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.

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"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. cedar rapids

    "Steve: You have a Governor and business manager against a Community organizer/ disbarred lawyer. You choose"

    Obama wasn't disbarred, thats another of the lies the right like to throw around as truth.

    "obsthetimes: The British are morphing into the Brazilians and getting very defensive whenever they're criticized"

    Or Americans when they are criticized.

    July 26, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. J cilla

    What a nit wit and all the anglo-saxons that back this dummy.

    July 26, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  3. cedar rapids

    you would have thought that Romney's 'anglo-saxon heritage' would have made him savy to the situation, guess not.

    July 26, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. cc423

    If he is such a fan of the Anglo Saxons... why did he say this in his book “No Apology” : "England is just a small island” that doesn’t make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy"?

    July 26, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. CosmicC

    He's a politician playing to his political base. That requires belittling the rest of the world and acting as if the US is better than everyone else.

    July 26, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. UDidntBuildThat

    I say we keep going down this road of stimulus spending, deficit spending, tax increase on the wealthy (100% taxrate), high unemployemnt, govt bailout of unions, and donors, and up welfare spending. I especially like where u no longer have to work to get welfare. That is great b/c when Clinton signed that welfare refrom, over $2million children (mostly minorites), were brought out of poverty. We can't have that! We need the people to be more dependent on govt. Since Obama took office more people are collecting foodstamps and r on disability. This is really good for the country. Let try to get more people on the dole. I say let's try real hard to be just like Greece! Vote for Obama and lets all become a third world country.

    July 26, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. HoustonOilMan

    I love it. Everytime the GOP say something stupid it's the liberal medias fault.

    July 26, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. HRH Queen

    @UDidntBuildThat: We will never know oh great HRH Queen

    No, YOU will not know because you apparently have not stumbled onto the rest of the Internet beyond the CNN Political Ticker. It's called Google. All you do is type something into it, and you get the answer back. It's feaking amazing for those people who actually have brains enough to use it.

    The palace's explanation, according to the Daily Mail: Since William is not the sovereign, nor immediate heir, his marriage isn't "a formal state occasion."

    There's apparently a limited number of seats in the church, kind of like the limited number of brain cells you and Romney got going for yourselves.

    July 26, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Time For Mitt to Fess Up

    Can't wait for him to visit Russia.. with his loose lips we could watch the nukes come flying at us while Mitt sits in the Kremlin asking...."Was it something I said?"

    July 26, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. Brad

    Romney already stepping on the tows of our allies, can you imagine what would happen if he became president!!! Romney miss-steps, I mean miss statements on something as benign as the olympics and he would be a nightmare on any issues involving national security with our allies!!! It's probably because Romney doesn't believe the British working class, like the American working class, should stand up for themselves when it comes to working wages, benefits and conditions!!! Well, when you've been at the top of the food chain from birth to now like Romney has been, you not only have lost touch with the working class, you have never developed a touch with the working class!!! Romney should stay home as he is notorious for opening his mouth and putting his foot in it!!! Romney's first overseas adventure a blithering failure!!! F- – –

    July 26, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. Malory Archer

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


    'Willard' isn't a nickname – it's his given name. As for 'Bishop', he's a Bishop in his church, so again no nickname.

    July 26, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. realitybites

    To Britain:
    Pay no attention to the moron behind the curtain. He's not an elected official and does not represent us. For that matter why is he pandering to the politicians there. I have an idea, let him visit parliament and see how he hold up there. Bush was scared to.

    July 26, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  13. rs


    Be honest. The Bush tax cuts for the rich were meant to be temporary. Ending them is not an increase, and certainly do not approach the upper tax levels of the post WWII era. If Bush taught us nothing, trickle down economics did not work.

    July 26, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. Nietodarwin

    A HUGE embarrassment to our country, and he holds no position here. I will root for every American Athlete or team in every sport in the Olympics, except his horse, (unless it bites him or kicks him.)

