Romney: 'I'm convinced' London is ready for the Games

After his questioning London's preparedness for the Olympics became front-page tabloid fodder, Mitt Romney spoke out on the gaffe Friday.

“I read the same reports I think a lot of people did about all the challenges being faced by the organizing committee, but after being here a couple of days, it looks like London is ready,’’ Romney told Matt Lauer in an interview alongside his wife at TODAY's London set. “I’m absolutely convinced the people here are ready for the Games.’’

In an interview Wednesday with NBC’s Brian Williams, Romney ignited London headlines like Friday’s “Mitt the Twit” in The Sun when he wondered aloud whether the security and infrastructure of the city was ready for the Games. It was a poorly-timed stumble, as Romney is on a diplomatic journey to the United Kingdom, Israel and Poland.

“It’s hard to know just how well it will turn out,’’ Romney told Williams. “There are a few things that were disconcerting stories about the private security firm not having enough people, a supposed strike of the immigrations and customs officials that obviously is not something which is encouraging.’’


That prompted a thinly-veiled shot by British prime minister David Cameron, who alluded to Romney’s role in organizing the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

“We’re holding an Olympic games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world,’’ Cameron said in a statement. “Of course, it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.’’

Video: London mayor: Venues 'as safe as we can make them'

“Of course it is hard to put on Games in a major metropolitan area,’’ Romney told Lauer. “What they’ve done that I find so impressive is they took the venues and put them right in the city. You’re going to be able to be just in the backside of 10 Downing Street for beach volleyball.

“In just a few moments, all the things politicians say will get swept away because the athletes finally take the stage. The Games are about the athletes. That’s why the Games virtually anywhere they’ve been have been highly successful.’’

The Romneys have a direct connection to the competition, as Ann Romney’s horse, Rafalca, will compete in the Olympic event of dressage.

“Watching my horse, it’s like watching your children play sports,’’ Ann told Lauer. “I know every move that she makes, I know when she makes mistakes, I know what her weaknesses are, I know where she may lose the confidence of the rider a little bit. It is nerve-wracking.’’

Mitt will not watch his wife’s horse compete due to his schedule during the diplomatic visit, but he knows her passion for the competition. He joked that one year his sons gave him a rubber horse mask to wear so that Ann would pay more attention to him.

“I give him a pass when it comes to my horses because he’s so, so supportive of me, having to put up with my love of horses,’’ Ann said.

The multi-millionaire former governor has come under scrutiny for the lack of transparency with his personal finances and taxes. He told Lauer that releasing any more information than what is required will give his opposition a chance to use it against him.

“We just laid out exactly what is required by law, which is all of our financial statements and then in addition, two years of tax reports just like John McCain put out,’’ he said. “We looked at what he did, and we’ve done the same thing. It’s hundreds of pages of documents, and my guess is if you decide to do more and more and more, you just give, if you will, the opposition a chance to distort and twist and be dishonest about more material.’’

At the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., from Aug. 27-30, Romney will officially receive his party’s nomination for president. He knows the themes of his nomination speech, but has not put pen to paper yet.

“It will be a great moment and it will be an opportunity to talk about who we are, but also our vision for the country,’’ Mitt said. “I think this has to be an American century as we go forward. I’m concerned that we’re drifting in a direction right now that is not showing the best side of America.’’

“I think it’s an extraordinary responsibility that both of us have right now that we can represent the world in such an important and significant way,’’ Ann said. “I think it will be an opportunity for the first time for the American people to really take a look at us as people, as individuals and who we really are and what motivates us. For me, it’s going to be a moment of great pride.’’

Before he has to worry about making more difficult political decisions, Romney was put on the spot by Lauer for a more pressing decision: Will it be Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte when they swim head-to-head?

“I think it’s more likely to be Phelps, but I don’t know,’’ he laughed.

Video: Romney's Olympics comment irks British
Ann Romney's horse heading to London to go for Olympic gold 
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As a presidential canadate, offending another country seems to be a mistake a potential president wouldn't want to make.. are we sure we want this guy?

