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. Myviewis

    Rudy NYC


    Honestly, I don't think most of you watch CNN because if you did you would realize that Governor Romney and Piers Morgan had a very good time in the interview and it seems people in England are pleased with him. Based on your comments I think you guys are only reading articles but not watching CNN.
    You're amazing. Which CNN have you been watching? That Piers Morgan interview is supposed to air tonight.

    If you were watching CNN you would have seen Fredricka interview Piers Morgan of his interview with Romney and you would have seen the clip of him with Romney and his wife Ann and the conversation of why Ann Romney got to carry the torch in the Olympics ( her illness MS) and about the great-great grandfather born in England. I saw the torch live on CNN with Prince William, Kate and brother Prince Harry. I do watch CNN live Newsroom.

    July 26, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. Marcia Greenwood, IN

    A "not ready for prime time player" Get off the stage-The Republicans need another presidential candidate-this one is killing himself-every day another gaffe!!1 Put him out of his misery

    July 26, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. keeth

    Romney has taken the gaffe crown away from Joe Biden.

    July 26, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. SSG

    RMoney has to tear down the British Olympics so he can talk up his experiences....the tactic of a small, small man. He has no sense of tact, empathy or diplomacy. I don't care if he and his wife believe that it is "their turn"...he has no business representing the US.

    I also notice that he is not planning on visiting any troops while he is abroad...pity, since he is so eager to put them back (or keep them) in harms' way.

    July 26, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. Mrs. Katz

    Mitt blunders into Europe, makes a complete fool of himself, embarrasses America, and offends our closest ally. God help us if this incompetent gets into the White House.

    July 26, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. george of the jungle

    I knew he couldn't keep his big fat mouth shut. Thanks for making the US look like idiots. Now apologize you fool. And this clown wants to be president? Forward 2012

    July 26, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. Daren

    I'm sure Romney didn't mean anything negative towards London or the Olympics. Just as Cameron didn't mean anything against Salt Lake City when he says it is "in the middle of nowhere". Granted there are significant differences between SLC and London, but nobody from SLC should take offense to those comments. Just as nobody should take offense to the simple acknowledgement that London has had a few hiccups and the key is "we'll see".

    The most dissapointing part of this is reading that this is even a story in the first place... and the resultant posts. Holy cow!! The negativity is just astounding!! Talk about making something out of nothing!!

    July 26, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    CAUTION to the IOC: Just keep the gold medals hidden because before you know it. Mittens would have them stashed away in one of his Swiss accounts!

    July 26, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  9. Jenna NYC

    Amazing how people jump all over Mitt for this nonsense and make such a big deal out of nothing. Mr. Cameron responded appropriately and I am sure Mitt meant no disrespect.

    July 26, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. scottf

    Foot in mouth disease. Fire, ready, aim!! And this guy thinks he is a World Leader? Tell Mitt to get out of his own way. We don't need another Bush or even worse Rick Perry or Michelle Bachman opening their mouths in a public setting and further embarrassing this country.

    July 26, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. Nija

    Some people don't know when to shot up.

    July 26, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. Bob Ramos

    Milt has made it a religion to criticize Obama for so long without offering concete suggestions that he cannot help himself but do the same in England. Will he do the same in Poland and Israel? Of course, addictive habits are very hard to break. A tragic side effect is that Obama and the USA diplomatic corp will have to clean up after him.

    July 26, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. sassysticks53

    Once again, Mitt Willard Robney makes a fool of himself – this time in London. Watching Robney talk about anything is like watching paint dry. He's a boring, programmed robot who only understands dollar signs and how he and his rich cronies can make more money.

    July 26, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. Squigman

    Oh yeah, Let's vote republican. The nation needs leadership, from the party of double digit intelligence quotient holders. No more of this higher learning for us. What we need is real stupidity for the next four years.

    July 26, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. Chris C

    This is another example of Americans being Americans. THIS guy was chosen to challenge for the Presidency. I have never been so ashamed to call myself an American . Lack of interest in the government and apathy toward the institution of voting and years and years of mismanagement plus lots of crooked money filling our elections has led to this man who lacks the character to have a position except self promotion is this close to being POTUS. Sad day for America right in front of the world.

