Romney under fire for comments about London Olympics

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AK Forty Seven, Jul 26, 2012.


    Romney under fire for comments about London Olympics

    LONDON—For the second day in a row, Mitt Romney's visit to London was marred by controversy, as the British media seized on comments the GOP candidate made suggesting he found London's preparations for the 2012 Summer Olympics "disconcerting."

    In an interview with NBC News on Wednesday, Romney, who has campaigned on his experience running the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, was asked if he thought London was "ready" for the games.

    "You know, it's hard to know just how well it will turn out," Romney told NBC. "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."

    Romney's comments were immediately big news in London, splashed across the websites of major newspapers. In a press conference Thursday just hours before he was set to meet with Romney, Prime Minister David Cameron issued a snippy rejection of Romney's comments.

    "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, a comment that was widely interpreted as a reference to Salt Lake City, where Romney headed up the organizing committee.

    Cameron told reporters he looked forward to addressing the subject with Romney during their meeting at No. 10 Downing Street—and presumably he did.

    Emerging after his sit-down with Cameron to speak to more than 100 reporters waiting outside the prime minister's office, Romney immediately heaped effusive praise on the London games. He spoke of how the games would energize "millions" of people in the city and how nice it was to look out the back windows of No. 10 Downing Street to see an Olympic venue—right in the "heart of London," he noted.

    "What I see shows imagination and forethought and a lot of organization, and I expect the games to be highly successful," Romney said.

    [Get more updates from Romney's overseas trip by following @hollybdc on Twitter]

    Asked about his comments to NBC, Romney suggested they had not been meant as an insult and repeatedly praised London organizers. He said that no Olympics has ever been pulled off without mistakes—not even the Olympics he ran in Salt Lake City.

    "My experience with Olympic organizing is that there's always a few very small things that end up going not quite right the first day or so," Romney said. But the issues always get "ironed out," he added.

    The flap over Romney's Olympics comments comes just a day after his campaign went on the defense after the Daily Telegraph quoted an unnamed Romney adviser suggesting President Barack Obama did not fully appreciate the "Anglo-Saxon heritage" between the United States and Great Britain. The Romney campaign immediately insisted the comment didn't come from anyone affiliated with the campaign—a position later echoed by the candidate himself, who told NBC he believes Obama does understand the special relationship between the U.S. and Britain.

    Both controversies threatened to overshadow a trip that Romney aides hoped would help the GOP candidate boost his credibility on foreign policy issues, an area where some believe his resume is lacking. The stir over Romney's Olympics comments could also undermine another goal of the trip: to call attention to Romney's successful stewardship of the Salt Lake City games.

    Speaking to reporters outside No. 10 Downing Street, Romney did damage control, going on at length about the enthusiasm around the games and how well the games appeared to be organized.

    "This is an indication of a community that will share in the Olympic experience, be unified and uplifted by it, and I am delighted," Romney said.
  2. Looking like a buffoon in American wasnt enough now he has to take his circus to London :(
  3. wildchild


    Romney talks bad about the London Olympics. Obama talks bad about America. Who are you voting for?
  4. Romney overseas = Obama's dream - what a clown Romney has made of himself.
  5. Romney took over the Salt lake Olympics a year after 9/11.
    He organized one of the heaviest secured event in world history.

    London (CNN) -- British lawmakers tore into the chief executive of the security contractor that will be unable to deliver enough guards for the Olympic Games, forcing Nick Buckles to agree Tuesday that the fiasco is "a humiliating shambles."

    London 2012 Olympics: North Korea flag blunder 'an embarrassment', admits BOA chairman Colin Moynihan
    I take that Romney knows what he is talking about.
  6. 377OHMS


    Stupid and totally unnecessary comment by Romney. It overshadowed any message he hoped to send by visiting the UK. Why in the world would he question the preparations for the games made by a conservative PM? He and his handlers *knew* they would be asked about the preparations and they should have had some complementary statements already prepared and ready to go. I don't get it.

    There is about 100 days until the General Election and Romney and his team had better get it together pretty quick. Just repeating what you've read in the morning papers back to the press isn't going to work. There has to be some leadership exhibited here.
  7. Total agreement....

    London mayor mocks Romney at Olympic rally

    LONDON—Mitt Romney tried to downplay his suggestion that he found preparations for London's Summer Olympics "disconcerting," which he said in an in an interview with NBC News. But the GOP candidate's comment continues to haunt him here.

    At a pre-Olympics rally in Hyde Park Thursday, London Mayor Boris Johnson openly mocked Romney's comments—calling him out by name to the crowd.

    "There are some people who are coming from around the world who don't yet know about all the preparations we've done to get London ready in the last seven years," Johnson said. "I hear there's a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we're ready. He wants to know whether we're ready. Are we ready?! Are we ready?! Yes, we are?!"

    Johnson's criticism comes just hours after British Prime Minister David Cameron offered a snippy response to Romney's comments, telling reporters," Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere"—a comment widely interpreted to be a reference to Salt Lake City, where Romney ran the 2002 Winter Olympics.

    But Cameron apparently didn't voice his displeasure with Romney face-to-face. A senior Romney aide, who declined to be named, told reporters Romney's comments on the London Olympics didn't come up in their meeting at 10 Downing Street earlier today.

    Still, Romney emerged from the meeting praising the London games at length—a suggestion that he was aware of the firestorm his comments to NBC had started in the British press.

    "What I see shows imagination and forethought and a lot of organization, and I expect the games to be highly successful," Romney said.

    Obama welcomes Romney to Israel with new security bill

    President Barack Obama is signing a new U.S.-Israel security pact on Friday -- a move that could steal some of the headlines there even as Republican challenger Mitt Romney opens a visit to the close U.S. ally a day later.

    Obama signs the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act -- a bill that clears the way for the United States to provide more military equipment to Israel -- at 10:15 a.m.

    With the former Massachusetts governor visiting Britain, Israel, and Poland this week to polish his foreign policy credentials, the Obama Administration has been playing up its cooperation with those staunch American allies.
  10. This, actually, is a bad thing. We are being dragged into another war.
    #10     Jul 27, 2012