  • 5 votes
Reply#52 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:56 AM EDT

What Romney commented on was the truth. Many have said that it is mass chaos in London. What I find hilarious is that the media is the one that has been stating this for weeks. Now they jump on the bandwagon about Mitt commenting on what they have been reporting. Then it turns into a cat fight between London and the Governor of Salt Lake City. He said He said. Really. The only error anyone made was listening to the media in the first place. I think there are more important issues to focus on than this. Just saying.

  • 2 votes
Reply#53 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:58 AM EDT

If it was the truth, why did he back away from it?

  • 4 votes
#53.1 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:59 AM EDT

Because the lefty media stomped on him after reporting precisely the things he stated were his concerns. London had better hope his concerns don't become a history lesson. The media just wants to bash the conservatives for whatever they can get away with. Yellow press at it's best. London's mayor and the UK PM are scared to death. They know he's right.

    #53.2 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:06 AM EDT

    Again, if he said it and beleived it , why back away. London's not even voteing for him? Now he's on recoed, AGAIN, with two opinions of one topic. Hey Mitt what do YOU beleive, not what's popular?

    • 2 votes
    #53.3 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:17 AM EDT

    Hey Mitt what do YOU believe...

    Seriously? Do you think he has any idea what he believes? Outside of wanting to be President....EVERYTHING else he says and thinks, changes over and over.

    He wiggled his way though the GOP primary by not saying anything of substance and not talking with the press. He's trying to continue that process, but he keeps getting bombarded with....questions lol. He's lost BECAUSE he doesn't know who he is or what he stands for.

      #53.4 - Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:27 PM EDT

      Wow! I can't believe all of the sheeple who spew all of the hate. Pray Hard is right. He expressed legitimate concerns and the tabloids stirred the pot of crap again.

      Am I a Romney fan? Doesn't matter, but I will say this, since everyone keeps turning these in to a campaign slogan for Obama. I know all about Obama and being from Illinois, I know just how much he DIDN'T do for our state. He couldn't even show up for work every day because he was too busy campaigning. I have actually taken the time to learn about him and most people couldn't tell you anything about him, prior to 2008, if you asked this question. "What do you really know about Barack Obama? or should I say Barry Soetoro? or is that also just another bit of misinformation? His whole life story is filled with misinformation and lies. Do the math and look at the evidence (or lack thereof). His status as a U.S. citizen is still suspect. All he's ever really done is campaign for the next big thing. He came out of the Chicago political machine. Nuff said. I don't care what color you are, or what religion you are, or if you made 70 billion dollars last year. If you have our country's best interest at heart and you are an EFFECTIVE leader with common sense solutions, you'll get my vote.

      • 1 vote
      Reply#54 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:59 AM EDT

      people like you are pathetic, do yourself a favor and get a life, there is more important things in this world than continuing to hang onto lies that our president is not a us citizen

      • 4 votes
      #54.1 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:04 AM EDT

      If his status as a U.S. citizen is "still suspect", what does that say for all the Republican investigators that can't seem to find squat in evidence to confirm Either Obama is a complete genius to have hidden it so well, or the Republicans are complete morons. It's one or the other, folks. Which side are you on??

      • 1 vote
      #54.2 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:12 AM EDT

      Troll - Really? You are judging me? Based on my opinion? Calling me pathetic? That is pathetic.

      Postal - Which side am I on? This is a free country. (sort of) Who says I have to be on a side? It's not always black and white, and when it's grey, maybe people should question why.

      The point is that Obama did NOTHING for Illinois and continues to do nothing for our country. You think he is fixing healthcare? I'll let the future show you how that turns out. Don't worry, like a good politician, he'll point the finger of blame elsewhere when the crap hits the fan. Time will definitely tell the story of Obama. I'll hand it to the Dems; they molded themselves a nice one there. I wish he was a singer. I could have liked him then.

      This current deal with Romney is like everything else on non-reality TV. Let's make a big deal out of everything and yell "THE SKY IS FALLING!" every time anyone says anything. It's a bunch of mindless crap. For the record I'm not on the Romney train, or anyone else's train for that matter. I vote based on my own research. If the law allowed it, I'd put Schwarzenegger in the white house, just to show that he could do the job just as well if not better. At least he cares about the country. Not saying he's an ideal family man, but that doesn't matter. Didn't matter with Clinton, or a bunch of other presidents for that matter. What does matter is the job they do. Every time we get a politician who tries to preach common sense solutions, the establishment calls them crazy. You know why? Because they don't want anyone ruining the good thing they got going. They get the best health care plan in the nation, no worries about making a crazy amount of money and they get to vote for their own raises? and that fantastic healthcare continues after they "retire" from service, and we all pay for that. I love my country. That doesn't mean I have to be o.k. with whatever Washingthon says. I believe that is what they were talking about when they wrote the constitution. Something that politics has lost sight of.

