Mitt Romney stumbles at London Olympics
What was meant to be booster for Mitt Romney’s carefully choreographed overseas trip turned dreadful when he inadvertently tripped by criticizing some operational weaknesses in the London Olympics.
A peeved Prime Minister David Cameron retorted with an upper-cut--“This is 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,” an allusion to Salt Lake City, which hosted Games that Romney, oversaw.
The diplomatic stir epitomized Romney’s characteristic goofing capacity seen during the long Primary season in the US when he got pummeled by the likes of Santorum and Gingrich for verbal gaffes. Many observers felt that Romney should not have called the British Olympic preparations “disconcerting” and questioned "whether Londoners would turn out to support the Games".
Romney was rudely specific when he stated in an interview with NBC: “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.”
The retort from Cameron resounded with a bang that seemed to have unnerved Romney who later tried to downplay his comments.
Avoiding verbal slips
Commentators had hinted prior to Romney’s road trip that verbal slips would be devastating. Yet that came on the very first leg of his trip. Next he will travel to Israel. His remarks quickly spread threatening the news cycle of his overseas trip, which is now in the equally treacherous Middle East --Jerusalem to meet with Israeli leaders on Sunday.
Later, in remarks before his meeting with the Labor Party leader, Ed Miliband, Romney was obviously more circumspect trying to walk back his comments.
“My experience with regards to the Olympics is it is impossible for absolutely no mistakes to occur,” he commented. “Of course there will be errors from time to time, but those are all overshadowed by the extraordinary demonstrations of courage, character and determination by the athletes. The Games are, after all, about the athletes, the volunteers and the people of the community that come together to celebrate those athletes.”
Said one London commentator—Romney thought that the Olympic athletes could cover up for the short-comings of the preparations that had been painstakingly done for years. The London Times pounced on the negativity of the comments. The headlines said “PM rebuffs Romney over readiness for Olympics,” and The Telegraph’s Web site splashed a story titled, “Olympics: David Cameron rejects Mitt Romney’s suggestion Britain is not ready.”
The peeved Cameron who was billed to meet Romney later, praised his country’s handling of the Olympic Games. “This is a time of some economic difficulty for the UK, but look at what we are capable of achieving as nation even at a difficult economic time,” he said. “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 added: “I will obviously make those points to Mitt Romney. I look forward to meeting him.”
Compounding the mistake
Romney seemed to have compounded his initial comment by questing what many saw as questioning the enthusiasm of the British public for the Games, which will feature a horse owned by Romney’s wife, Ann, competing in the dressage competition.
Romney went on regardless “Do they come together and celebrate the Olympic moment?” he asked about the British people. “That’s something which we only find out once the Games actually begin.”
Romney campaign staff had been doing everything. The remarks came as Romney’s campaign was trying to keep media accounts of the candidate’s visit on the positive side. They showed Romney with Foreign Secretary William Hague—sharing in an e-mail that their conversation was “broad and wide ranging,” and included issues like the importance of free trade, and the situations in Syria and Egypt and the Arab Spring.
The US televisions stations and media outlets had a field day as seen by some of the comments below. Thank heavens; it wasn't Obama committing the gaffe. If he had done it, it would've been treason, and weakness on American security, and "How is he connected to Bill Ayers, again??” My guess is that the propaganda ministry over at Fox will be deathly silent on this.
Each time I hear of another of Romney' s jaw droppers, I just imagine that he has lived his entire life putting one foot after the other in his mouth, but that he has carefully surrounded himself with sycophants who never give him any helpful criticism and yes him to death for fear he will stop picking up the tab or fire them.
Romney illustrates, again, why he is not fit to be President. Even if what he said is true, he should have enough sense to keep his mouth shut in public. He is arrogant, egotistical and clueless.
I think it's the Bain consultant at work -- even though he's been retired for some time now, we've been told. There's the criticism, the fix-it mentality, the interference with another's business (for better or for worse). I don't think these traits are necessarily what the job he's lobbying for needs.
- Asian Tribune -