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. The Real Tom Paine


    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!!
    Its a story because the self-described problem solver creates problems whenever he opens his mouth with his ill-considered comments, rpoving once again that money cannot buy class or intelligence. In addition, if you did not think Cameron wasn't slamming the SLC Games and the SLC area, guess again. I got an email from my cousin, who works for the Britiish Home Office telling me that Romney is an embarrassment to the English-speaking world with comments like that. The Brits are furious over his comments.

    July 26, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Tyrone

    King Bishop Tabby Nackle of Boston Swears he saved the 02 Games. No Pinocchio Mittster, Its the US Treasury that came to the rescue with 1.342 BILLION. What an inccredible SEVERE Lying S A S!!!!!!! Bishop, you are a low life with 0 Integrity!!!

    July 26, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. Wake up people

    What's funny to me is this.....four years ago the GOP/baggers thought Whalin Palin would make a better VP than Willard the rat. Just 6 months ago Gingrich, Santorum and crazy lady Bachman said he was the worst and weakest candidate but all of a sudden he's ready? Do rethuglicans think most Americans are idiots??? Come on people, stop insulting our intelligence. Willard is dumb as a box of rocks and would probably be a used car salesman if he wasn't born with a silver foot in his mouth.

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 26, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Myviewis wrote:

    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.
    You had made it sound like you had watched the interview in its' entirety. Can I interview you about what you saw of the Fredericks interview of Morgain's interview with Mitt Romney?

    Did Mitt find out when the dressage starts yet? He played dumb with Brian Williams and claimed not to know? Does he plan to attend? He said to Williams that he would like to "catch an event." But, he didn't exactly say which one. Do you realize that Mitt was talking out of both sides of his mouth when he hinted that he would attend his wife's day under the Olympic torch? He should be in Israel that day attending a fund raiser at the same time as the dressage events begin.

    July 26, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. Rick in L.A.

    Mitt, Mitt Honey!! Time to come back home. Lunch is ready and you need your nappy. The World is a BIG place! Let the big people handle it. We'll have your binky ready.

    July 26, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. PTNY

    I mean I guess he got his mittens slapped 🙂

    July 26, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. George

    OMG, talk about not ready for prime time! You just can't make this stuff up! It would be funny if it wasn't such a close race. Money can buy you a lot, but it can't fix stupid.

    July 26, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  8. Smeagel4T

    Wall Street Mitt continues to prove that the last person our country needs in the White House is an elitist business executive. Wall Street Mitt needs to go back to doing what he's good at - vulture capitalism. His complete lack of connection to humanity means he needs to go back to his isolate ivory tower.

    The last thing American needs is another fiscally incompetent Republican in the White House. W grew the government by 7.7% per year. President Obama has cut that back to only 1.4%/year - the lowest since Eisenhower. Wall Street Mitt says he'll explode the deficit by another $2T to give tax kick backs to himself and his wealthy Wall Street buddies, while also INCREASING the amount of corporate welfare being handed to the corporate welfare queens sucking on the Pentagon's teat. The amount of money being wasted at the Pentagon to give handouts to the military industrial complex welfare queen corporations is so massive the Pentagon hasn't been able to audit their own books for decades.

    He wants to hand out all this cash to the wealthy and corproate welfare queens, then turn around and destroy Medicare to make seniors pay THREE TIMES as much for their health care just so Wall Street Mitt's big insurance CEO buddies can keep raking in their bloated compensation.

    July 26, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. obsthetimes

    The British are morphing into the Brazilians and getting very defensive whenever they're criticized.
    What Mitt said is what their own Parliament has said not 3 days ago.

    July 26, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. John

    Mitt Romney Is a JOKE ,and all way will be.

    July 26, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. Tony

    i mean rob-all-of-us-ney"s

    July 26, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  12. Lib

    THis is the second gaffe. The first was a racist insult to the president with his anglo saxon gaffe now this one. And it seemed the Prime Minister didn't take too kindly to Mitt's gaffe regarding the Olympics. Seems like another "you People" comment to me. He certainly is not representing this country well, I don't care where his folks are from. We all have ancestors from other countries. President Obama has family also from England.

    July 26, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. Littlelilly

    He is insane – a complete dolt.
    How about the part where he is questioning the use of PRIVATE firms to run security and not the government? This guy is not a republican – and the more he speaks the better (for Obama)

    July 26, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. stew

    Their seems to be a language barrier between Romney and all people of all nations and that word only needs one letter a capital L!

    July 26, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  15. stew

    Mitt at best is a stable hand.

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

    I agree with the point that this is even a story in the first place. The current occupant of the White House has proven to be an embarrassment to our country. We are talking small potatoes here. Looking forward to casting my vote against the current administration!

    July 26, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  17. Woman In California


    Since MSNBC is hosting the Olympics, I watched CNN this a.m. and what you are neglecting to mention is Piers Morgan bought up what Willard said so he obviously took offense.

    Willard looks worse than the other candidates because he's been running for president for most of his life and he STILL to this day, is NOT prepared. He was also PASSED OVER for vice president and yet some people think he's presidential material now? Please. Just remember, it took the president (you know the community organizer) only a short time to achieve what Willard has spent a lifetime trying to learn and the president didn't have name recognition or money. I'll stick with the person who learns the quickest and does the best job.

    Obama 2012

    July 26, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Hank Castle

    Romney seems to have quite a taste for his own shoe. Sure, the guy probably didn't mean much of anything, BUT, the point is, when you are applying for the most powerful position in the world, you have to know when to keep your mouth shut. Romney is not even good at apologizing. Whenever he screws up or does a 180 on a position that he staunchly held previously, he simply pretends the intial statement never took place.

    July 26, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. SomeNameHere

    This Romney guy is dumb as a stump. Please keep him away from the White House. Not a week goes buy where his low IQ and lack of knowledge are exposed.

    July 26, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. Jack in Florida

    @Myviewis....I guess because Piers Morgan and Mitt Romney had a nice coversation and agree that the British Empire like him, then he is liked. Seriously!?!?!?!?

    July 26, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. mikaman3000

    The fact that right before the Olympics, security is still a problem and the possibility of a worker strike IS disconcerting. To those that claim that Romney is not ready for prime time, I ask you.. Would you rather him not speak the truth, or say what's in his heart ? My question was rhetorical by the way. Judging by the comments attempting to bash on Romney for speaking the truth, the answer is loud and clear. What your comments really says is that if the truth hurts, you don't want to hear it.

    July 26, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  22. Kevin

    I'm already sick of seeing this buffoon changing what he says like most people change their socks. He's clueless, elitist, and a paid shill for corporate America. Disgusting.

    July 26, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  23. livingston

    Romney – Open mouth. Insert foot up to knee. Insult our allies. Pretend nothing is wrong and continue on vacation – after all that is exactly what it is. Just please don't let anyone believe you represent the American people! Talk about a not really for prime time player! They already dislike him!

    July 26, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. Beverly - NYC

    Wow Mitt, tactful much. If only you were this forth coming with those tax returns.

    July 26, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  25. Mark of Tennessee

    Romney is really that stupid... Really he is!! STUPID!!!!

    July 26, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
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