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

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • United Kingdom
soundoff (428 Responses)
  1. Randy, San Francisco

    Romney cannot be trusted to answer the hot line phone in the White House at 3 am.

    July 26, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  2. Toku Mei

    Mitt Romney's European vacation off to a smashing start! Romney commits forgets Miliband's name, divulges secret meeting with MI6, refers to "backside" of Downing Street, and questions our staunchest ally's ability to host Olympics... definitely would have been better off sending Clark Griswold.

    July 26, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    No problem at all since Romney know something about the Olympics I'm sure his opinion is respected. It iis a lot better than Obama returning the bust of Churchill to the Brts llke it was some foreign rock and then he gave the Queen a tape of his greatest speeches. WHat an ego.

    July 26, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  4. Moon

    Big Business welcome to politics ROOKIE.......

    July 26, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  5. jschmidt

    No problem at all since Romney know something about the Olympics I'm sure his opinion is respected. It iis a lot better than Obama returning the bust of Churchill to the Brts llke it was some foreign rock and then he gave the Queen a tape of his greatest speeches. WHat an ego.

    July 26, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  6. Cfox

    Actually he is getting slammed by the media, for repeating things that the media reported on several weeks ago..... hmmmm, interesting. I think people are way too sensitive. Grow up England, UK, whatever the heck you are calling yourselves. Grow up. Every little kid knows the saying "Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me"

    July 26, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  7. Oracularman

    Mitt, There are people who have taken risks, were successful, lost it all in 2007, are without homes, families and health and are still trying to get back or have gotten back paying taxes to bail out your so called successful honchos. How much have you lost till date or contributed towards bailing out this country?

    July 26, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  8. walter wood

    Mitt hasn't had a job in 10 years. It shows.

    July 26, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  9. jimbo

    The true sign of a great orator. His foot fits in his mouth.

    July 26, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  10. rick

    I'm voting for the other guy, but don't wish ill will on Romney. That being said why be critical of the games. No one cared and Romney made it any issue. I hope he rebound (somewhat) in Poland and Israel.

    July 26, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  11. maryla

    Something is wrong here .How far is GOP going now over the seas for more money(not enough here) so they can buy presidency in America . Did he forgot he is in England not America? He is not a President to meet with leaders. And why is he holding ONE SUCH HIGH-DOLLAR FUNDRAISER in Luxury London hotel with minimum ticket $25.000 per person.It has to be a joke or prank? England ,what next Saudi Arabia for more money for this multi bili.

    July 26, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  12. alanjay1

    Are Romney's remarks really so explosive? No. But they do show a lack of basic tact.

    Romney's clearly used to running in circles where he's likely to be given the benefit of the doubt, e.g. among rich buddies, business partners, and political supporters. When you're on the road, you have to know that until you've got people in your corner, they're not going to be so charitable. His tonedeafness is alarming.

    July 26, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  13. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Worse than Palin...LOL

    July 26, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  14. pork&beans

    I despise Romney and what he stands for. I mean that. I despise him.

    July 26, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  15. larry adams

    Mitt thinks Johnny Cash is a pay TOILET

    July 26, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  16. ML

    The Winter games are tiny compared to the Summer games. 2000+ vs 11,000+ atheletes. No comparison. Even the Commonwealth games are twice a large. Typical Romney bluster.

    July 26, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  17. once upon a horse

    Salt Lake City is in the middle of NOWHERE??? Wow what a backhanded slap that was.

    July 26, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  18. sayer

    Romney was passed over for VP by the guy who lost to Obama in 2008.

    July 26, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  19. Anthony... proud tax payer

    Has Willard's apology tour started yet? Or is that AFTER he's visited and offended the other countries on this trip?

    Whats scary is I wouldn't be surprised if he tried to get Israel to start a war with Iran while he's there.
    or is he going to tell the Brits how he supports the Tea Party? (obvious historical gaffe there)
    or call out Russia while he's in Poland?

    We need to reel this guy back to the farm before he does anymore political harm to our US image.
    Just when you thought Obama finally got the bad faste of Bush out of the international community's mouth... Willard decides to hop on a plane...

    July 26, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  20. kellyinboston

    Hate to say it, but this is Mitt. He's not a bad guy. He's just not very smart–Or maybe not very canny, if there is a difference. This is why he sucked as Governor of Massachusetts...He just doesn't choose well.

    July 26, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  21. sayer

    President Obama should save his campaign money for a big, nationwide party because Mitt is going to destroy his candidacy with his own mouth.

    July 26, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  22. Ray

    Who cares about his Olympics comments. I want to know the details related to his having a Swiss bank account at UBS, during a time when UBS admitted helping thousands of US citizens illegally evade taxes.

    In 2009, UBS settled charges that it had helped thousands of US citizen illegally evade taxes by paying a $780 million dollar fine, and agreeing to turn over the names of some 4000 people who they had helped evade taxes.

    And gee...what do you know...the Romney campaign itself has confirmed that he had an account with UBS during that time frame...and now Romney is determined to not release his tax returns for that time frame.

    And wow...the supposedly "liberal media" is completely ignoring this.

    July 26, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  23. Hoosier2012

    How is that foot taste Mittens? By the way, you've failed the first test. Mitten makes GWB looks like a genius.

    July 26, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  24. Hoosier2012

    Mittens always wrongly accused President Obama apologized for America.....now America has to apologize for Mittens. Such a amuse to read all comments.

    July 26, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  25. Lenny Pincus

    BTW, here's a bit of prose from Romney's book:

    "England is just a small island. Its roads and houses are small. With few exceptions, it doesn't make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy. And if it hadn't been separated from the continent by water, it almost certainly would have been lost to Hitler's ambitions."

    Uhh, Mitt, England isn't the only thing on that island.

    July 26, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
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