when ever you can ... but when you attack Romney about the 2002 Olympics ... your attacks are lies.

    Give the man credit where credit is due. This time, Romney should be praised for his efforts in 2002.

    July 30, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. Tree

    This ad say nothing my friends. Romney had alot of gov monies. Romney did not save anything the monies did. My friends don't get it twisted. Romney is a JOKE, he is no genius. I think with lots of monies thing can be turned areound. Romey is a business thug who don't care who he step on. He is not fit to be President..........

    July 30, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  22. Christina

    "It's easy to run an olympics when you're in the middle of nowhere." – David Cameron

    July 30, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    Utah Olympics = Federal Bailout.

    July 30, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. amlcpamaine

    It doesn't matter what Yamaguchi or Romney's other shills say. The only people who might believe this nonsense are his own paid supporters. Romney's nothing but a richbich greedmonger who thinks he can buy his way out of anything. As for the Olympics that he "saved," he called his buddy contacts in Salt Lake (who were the scandal purpetrators) and used public money to bail them out. Some "savior."

    July 30, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Jon wrote:

    What most of the liberals fail to tell you, the money that the US government spent on the Olympics was committed long before Romney took control of the Olympics ... not only that, with the Government help, the Salt Lake Olympics Committed was still $400 million over budget. So Romney in fact did save the Olympics, he did turn it wround, he did inspire tens of thousands of volunteers ... and the Olympics which had security concerns because of 9-11 went off without a hitch. Good job Romney
    --------------
    Nope. That is not how it happened. Salt Lake City had billed itself as the first *privately funded* Olympics. They were not over budget when Romney took over. They were hundreds of millions of dollars behind schedule for their private fund raising. Why do you think they brought a private investment banker to manage what was mostly a large construction project? Also, the cost and burden of security was considerably lightened by US taxpayers when the Dep't. of Homeland Security took it over.

    July 30, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
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