Romney: Olympic SNAFUs 'disconcerting'
July 26th, 2012
07:08 AM ET
10 years ago

Romney: Olympic SNAFUs 'disconcerting'

(CNN) – Security shortfalls and a now-cancelled strike from border guards make for a "disconcerting" start to the London Olympic Games, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney said in an interview Wednesday.

Speaking with NBC News, Romney said it was too early to tell if the London organizers were ready for the start of the Games.

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. "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."

On Wednesday, British immigration officiers who had been planning to strike Thursday - one day before the official start of the Olympic Games - called off plans to walk off the job.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that the firm charged with providing security for the Games could not provide the number of guards they originally promised. The company's chief executive, under pressure before a panel of British lawmakers, agreed the fiasco was a "a humiliating shambles" last week.

In his interview, Romney said there were three elements that made an Olympic Games successful: athletes, volunteers, and the people living in the country where the competition takes place.

"Do they come together and celebrate the Olympic moment?" Romney said of the third element. "That's something which we only find out once the Games actually begin."

READ MORE: London prepares for an Olympics to remember

Romney, who led the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, is in London ahead of a three-country overseas tour that will also take him to Israel and Poland. He will attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics Friday, and will hope to highlight his achievements from the 2002 Games.

British Prime Minister David Cameron was asked about Romney's comments at a press conference Thursday, ahead of his scheduled meeting with the GOP candidate.

"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, adding that he anticipated the country would come together to welcome world athletes. Cameron said he planned to make similar points to Romney during their meeting.

Speaking before a meeting Thursday with Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour opposition party, Romney said that mistakes were inevitable when it comes to the Olympics.

"My experience with regards to the Olympics is it is impossible for absolutely no mistakes to occur," Romney said. "Of course there will be errors from time to time, but those are all overshadowed by the extraordinary demonstrations of courage, character and determination by the athletes. The Games are, after all, about the athletes, the volunteers and the people of the community that come together to celebrate those athletes. They are not about the Organizing Committee. And as soon as the sporting events begin, we all forget the organizers and focus on the athletes."

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. labman57

    Mitt is simply giving his interpretation of "American exceptionalism".

    July 26, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. Josh from GA

    Don't forget that mitt not only took our tax dollars, but after supposedly 'cleaning up' the scandal over the olympics, he continued to work closely with Sead Dizdarevic, a New Jersey travel-company executive who was eventually given immunity in exchange for his testimony, which revealed that he was one of the people doing the bribery, now we find him near the top of Romney’s pyramid of super PAC and campaign benefactors and still enjoying a near-monopoly control of elite Olympic ticket/accommodation packages ever since amounting to a net profit for Dizdarevic of 80 Million in 2002, and much more over subsequent years.

    July 26, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. BostonGuy02110

    Oh, Mitt! You can say these things as a Financier, but you have to learn to be more Presidential-like.

    You are running to be the top Diplomat in the country! The choices you make are not very encouraging to restore faith in America, as you proclaim you can.

    July 26, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  4. pflatman

    Romney should take the helm of these games. He's an expert at pretty much everything, right?

    July 26, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  5. overrepublicans

    It seems to me that everything that Romney has touted as his "achievements" (ie. Bain, Olympics, etc.) are now liabilities. All he speak about is "small government". I guess this is one more thing he has flipped flopped on!

    July 26, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. Doc Deb

    What an arrogant man. He thinks HE rescued our Olympics but forgets to tell people he got 600 MILLION in Fed dollars and another 1,5 BILLION in transportation/construction by the FEDs. That's your and my tax dollars. You knmow the ones he says he and businesses don't need to build things all by themselves. Like the $10 Million the Fed bailed out BAIN with, lol.

    July 26, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  7. Romney 2012

    You libs dont have anything to run on. Your president has held over 110 fundraisers this year but hasnt met with his jobs council even once!!!! This president hasnt been to Israel even ONCE ever since he got re-elected!!! Everyone knows that Romney saved the Olympics a few years back. You libs are scared because you know Obama is going to lose and all your food stamps will stop coming in.