    July 26, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  15. Nietodarwin

    A HUGE embarrassment to the USA, and he holds no office. I will root for every American athlete in the Olympics, except Romney's horse, (unless it kicks or bites him.)

    July 26, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  16. HRH Queen

    @Stacy: You have to admit it, when Romeny is president, the whole country will finally give a sigh of relief. You can't argue that. Say what you want about obama and the republicans. It hasn't worked and it won't work. Get someone who has a record (good or bad) in there. No one knows who BO is – he's just a nobody from nowhere who got to be president. He had his good time, got to wear fancy suits, but he never really was a president.

    Sorry to disappoint your limited view, but I've got sad news for you: He's not just a nobody from nowhere like you, Obama is actually the President of the United States.

    You are actually saying that when Romney is president (not going to happen) that the whole country will give a sign of relief and that you can't argue that.

    Wow........ Did you think that one through or did you just miss reading all the posts of us other people on here who happen to be part of the "whole country."

    You and Romney have something in common. You speak from your "hearts," but you sound like blathering idiots in the process.

    July 26, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. Earthling

    Embarrassed, or shammed yet republicans?

    July 26, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. Malory Archer

    You have to admit it, when Romeny is president, the whole country will finally give a sigh of relief. You can't argue that. Say what you want about obama and the republicans. It hasn't worked and it won't work. Get someone who has a record (good or bad) in there. No one knows who BO is – he's just a nobody from nowhere who got to be president. He had his good time, got to wear fancy suits, but he never really was a president. He got to live in the white house and act like a big boy, but he'll be remembered as a fool. Don't make this country more miserable than it already is. Think.


    You're joking, right?

    July 26, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. Nietodarwin

    That wife of Romney's is a very pretty woman. Why does he only show the one wife? All that money, he must have lots of pretty wives, HE IS A MORMON.

    July 26, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  20. Mr Spanglish

    J cilla, I think you meant Mit Wit

    July 26, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  21. Oh boy

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has caused a stir on his overseas tour by questioning whether Britain is prepared to pull off the Olympic Games without problems.

    Brit response."And off course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere." Touche Mittins you bubblwe head.

    July 26, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  22. be an xgamegame video game tester

    certainly like your website but you need to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very bothersome to inform the truth nevertheless I will surely come again again.

    July 26, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. realitybites

    I dunno, Nietodarwin, Pailin going to Israel to visit w/ the PM was especially bad.

    July 26, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. Deptirado

    Are you mad that your NIT "MITT" said something stupid? Hey don't blame Obama that Mitt did something stupid in front of electronic media devices....Hmmmm I seemed to remember that the recession started with BUSH and HE sign the wall street bail out....You say cut government spending is the solution right? WRONG! Didn't help bring the UK out of the Recession or the other countries that tried that...I'm pretty sure that the POTUS is surrounded by the smartest economist in the world and even they really dont have a solution on how to fix this just a bunch of theories...BTW this is a GLOBAL RECESSION so please tell me how if we got out of it that we couldn't be sucked right back into it?

    July 26, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  25. Jeff

    Only in Amercia where provincial thinking people and reporters who get their stories from the New York Post is this news – try listening to the BBC World News once in awhile. 40% of UK residents are very unhappy with the Olympics. The security company was sacked for not hiring enough security which caused a last minute hunt for enough British soldiers to fill the ranks. Traffic is rerouted for everyone except IOC and big sponsores who have purchased right aways on London streets while everyone else has to find ways around the numerous barricades. Regular tourists are staying away and Olympic tourists are not showing up because ticket prices were set to high and only within a few days been lowered. Businesses are not seeing the crowds of people and those that show any sort of Olympic symbol in their shop windows are being cease and desisted by the IOC. Apartment dwellers have found anti aircraft guns installed on their rooftops after losing in court to stop the installation. This Olympics is a mess not to mention that a dozen athletes have been sent home for doping!

    July 26, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
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