Video: London mayor swipes at Romney at Olympics rally for criticizing UK’s preparation

posted at 5:21 pm on July 26, 2012 by Allahpundit

If you’d asked me last week how I saw Mitt’s big foreign policy trip playing out, having him name-checked as a naysaying stooge before a huge crowd at the start of the Olympics — by a Tory, no less — would not have popped to mind. It’s like a scene from a lost “Naked Gun” movie in which Frank Drebin runs for president.

Watch the quickie clip below from last night’s NBC interview to see what caused the kerfuffle. The word that got the British press hopping today is “disconcerting.” Said a pissy David Cameron about Romney’s Olympics stint at Salt Lake City, “It’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.” (Upon hearing that, SLC’s mayor offered to get Cameron a map.) The hard-left Guardian quotes one senior British source as saying, “What a total shocker. We are speechless.” The Telegraph’s beating him up too:

Mitt Romney is perhaps the only politician who could start a trip that was supposed to be a charm offensive by being utterly devoid of charm and mildly offensive…

Not once have I heard him [in his stump speech] praise Britain or extol the special relationship he now belatedly trumpets. He even reprised his dislike of the NHS shortly before leaving for these shores of benighted, yellow-toothed natives who spend half their lives waiting in hospital, having tried as governor of Massachusetts to ensure that everyone in his state, as in Britain, had access to health care.

His current pledge to “revive” ties between the US and Britain sounds suspiciously like a talking point drummed up in a policy meeting and designed to differentiate himself from President Barack Obama for domestic purposes.

Romney’s since walked back his comments but the wet cement of this narrative is already turning dry. You’ll see three reactions on the right to all of this, I suspect. One: Who cares? It won’t cost Romney a single vote. As lefty Nate Silver put it, “[Doubtful] that Romney will carry Hertfordshire after this Olympics gaffe.” Two: Romney was right. Watch his comments again. He’s clearly been paying attention to British preparations from the unique perspective of a guy who’s had to deal with all of it before. Even Piers Morgan felt obliged to concede his points on CNN this afternoon. Fleet Street’s shooting the messenger here. Three: Why, Mitt, why? The point of the trip is to draw a contrast with The One’s oafish insistence on insulting the British after he took office, from removing the bust of Churchill in the Oval Office to this immortal moment of narcissistic idiocy. Romney’s going to restore the “special relationship” and his first step in doing so is by gladhanding every Brit in sight. (He even mentioned the Churchill bust today.) It’s the easiest diplomatic task imaginable. And yet, somehow, when Brian Williams tossed him a softball about whether British preparations looked okay, the executive/consultant within couldn’t resist a few criticisms. Baffling. This week is nothing but a big photo op, yet somehow it already involves Boris Johnson sneering at “a guy called Mitt Romney” at an Olympics rally. Good lord.

This wasn’t his only gaffe today either, but thanks to Johnson, this is the one that’ll end up in rotation on CNN and MSNBC.

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I thought all the brits left for spain when the burka crowd
overtook the joint.

Texyank on July 27, 2012 at 12:23 AM

Actually It was the cheap housing market in spain and the strong british pound (at thentime) that convinced a lot of Brits to take the plunge and move to spain….you bet they regret it now :)

jimver on July 27, 2012 at 12:34 AM

I thought all the brits left for spain when the burka crowd
overtook the joint.

Texyank on July 27, 2012 at 12:23 AM

In the 70’s and early 80’s maybe…

lexhamfox on July 27, 2012 at 12:42 AM

all you rich frogs fleeing paris for UK…turn back!

t8stlikchkn on July 26, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Lol :) if they ever turn back it.will be because of the horrendous English food…any self-respecting rich Fench will have to take the Eurostar on the weekends at least to get to a decent place to eat on the right side of the Channel :)

jimver on July 27, 2012 at 12:53 AM

I thought all the brits left for spain when the burka crowd
overtook the joint.

Texyank on July 27, 2012 at 12:23 AM

Actually It was the cheap housing market in spain and the strong british pound (at thentime) that convinced a lot of Brits to take the plunge and move to spain….you bet they regret it now :)

jimver on July 27, 2012 at 12:34 AM

Oh, and the weather of course :) ..should have started with that :)…

jimver on July 27, 2012 at 12:54 AM


Sorry, whole thing is a big nothing sandwich. I wouldn’t have considered Romney’s statement even mildly offensive. I mean seriously, anybody actually offended about something so utterly innocuous has to have the emotional stability and self assurance of a eight year old.

Here’s what happened. The British press, even the less extreme ones, are by America’s standards pretty far to the left. There is no question which candidate they were pulling for. So its not surprising that they were waiting ready to pounce on Romney’s words.

Notice that the same people didn’t make nearly as big a fuss when Obama messed up a dozen times worse on his London trip.

My prediction, this makes no difference and is gone by tomorrow. If Romney made a statement that fed into the lefts class warfare rhetoric it’d be a whole other story, but this in and of itself is a great big nothing-burger.

WolvenOne on July 27, 2012 at 4:16 AM

Brits still pissed about that whole collapsed empire thingy?

They’re all asleep over there and don’t even realize they are 20 years from becoming a Muslim controlled part of Europe.

And their King to be is an Islamic sympathizer and loon.

When the Queen goes……..the whole nation becomes France.

PappyD61 on July 27, 2012 at 7:39 AM

Great Britain-over the hill

gerrym51 on July 27, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Romney was out of line. I think of what my reaction would be if some British idiot came over here and dared to even slightly disparage anything that we do, think, or say. I’d want the idiot deported on the spot. Mittens may get by this, though he’s lost some momentum because of it in that he had the spotlight on the One and he was on defense. Maybe he’ll learn from this and watch his mouth for the rest of his foreign trip anyway.

Certif on July 27, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Cameron offended Republicans in March, but because we have a liberal press, no one heard much about it. Spent his entire visit schmoozing with Obama, refusing to meet with REPUBLICANS. We need to push back and support Romney.

Romney wasn’t “out of line” at all. He commented on security–which is clearly a problem–and that’s that. Most people don’t care.

mountainaires on July 27, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Romney whiffs on the first leg of his visit. Multiple unforced errors. Now anti-union no vodka-drinking Romney off to the land of solidarity to meet Lech Walesa. At least he had the sense to not hang around to watch his million dollar horse prance around in a top hat.

ZippyZ on July 27, 2012 at 10:02 AM

LOL This is what they think is going to be a big deal?

President Obama is certainly less qualified to talk about the economy than Mitt Romney is to talk about the Olympics.

Wagthatdog on July 27, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Let’s see: Obama insults the small business owners of America during a recession with 8.2% unemployment, but Romney opines that security at the London Olympics may not quite be ready.

Well, at least Romney was talking about something he’s had experience with.

drunyan8315 on July 27, 2012 at 5:56 PM

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