    July 26, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. Vincent

    What ..... the .... hell??
    Is he actually going to Britain (one of the US's closest ally), and questioning their abilities?? What an idiot.
    Now he has to go around downplaying his own words and maybe rephrasing and redirecting them. And this isnt even the first snafu. Hes already had surrogates making questionable claims about the sitting president of his nation. Is this what we can expect from a Romney presidency?

    Its a pity Huntsman wasnt able to get the nomination in this political climate. He wouldve been more appealing to independents and resulted in better options for voters.

    July 26, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. overrepublicans

    Romney is the typical Republican! They are ONLY concerned about debt and defecits when it comes to the weakest of our nation! When it comes to the weathiest, they spare no expense.

    July 26, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. 2002 Olympic Records Destroyed

    Romney did not want a paper trail – so he had any telling papers destroyed after the Olympics – and again WHY? Probably the same reasons as his TAX RETURNS – it might show something unethical or illegal!

    July 26, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  11. Lib

    HUntsman was a Better choice. Republicans made a big mistake

    July 26, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. Jim

    To compare Mitt Romney to an Etch-a-Sketch is an insult to Romney. He is the undisputed master of impermanance. Try to think of one issue he didn't support before he was against it. To paraphrase the late senator Lloyd Benson, "Etch-a-Sketch, you're no Mitt Romney."

    July 26, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. Nad

    After such embarassing comments Mittens still wants to be our PRESIDENT? One word I say, NO WAY!

    July 26, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. truth hurts

    >Malory Archer it appears that CNN is in the bag for mittens.

    want some cheese with that whine? sounds like the obama supporters are starting panic. they see romney rising in the polls, now beating obama. country isn't as stupid as obama thinks it is.

    July 26, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. Andy Smith

    So the Mittster is saying that it is impossible to prevent mistakes in an event like the Olympics. Wow. So, when you consider the complexities of the Olympics (bear in mind that the Mittster's Olympics was the Winter Olympics, which is probably less than 25% of the complexity of the Summer Olympics) and consider the complexities of a country's government, like the US, shouldn't it be more impossible to prevent mistakes when managing a country like the US? If that is the case, doesn't that defeat his entire argument against Obama and managing the US?

    July 26, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  16. Joi Gibson

    I could be way off base here, but can't Willard just wish them good luck and be done with it. He comes off as so judgmental.


    July 26, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  17. ToldUso

    Stay classy, Mitt!

    July 26, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  18. jim

    I starting to question him more and more each day. I was hoping he would be a better pick, but I don't think he will be worse!

    July 26, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  19. jnpa

    Romney is a complete embarrassment to the U.S. Why is he there again? Who invited him, if anyone, and for what purpose? Did he just barge in and say "Here I am...ready to insult you".

    July 26, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. demsrule

    Romney trailing Obama by double digits in his own home state of Massachusetts. He's so full of hate and racial crap that it just pours out of him whenever he opens his mouth. I know it had to take everything in his power for David Cameron to actually sit down with Romney, because once again- Romney and his campaign of idiots have said things that is so non-diplomatic!

    July 26, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. malcolm Spence

    Hi I'm Mitt I am here to tell you about what you are doing wrong because tact is my middle name.....

    July 26, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. Nad

    Romney 2012

    You libs dont have anything to run on. Your president has held over 110 fundraisers this year but hasnt met with his jobs council even once!!!! This president hasnt been to Israel even ONCE ever since he got re-elected!!! Everyone knows that Romney saved the Olympics a few years back. You libs are scared because you know Obama is going to lose and all your food stamps will stop coming in
    You are dead wrong, Mitt Romney did not save the Olympics. The Olympics (and your moron candidate) were saved by the taxpayers. But you probably knew, only temporarily forgot, didn't you?

    July 26, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. hypatia

    What a charming creature. Can we put it in a secure aquarium and watch it flail?

    July 26, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  24. trashcup

    Earth to Mitt: I think the English people can figure it out without some ugly American telling them how to run things. Keep your opinions to yourself. How come you'll interview in England but won't say a peep to the mainstream media when you are in AMERICA????

    July 26, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. CRAIG

    Romney opens his mouth and "stuff" comes out. He should just be sitting around some yacht club engaging in 'small talk' with his fellow members. What an empty suit. Why can't the Republicans dig up someone with substance as their nominee. I think I'll vote for Obama.

    July 26, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
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