You probably heard this story already.
The Mittster talked to NBC’s Brian Williams and he said, “There are a few things that were disconcerting.”
We’ve seen the stories out of London, of course. The Mittster also heard those stories and he added, “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.”
Probably did not sit well with UK Prime Minister David Cameron who rebuked Romney (according to HuffPo) with:
“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.”
What’s that they say about diplomats never unintentionally insulting another person? Think the Prime Minister got some tips from Whitehall?
But the Mittster did have some nice things to say about Great Britain during that NBC interveiw:
“But I can tell you that we have a very special relationship between the United States and Great Britain,” Romney said. “It goes back to our very beginnings, cultural … and historical. But I also believe the president understands that. So I don’t know agree with whoever that advisor might be. But do agree that we have a very common bond between ourselves and Great Britain.”
Except that the Mittster forgot he wrote something about it in his book. FP’s Joshua Keating notes that Romney’s book says Britain is a tiny island that makes stuff nobody wants:
“England [sic] is just a small island. Its roads and houses are small. With few exceptions, it doesn’t make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy. And if it hadn’t been separated from the continent by water, it almost certainly would have been lost to Hitler’s ambitions. Yet only two lifetimes ago, Britain ruled the largest and wealthiest empire in the history of humankind. Britain controlled a quarter of the earth’s land and a quarter of the earth’s population.”
Wait until Boris Johnson hears that.
Boris Johnson, if the name is not too familiar is Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, a British Conservative Party politician and journalist, who has been the elected Mayor of London since 2008. According to Wikipedia, he was previously the Member of Parliament for Henley and Editor in Chief of The Spectator magazine. You might also remember him as the person who said, “Maybe when President Obama’s hors d’oeuvre plate is whisked away he will find a bill for £5.5m.”
That’s the “congestion” charge for driving in central London. According to the BBC, the Transport for London (TfL) confirmed the US Embassy London owed £5.2m in unpaid congestion charge. The US embassy said it considered the charge to be a “direct tax”.
Okay, yeah, that’s the guy. And here he is hailing ‘Olympomania’ at Hyde Park, including leading the crowd in a chant of ‘Yes We Can,’ President Obama’s famous campaign slogan from 2008.:
“I heard there’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we’re ready. Are we ready? Yes we are!”
“Can we put on the greatest Olympics games that have ever been held?” he asked. “Can we beat France? Yes we can! Can we beat Australia? Yes we can!”
Ouch! The Mittster’s travel will also take him to Israel and Poland. We’re all ears.
- Romney high-profile trip abroad off to rocky start (reuters.com)
- Romney tells public of secret meeting with MI6 spy chief (rawstory.com)
- Mitt Romney’s Olympics blunder stuns No 10 and hands gift to Obama (guardian.co.uk)
- David Cameron hits back at Mitt Romney over London 2012 doubts (guardian.co.uk)
- London Olympics 2012: Mitt Romney questions whether Britain is ready for Games (telegraph.co.uk)
Paraphrazied because it’s tricky for me to fully pick up on the hobbit dialect:
Team GB is going to win more [medals] than is required to bail out Greece and Spain.
That almost sounds like a cheap shot!
Speaking of cheap shots, what is your cutsey nickname for Obama? I must have missed your referencing him in a similar manner as you do the “Mittster”.
Do I have to? Um, don’t want to. But tell you what, if he wins in November, I’ll call him Mr. President.
FP apparently took Romney’s comment out of context:
The book is online here. The section is titled, The Sun Sets on the British Empire (pp 39-40).
Funny, even pulled out of context I saw that clip as a compliment to Great Britain, that they managed to create such a vast empire despite it’s “nominal” size and lack of internal resources. (Actually, there’s an argument that’s why they were so incentivized to be an empire; mercantilism is all about bringing natural resources back to the ruler for continued production)
Can’t help laughing and laughing, remembering all the dire predictions, all over the world, of abject failure for Athens in 2004. And yet the Games went on, on time, and were wonderful. Expect the same will happen this time, too.