The former Massachusetts governor was asked to comment on the upcoming Summer Games in London.
“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 responded.
He went on: “Do they come together and celebrate the Olympic moment? And that’s something which we only find out once the Games actually begin.”
The remark was highly criticized by the British press. The Sun labeled Romney as a “wannabe president” and “Mitt the Twitt.” The Daily Mail described the candidate as devoid of charm, offensive and a wazzock.”A Sky News reporter wondered: “Is this guy really prepared to be president?”
The British Prime Minister David Cameron has also commented on the issue. “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’s remark was widely taken in the US to be a reference to Utah, where Romney was chief executive of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002. “Romney Olympics comments rile Brits,” CNN told its viewers throughout the afternoon.
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, also joined those who slammed Romney for his remarks staying onstage at a concert in Hyde Park to mark the end of the Olympic torch relay, reports The Telegraph.
“There’s guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know if we are ready,” the Mayor cried, prompting jeers from some of the 60,000-strong crowd. “Are we ready? Yes we are!”
Nine-times gold medal winning sprinter Carl Lewis said in an interview: “Every Olympics is ready, I don’t care whatever he [Romney] said. I swear, sometimes I think some Americans shouldn’t leave the country. Are you kidding me, stay home if you don’t know what to say.”
The athlete also paid attention to the upcoming sporting spectacle, saying that athletes should, “Forget about the games and just enjoy the ceremony. Tomorrow is when it all starts. Today they should enjoy it, meet people from other countries. Then tomorrow act like it’s a normal competition.”
Later the Republican nominee tried to backtrack on his earlier comments, saying: “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 who come together to celebrate those athletes. As soon as the Games begin, we all forget the organisers and focus on the athletes.”
However, that was not the only fail of the candidate. He also faced further embarrassment after he appeared to forget the name of Labour Leader Ed Miliband during a press conference, writes The Independent.
Speaking with the leader of the opposition Romney said: “Like you, Mr Leader, I look forward to our conversations this morning … and recognise, of course, the unique relationship that exists between our nations, our commitment to common values, our commitment to peace in the world and our desire to see a stronger and growing economy.”