    July 26, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. T'sah From Virginia

    Right or Wrong, it is just not a proper statement from a potential President. How can we let him represent all of America when he is not smart enough to say the right thing outside of the U.S.◄

    It's because Romney is "...not familiar precisely with exactly what [he] said but [he] stand by what [he] said whatever it was”

    Romney is dangerous because when he is "unscripted" – he says just about anything. Therefore, one would have to worry about who is exactly writing Romney's script................WAKE UP AMERICA!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!

    July 26, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. Pertnear

    Funny – I see story after story about Olympics gaffs and security issues being published on CNN – yet Romney mentions it and, BANG, gotta put him down for that one. Sounds to me like he spoke and it was spot on.

    July 26, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  18. Lisette

    Romney's sole reason for going to the Olympics is to visit his $77,000 TAX DEDUCTION - aka his wife's dressage horse that's competing. No doubt they all flew over on their private jet – oh wait...I mean the "corporate jet" (you bet your behind he writes off all expenses related to that, as well as their numerous mansions, etc.) There has never been a more vapid, self absorbed, feckless human being. He is the poster child for the 1% – and every time he opens his mouth, he manages to prove his ignorance and his bigotry and his distain for all who are not "one of his 1% buddies."

    July 26, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. PTNY

    MRomneys Olympic Games were indeed the middle of nowhere! Yet he has the gumption to include himself into the London games by stating, "We" don't know how things will turn out without ever having spoken to Cameron yet. Guess he got his hand slapped for that one...:)

    July 26, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  20. Seriously?

    @Steve: As far as I can tell people, Romney already has more experience than Obama had when he ran in 2008. How can anyone say that Romney is not qualified if Obama was qualified. You have a Governor and business manager against a Community organizer/ disbarred lawyer. You choose.

    Okay, seriously? Jesus was a community organizer, would you like to disqualify Him for that? Wouldn't it just be great for you if Romney did run against Obama in 2008? Problem is, Romney couldn't even get the votes he needed to secure the nomination. In fact, John McCain vetted Romney to be his VP and decided Sarah Palin was a better choice that Romney. Now he's sloppy seconds and leftovers from 2008, but he's hardly running against the Obama of 2008, now is he? You're kind of leaving out the fact that Obama was a Senator (something Romney couldn't even get elected for, try and try as he did). As much as Romney likes to criticize Harvard Law, he is one of their poster boys also. So get off your dancing high horse and stop criticizing the President for his credentials. He's now got President of the United States to add to his list. As much as you would like to compare the Obama of 2008 to the Romney of today, it just doesn't quite work that way.

    Besides, I'll take substance over an empty suit like Romney any day of the week.

    Obama 2012

    July 26, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  21. Educator 36

    British P.M. Cameron sure put Bishop Rmoney in his place, then a flip flop apology, and Mitt Rob-me wants to be leader of the free world and accuse Obama of being apologetic? For the sake of humanity let's have the election today to spare us from all of this.

    July 26, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  22. Marshall M

    And THIS is the man who you righties want for the leader of the Free World???? God help us!!

    July 26, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. Sam Salma

    Shows running Bain Capital is not enough to be the President of the US. and Like Prime Minister Cameroon pointed out running Olympics in the metropolis of London or any other major center is not the same as running it in the "middle of nowhere". And winter Olympics is not quite the same as Summer Olympics, in terms of magnitude, complexity and size!

    This guy has no sense of diplomacy. he does this with one of the dependable and closest ally, and co-conservative also in Murdock's hip pocket, image how he will handle difficult situations. he has already called Russia our worst enemy, has threatened China and is the most hawkish with Iran and Syria

    July 26, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. george of the jungle

    Romney is a joke!!!!!! He complaines about the president then steps in it himself the first chance he gets. This whole trip is to see his horse prance around. Some listen and learn to do that you have to shut up.

    July 26, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. anthony78

    GWBush 2.0 This guy is just not Presidential material.

    At this point, I believe a half black, half white, cool, level headed, diplomatic and understanding Harvard grad who was once a community organizer is FAR FAR more representative of 'we the people' of this country then Willard is.

    Obama 2012

    July 26, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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