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. Rudy NYC

    milkaman3000 wrote:

    ..... 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....
    Really? Haven't you ever heard of being tactful and good judgment? Do you walk into your neighbor and best friend of 50 years house and remark that you can smell that cat's litter box, and he needs to take the garbage out?

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

    Apparently, Bishop Mitten's Anglo-Saxan heritage is not helping appreciate and understand Britain better ... as one of his advisors had racistly claimed.

    July 26, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. Woman In California

    Its too bad Willard's father didn't "spare the rod" with him and teach him manners instead of spoiling him and buying him everything. Any intelligent thinking person knows, you don't go to someone's house (Cookiegate, London) and insult them or tell them how to do things even if you don't agree or have concerns. "You people" can make all the excuses you want for him but Willard proved beyond a shadow of a doubt (today) he is too ignorant to EVER occupy the White House.

    July 26, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. Scott in Iowa

    Print this comment, tape it to your monitor, and review it Wednesday morning, November 7, 2012.
    This election was decided more than a year ago. All the campaigning and all the day-to-day horserace commentary are meaningless noise.
    – The economy is doing well enough.
    – Obama has notable foreign policy successes.
    – Obama is generally liked by most Americans.
    – Hispanics. 'Nuf said.
    – Mitt Romney has too many inconsistent positions, he's super rich and perceived as out of touch.
    These are pragmatic views held by the professionals in politics, both Dem and Rep.
    Popular Vote:
    Obama 51.9%
    Romney 46.4%
    Others 1.7%
    Electoral College:
    Obama 315 (270 needed to win)
    Romney 223

    Now it's your turn to shoot the messenger. Ready, Fire, Aim!
    Scott in Iowa

    July 26, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. The Loon

    wait what exactly did he say that was wrong?? there are MANY security concerns with this Olympics...so pointing out a fact is now some kind of mistake??

    July 26, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. Kamal

    According to the newest polls, Mitt's @ ~ 50% with the US vote when compared to Obama. Who are these people supporting him? What's the disconnect here? I can understand if it were 30%...I think that's pretty much the number of racist & or uneducated voters in the US. who are the other 20%? Is there a problem with the poll collection? Just don't get it.

    July 26, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. susansbaker

    Do they come together and celebrate the Olympic moment?" Romney asked. "That's something which we only find out once the Games actually begin."

    he went to UK to challenge them for the capability of hosting the Games, this guy is embarrassing,ignorant, arrogant, and with empty brain,supported a group of phonies, and criminals: Fox, Adelson, and the Koch brothers. Why has he got 50% of supporters? Something is serious wrong with this country.

    July 26, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Diplomacy

    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.

    Yeah, but what you and Romney and your fellow retard rethuglicans fail to grasp is that the Brits can say whatever the Brits want to say about their own Olympics because it happens to be THEIR OWN OLYMPICS. Do you really think they want Mr. Olympics 2002 coming in a decade later and criticizing London 2012? It's called DIPLOMACY, and Romney is proving he has NONE. Maybe now he'll shut his mouth long enough so he can "listen and learn."

    July 26, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Joy

    Romney is a successful businessman and a good guy. If Obama is re-elected we will be in so much financial trouble
    we may never recover. If you want jobs, and a common sense approach to government, then keep Obama out of the white house. I am so sick of CNN bashing Romney, and totally understand why their ratings are so low. Piers Morgan is so rude, and cruel, unless you are a liberal like him. I once liked his show, bu he is now an obnoxious joke, and has no idea how the economy works.

    July 26, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  10. jarchitect2

    Oh how funny! The British press is having a field day with Mittens. Not looking very presidential. 🙂

    July 26, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. snowdogg

    "Mitt Romney questions whether Britain is ready for Olympic Games."

    Citizens question whether USA is ready for Mitt Romney.

    July 26, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. Gloria

    Yes, I agree that Mitt has gotten off on a false start. And I predict that this is just the beginning. He is not comfortable or skilled at speaking spontaneously or answering questions spontaneously. He used to make fun of President Obama using a teleprompter at times, yet, from what I am observing, the teleprompter has become Mitt's best friend. He is also quite "defensive" when questioned about his taxes and his time at Bain. Get used to it, Mitt. As the saying goes: If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!

    July 26, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. Paul Williamson

    Romney is clueless, oblivious to the world around him. He says one stupid thing after another (remember him tasting cookies and insulting the business the town was most proud of?). If he were elected President *shudder" He would have a headline a day insulting the rest of the world and the Citizens of the US with his open mouth and non-engaged (or non-existant) brain.His staff would spend all their time cleaning up after him.("What he meant to say was...he is evolving a position on..(i.e., he flipflopped 5 times))

    July 26, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. Kevin Smart

    Romney – King of Flip-FLop !

    July 26, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. ChristopherM

    Mittens has made gaffe after gaffe in England, and he's only been there for a day! I mean seriously, if the man cannot handle diplomacy in the country with whom we probably have the best relationship, exactly how is he going to handle North Korea, Iran, and China? It's like watching amateur hour. We've already had one president who constantly embarassed us on the world stage from 2001-2009...we certainly don't need another.

    July 26, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. Malory Archer


    @Ms K – Are you serious? You, obviously, don't know the numerous insults and blunders Obama has hurled at the U.K. Read up, lady!


    Since you know all about it, how's about you post some links to stories about those insults & blunders hurled England by President Obama? Oh, that's right – ya can't because it NEVER happened!

    July 26, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. susansbaker

    obviously, you are as ignorant and stupid as Romney, if Romney saw the problems there, he should have pointed out directly the truth as you stated,instead, "we only find out once the games begin."
    Anyone will see the wrongs,if anything happened aftermath. Indeed he can't see any, just try to brag and remind the rest, he once organized the Games.

    July 26, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. jarchitect2

    Let's face it, Mittens will say or do anything to appease the far-right platform now dominating the Republican stage. As long as its scripted by Rush and company, all is well in Hooterville. Every now again, he gets to utter something spontaneously and look what happens...he has to mop up afterwards.

    July 26, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. Hoya

    Cvt, Obama an embarrassment to our country? Do you travel much? Talk to folks outside the country and ask them about our President compared to the last one or Mitt. You will hear contentment for a man of peace who inherited an absolute mess from your party! The only embarrassment is your lack of hind and foresight!

    July 26, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. Najie

    Somebody should tell Willard to return home. Americans went through enuff embarrassment for 8 years under the last republican. Have some pride, man!

    July 26, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. Captain Obvious

    Willard Romney is a tool. And not a particularly useful one at that.

    July 26, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. Sirned

    Mitt accuses Obama of apologizing too much so I guess Mitt thinks he better insult countries instead ... He sure has a knack for insulting just think back to the cookie incident.....He's a social clod and is always just a foot away from his mouth

    July 26, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. ryan

    Wow! On the first day, of the first international trip as a presidential candidate and Mitt has already caused an incident. What an embarrassment.

    July 26, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. riptin

    It has to be obvious by now to the repukulicans that they have to come up with a new candidate at there convention. If it wasen`t for the Koch brothers ol flipflopper mittens would be back trying to screw over the american people with his phony companies.

    July 26, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. Bernard Webb

    This reminds me of him complaining about the cookies at that rural event. Talk about a tin ear! This guy would be a TERRIBLE representative of America on the world stage. He's not like us!

    July 26, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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