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. maltytasker

    The GOP will probably accuse the British press of being in cahoots with the American Liberals to make Romney look bad. Romney's doing a good job of that himself, though.

    July 26, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  2. Massachusetts is the Best

    Who prances better: Anne Romney's dressage horse or her husband?

    July 27, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  3. Greg

    Where's the bigger story? after making "leak" accusations about Obama he blows the lid on a secret meeting with MI-6 just HOURS later! Big Big faux pas!

    July 27, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  4. Ozzie

    LOL..."Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.” Yea, my sentiments exactly....we're supposed to elect this robot because of that achievement...

    July 27, 2012 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  5. basky72

    Romney is simply out of touch. An I-ROBOT who doesn't have a bearing on how to talk in a foreign Land. You don't go to other countries and lash them on their face.
    I think I have some doubt a lot probably about this guy, he should just forget winning this election, all coupled with his Old and tired Bush policies that put us in this mess in the first place.

    July 27, 2012 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  6. Klancy Schmertz

    Like McCain/Palin, what an embarrassment to all Americans as well as the Republican Party Romney is.

    July 27, 2012 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  7. sosume

    This empty suit is an embarrassment. Good grief.

    July 27, 2012 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  8. Al

    So as i was listening to the radio i heard this and started laughing. I'm just glad that i was in the driveway or i would have hit a curb. How stupid can you be? You say that you want to be the leader of the greatest nation in the world but yet you cant control your own mouth. So how about we do this go home hit the reset button and have a full understanding that this race is like the second go around for bush. Their isnt one person in the rep pool that is smart enough to go shot for shot with the prez. I'm not saying im a fan but i will say if your going to beat a man that is the leader of the free word you better be smarter than him. And you are failing. So again go home eat some fig newtons and comeback in another four years.

    July 27, 2012 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  9. Gezellig

    Please, Please, Please....someone ask Romney Friday where he stands on the moment of silence during the opening ceremony for the athletes killed at the Munich games in 1972..

    July 27, 2012 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  10. Name bullock

    I am not play game with people that I want tell honest to God
    Why people got fraud check scams from afrcian american then people like play game to cash money from afrcian amercian with fraud check scam also people like cheat support vote to presdient obama

    July 27, 2012 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  11. julius raynor

    Romney was not ready to be president back then and surely he is not ready now.

    July 27, 2012 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  12. 0rangeW3dge

    Yes, we see now,,,the CNN editors are avoiding his "we share a special Anglo-Saxon heritage" remark...
    Tell me, does Time-Warner really think that they can cover for this guy, just because they are in the same political party?

    July 27, 2012 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  13. Brian

    What's more amazing than Romney's stupidity, is CNN's failure to make this a headline story. I had to search through the all the links to find any mention. Obviously, this indicates CNN's agenda to play down Romney's screw ups in the attempt to narrow the gap between him and Obama and make the election more interesting. Clearly, the stories that Romney and Obama are running neck and neck are a bunch of baloney. Otherwise, this story, which is massive outside of the US, would have been played up more. Any American that says he doesn't care what Romney says and does at the Olympics indicates an apathy to the rest of the world that reinforces the international community's idea that Americans are ignorant isolationists and efforts to work with them to solve world problems (which affect Americans too) are not worth the effort. The foolish comment that he wasn't sure London was ready to host the games was bad, but there's more! He revealed that he had met with the heads of MI5 and MI6 (England's top intelligence and security agencies). These meetings are meant to be classified and are not supposed to be discussed publicly. So, not only did Romney insult a nation, he breached security protocol to boot! All Americans should care that a candidate for President of the United States can't follow simple security measures because he is more eager to show off.

    July 27, 2012 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  14. Kris in AL

    Yes, let him just say what he doesn't mean and not say what is true, what is his honest opinion.

    Is it any wonder why we dislike th politicians that get elected? We get what we want...not what we really need.

    July 27, 2012 05:46 am at 5:46 am |
  15. Jonquil

    We've really taken for granted what's it's been like to have a grown-up for a President - someone who can comfortably function when meeting with other leaders overseas. If you're a voter hoping to lessen our spending in foreign wars, voting for a man who is uncouth and arrogant enough to even manage insulting Britain, our closest ally, is not the way to do it..

    Britain was supposed to be the EASY leg of his journey. I shudder to think of him in The Middle East.

    July 27, 2012 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  16. greg

    Is this clown really the best candidate the republican party could find?

    July 27, 2012 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  17. Marie MD

    This guy is still a bully and is so full of himself that I am surprised he doesn't explode because his head is so full of hot air.
    Does this bully bishop know that he didn't build the olympics here in the states by himself? He had help from others and millions from taxpayers money.
    He has shown that he is NOT a diplomat. We all have had our moments when you want to say something that you shouldn't and I know kids who can keep their mouth shut when it's needed better than this flip flopper.
    What we need is a president who is liked around the world. This willard rat would come across as the #2 village idiot #43. Glad to see that he used this "european" trip to vacation in England to attend the opening ceremonies.
    I hope they put him up on the board and they boo him out of the stadium. What a jerk!

    July 27, 2012 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  18. ron

    LOL. Poor little, rich, willard. I think the republicans are playing a cruel trick on the American people by forcing the GOP loyalist to nominate romney. He will lose and the GOP will be free to carry on without ever having to hear from willard again. All this grief just to get rid of willard!? Seriously? I mean, the guy has insulted our #1 ally.

    July 27, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  19. fred

    So...the security company hired was 15% below the number required to be hired and trained...and this came as a 'surprise' one month before the Olympics started.

    The organizers tried to get Keith Moon to perform.

    In their first day they could not tell the difference between South Korea and North Korea and so raised the wrong flag (forget that the venues were two-thirds empty).

    Gee Romney, why would you think there are issues?

    July 27, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  20. Bill Mitchell

    Mitt tells the TRUTH and the left freaks. Lol. That makes perfect sense. The left considers telling the TRUTH to be a GAFFE. Is the left claiming that Britain's Olympics preparations have been exemplary then? Is that what they are saying? If Romney had complemented them you would now be accusing him of pandering.

    July 27, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  21. Wake up people

    I'm waiting to see those taxes, long form birth certificate (since that seems to be a new prerequisite), and his college transcripts.

    In Willard's own words.... What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander!

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 27, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  22. kplear

    Whose brilliant idea was it to let him go overseas? Thanks a lot, now people are making fun of us again. Whoever it was that let him loose need a visit from the Donald. You're fired.

    July 27, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  23. i want a mega rich Mormon who hides his money overseas, and a master tax evader as presiden

    Can seamus take mitts place.

    July 27, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Are right-wingers so ashamed of their Party and their presumptive nominee that they feel compelled to change their names on a regular basis?"

    Love it Dominican mama! If you really feel like sluething, you'll see the "name changers" are only two or three actual GOPers - calling themselves 4 or 5 different names on any given day. I can't for the life of me figure out the point they are trying to make in doing so, but after awhile you can tell who they are ... or who they said they were originally way back when we all first started blogging on this thread.

    July 27, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  25. Unbelievable

    There is nothing as good or bad as first impression. Once a person messes up with it, he never get a second chance to rectify it. Romney has made a big blander and to make the matter worse, with Britons who never forget anything. I wish he could not have gone there and leave everything with his wife Ann.

    July 27, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
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