        #54.3 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:50 PM EDT

        I'm sure the Olympic Committee is sleeping better knowing Mitt has determined their work to be acceptable. I guess this means the games will be allowed to commence. Thanks, Mitt.

        • 4 votes
        Reply#55 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:59 AM EDT

        I can't believe how the media is making a mountain out of a mole hill. Such petty trivial stuff makes me ill. Romney was thinking out loud and I for one was wondering the same thing. It is a big task and responsibility that London has to undertake considering everything that is going on in the world. All Romney did was show his concern. However, the thing that bothers me most is how divided we as Americans have become when it comes to political parties. There seems to be no room for compromise anymore or listening to peoples ideas without getting sarcastic or violent. We all need to get out heads out of the sand and see what is happening to our country and "both" political parties are to blame along with the media. If we as citizens don't get our heads out of the sand and try to help clean this mess up instead of contributing to it, we won't have a country left and our freedoms will no longer be.

          Reply#56 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:59 AM EDT

          It's scary and people think this guy is better than the one we have in office now. Watch what you wish for you just might get it. This is not the guy we wanted running for President, and now you can see why.

          • 3 votes
          Reply#57 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:59 AM EDT

          Twit Romney's All Apology Tour coming to a country near you!

          Watch him flip.

          Watch him flop.

          Watch him smirk.

          • 2 votes
          Reply#58 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:00 AM EDT

          NBC's Dems are out in numbers here today! Romney must be doing something right. Its amazing how shamelessly biased the networks are in critizing Romney. CBS may have beat NBC yesterday. The White House orders and the news media goes to bat for them. Thats real freedom. They are real scared now. They KNOW that Romney is going to win. Sorry guys. So much for socialism.

            Reply#59 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:00 AM EDT

            Charlie, seriously dude....are you just looking at what this site says? Cuz, yea most people on here will dis Mittens. He IS an idiot. BUT look at any other site, newspaper or news talk show. THEY ARE ALL pounding crazy Willard for his remarks. And it's not just a few....even the Fauz Snooze talking heads are saying he blundered. And of course, there are headlines from London and other countries....laughing at him.

              #59.1 - Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:35 PM EDT

              Obama has offended many more countries that we should be worried about. The fact that he and Putin had to sit in a room with so much tension that they could not even look at each other is a lot more worrisome than upsetting London. Oh and it sounds like the whole Olympic debate has already been solved. Cannot say the same for the tension between us and Russia and Syria and North Korea. They are a little more daunting.

              • 1 vote
              Reply#60 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:01 AM EDT

              another pathatic right wing wacko cry baby excuse, blame obama with another fox news fable and lie for romneys stupidity

              • 2 votes
              #60.1 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:19 AM EDT

              This guy is a jerk.

              • 4 votes
              Reply#61 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:02 AM EDT

              To: L Craft

              As a presidential canadate, offending another country seems to be a mistake a potential president wouldn't want to make.. are we sure we want this guy?


              • 3 votes
              Reply#63 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:02 AM EDT

              After he is finished with his campaigning he can hire himself out as a political weather vane.

              • 3 votes
              Reply#64 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:03 AM EDT

              Willard is used to saying whatever he wants to whomever he wants.

              He's a self-agrandizing snob who thinks his horse deserves better health care than most of America.

              Is anyone really surprised when he talks down to anyone and everyone?

              • 7 votes
              Reply#65 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:04 AM EDT

              One year his sons gave him a rubber horse mask to wear so his wife would pay more attention to him. I wonder if it was the head or ass of the horse.

              • 4 votes
              Reply#66 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:05 AM EDT

              Mitt the Twit just thought he could tell another country how they should do their business.

