July 26th, 2012
01:03 PM ET
9 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.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"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

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

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • United Kingdom
soundoff (428 Responses)
  1. Pete

    Romney doesn't understand the fact that when you're a quest somewhere you keep things you don't like or something you've seen that doesn't agree with you to yourself,that's politeness.Maybe it didn't get across to Romney because he was shipped everywhere as a child by his father so he didn't get that one on one lessons in manners most of us got as children.Romney shouldn't judge a book by its cover just because he helped run the Salt Lake Olympics,he had plenty of help also ,so don't let on it was only him...Brits think Americans are mannerless anyway,so it just enforces their thinking with Romney the candidate who should be less crass but he's wealthy and doesn't take a back seat to anyone.Romneys an enemy to himself and his staffers who are constantly cleaning up after him know that's true,they're the ones who are always putting out the Romneys fires,this ones no different but Romney should know he represents the American people,if he can't say anything polite,then don't say anything at all,right!!

    July 26, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. Diplomacy

    To all you rethuglicans on here who just can't understand why it's not okay to go into London and "speak from your heart," please let me clue you in to what is called diplomacy. Speaking from your heart may very well be your truth, but when you are an invited guest in someone else's territory, it is not always diplomatic to "speak your heart" or "tell the truth." Sometimes it is just better to keep your mouth shut. You see, if your mouth is shut, your foot can't find it's way inside there.

    Case in point:

    "I like those fancy raincoats you bought. Really sprung for the big bucks." —Mitt Romney to a group of NASCAR fans wearing plastic ponchos at the Daytona 500 (February 2012)

    Besides, it seems like the only time Mitt Romney is actually being honest and speaking from his heart, he opens his mouth and insults somebody somewhere.

    Come to think of it, when he's lying he does the exact same thing.

    July 26, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe Out-sourcing Jobs-Outsourcing-his-Money and Outsourcing America

    mitt robme is now critizing PRIVATE firms for ruining the security at the Olympics....he wants the BIG BAD WELFARE GOVT to TAKE OVER security because they can do a better JOB...just like the US Govt bailed out mitt robme & the Olympics "in the middle of nowhere in Utah"!!!!

    now private corporations are bad...govt. is good!!!...we know you flip flop mitt robme; but at the rate you are going you will soon run out of FLIP FLOPS!!!

    US GOVT is SO BAD....but it's good when you & ann are collecting $77,000 yearly tax deductions on your dressage horse!!!!!

    July 26, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. UDidntBuildThat

    Romney'f false start was nothing compared to the Obama's visit to London. Oh let me count the ways. U should check out on youtube freaking hilarious.
    -Obama at a dinner with the Queen, while the band played the National Anthem in England got up and started toasting Queen Elizabeth. The President did not know the national anthem! Now that's class!
    -How about the Presidential limo was stuck on a hump coming out of Buckingham Palace & sat there like a see-saw-that was hilarious and very embrassing.
    -President Obama signed his name to the quest book and then dated it May 24, 2008, which was a few years off it was 2011 shhhh.
    -First Lady who loves to show off those arms of steel went sleeveless to a dinner with the Queen and then later had to be covered up.
    -First Lady also broke protocol by actually touching the back of the Queen.

    But that's ok because the standards are much lower for the Obamas than any other First Family right?.

    July 26, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. Paul

    hahaha this guy is priceless, he's better off admitting that he's actually looney toons character

    July 26, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. Expat American

    "....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...."
    I love it.
    Romney is now laying on the ground in the fetal position, weeping.
    Well, at least no one threw a shoe at Romney.
    Well at least not yet.

    July 26, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Romney step on his donkey. If you are in America how can you look into Britian and questions whether Britain is ready for Olympic Games." unless you are going on hear say. Romney political world was fast asleep listening to other people

    July 26, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. Vic of New York

    Just what we need: a President who sticks his foot in his mouth every time he opens it. What was it that woman said? "Mitt Romney was born with a 'Silver Foot' in his mouth"?

    July 26, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. slippery

    Proven himself not aware of foreign culture or proper decorum. Pity the rich.

    July 26, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. dreucalypt

    Looks as though he's going to had to take an apology tour!

    July 26, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. Tom

    Romney's comments were typical of an American travelling abroad. And it was a typical witty response from the British.

    July 26, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. Calibrator

    At least Romney doesn't bow to foreign dignitaries!

    July 26, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. LJ

    All the nicknames...Mittens, Bishop MIttens, Myth...'Willard'?...very amusing

    July 26, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. mhill68123

    Any reasonable person would question Britains readiness.
    They had to pull thousands of troops, because the security force they had been building for years was almost non-existent.
    Hmm....now I think I know what happened to the "British Empire", they got lazy.

    July 26, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. Linda

    Well, Romney just arrived in London and has already gothis footin his mouth. I have a feeling Mitt is going to embrass the United States. Mitt keep your mouth shut ,watchthe swimming events. Please don't do something stupid please. Duct tape your mouth . And as for flawing the fund raiser in London and Israel for pete sake man you don't need the money. Of course now if you would donate it to charity. All I cansay is Obama 2012.

    July 26, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. c

    Romney certainly P'O' that branch of Anglo -Saxon's. We've had pretty good relations with the Brits since we kicked old King George's A; and this arrogant obnoxius twit just had to show them how smart he thinks he is.

    July 26, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  17. 6km North of GZero

    Can we talk about foreign policy of both candidates and not this drivel, please?

    July 26, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. Jay

    Mitt Romney: the Ugly American personified.

    July 26, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  19. The Film Professor

    The whole world wants to see a picture of Willard with his dancing horse, called "Tax Break". Can we please see this picture???? Please????

    July 26, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. HRH Queen

    UDidntBuildThat: Romney's false start was nothing compared to the Obama's visit to London. Oh let me count the ways. U should check out on youtube freaking hilarious.

    Yes, dear, Romney should thank his lucky stars that he will not be allowed to visit the Queen or get anywhere near Her Royal Highness for that matter, being just another American citizen that he happens to be. Romney could put Obama to shame if only they let would let him anywhere near the Royal Family. Can you imagine Romney criticizing the Queen's Royal Raincoat or her Royal Cookies or her Royal Security and their funny little hats?

    July 26, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. davetharave

    Romney embarrasses himself here in the US, then he goes to England and embarrasses both himself and the entire USA with his ridiculous comments about British readiness to host the Olympics. I can't do anything but laugh hysterically right now.

    July 26, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  22. susansbaker

    Romney behaves like Bush, he goes to poke our allies and create enemies abroad.

    July 26, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  23. Libysnow

    It shows that he cares and is concerned about the safety, health and well being of everybody involved – that’s what true leaders do.

    July 26, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  24. Keith, US Citizen living in Canada

    Needs major plastic surgery to put a zipper on the mouth!

    July 26, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. Larry L

    @6km North of GZero

    Can we talk about foreign policy of both candidates and not this drivel, please?
    All we know about Romney's foreigh policy is he considers Russia our #1 threat, he likes sending jobs the China & India, he keeps his money in Caymans, Switzerland and the Bahamas, he panders to Israel for the Jewish vote, and he apparently doesn't know Poland was set free from communist rule by labor union workers. It's like what we know about his economic plans – everything is free and he supports Paul Ryans plans to trash Social Security and Medicare.

    July 26, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18