              • 3 votes
              Reply#67 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:05 AM EDT

              Not a real fan of Romney; detest the very existence of bammy;; but Cameron. look bub. I prefer the desert wasteland of Arizona to your stinking cesspool of London. perhaps you might have missed our secession from your little jerk circle country but it happened anyway. of course ,the way our educational system is now most American children have no idea what America is, was or should be. sad.

              • 1 vote
              Reply#68 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:05 AM EDT

              This guy cracks me up!! He likes to slam Obama if he makes some kind of unscripted comment that is less than flattering, but when he does it himself, all should be forgiven?? What a hypocrite!!

              • 6 votes
              Reply#69 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:07 AM EDT

              A Press Release from Team Romney: Goin’ for the Gold

              Mitt Romney Meets With the British Prime Minister – emphasizes the need for diplomacy in our special relationship

              For release immediate – July 26, 2012

              I met with the Prime Minister, Mr. David Cameron at 10 Downing Street where we sipped tea (rather weak) and munched on some perfectly awful pastries the like of which were reminiscent of something I was forced to consume recently in Pennsylvania. Politely, I enquired whether they had 7-11 stores in London. I expressed my concerns at the state of preparedness of Her Majesty’s Olympic forces. I reminded him of some notable lapses in British preparedness. First there were the notable defeats of British arms at Saratoga in 1777 and Yorktown in 1781. The losses here were merely a few North American colonies whose functions would eventually be subsumed by the Chinese. I again reminded all that English and American interests have in recent years been very much in accord in Afghanistan. It was in this spirit that I reminded the Prime Minister of the defeats their army suffered in 1842 and 1880. I certainly would have hoped that the former loss would have been educational. But the retreat from Kabul in 1842 yielded only had one survivor, hardly the making of a seminar at Sandhurst. I did draw certain parallels with the battle of Isandhlwana in 1879 and preparations for the Olympic games. He obviously appreciated the joke that neither had any survivors, though in each case plenty of medals would be awarded posthumously. Finally to bring things up to date I referred to the British failure at Gallipoli in 1915. Some people would think this highly impolite but my campaign and I feel that there is nothing to be ashamed of by admitting failure and learning its lessons. I especially took pains to remark that it did make a splendid movie even if the soldiers depicted were merely from colonial regiments. Nothing less than heroism was ever expected from my executives at Bain Capital. In the end I refrained from drawing his attention to such charity as Lend Lease during the second world war. I had no wish to unduly humiliate our most important ally. I shook Mr. Cameron’s hand warmly and expressed my desire to thank him for the knighthood I felt he would wish her Majesty would certainly want to bestow upon me. As I left 10 downing street I remarked on the superb job MI 1 through 7 was doing under the leadership of Sean Connery.

              Jolly good show, sir, jolly good!

              • 4 votes
              Reply#70 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:08 AM EDT

              Twit Romney is used to not having to answer to anyone (tax returns). Especially for YOU PEOPLE.

              But he thinks he can tell others what to do. Even in another country.

              • 1 vote
              Reply#71 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:09 AM EDT

              What a maroon!

              • 3 votes
              Reply#72 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:10 AM EDT

              Do you think he ever says to himself - "boy am I stupid" - bet not. Rich people think they know everything because they have money - how that makes them smart is beyond me. I guess because the maids and butlers bow to them and say "your right - your right - your always right" (called kissing their a$$)

              • 2 votes
              Reply#73 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:10 AM EDT

              You gotta admit one thing that Mitt has a style for putting his foot in mouth. I am sure the british have enough security on hand.

              • 4 votes
              Reply#74 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:10 AM EDT

              Wait till the debates. Bet $10,000?

              • 2 votes
              #74.1 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:17 AM EDT

    's o.k. for Parliament to publicly lambaste the head of the security company, but not o.k. for anyone else to question it ?

              Doesn't seem like anything he said was wrong, to me.

              • 1 vote
              Reply#75 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:10 AM EDT

              No, it's not OK. He should stay out of other country's business.

              • 5 votes
              #75.1 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:14 AM EDT

              They're the host country but this is a worldwide event. One screw up on security effects us all, not just Britain. Reading what was said, I see nothing wrong with showing concern & then saying they fixed the security issue & have it under control.

              • 1 vote
              #75.2 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:22 AM EDT

              Correct - you, like Mitt, don't understand that.

                #75.3 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:37 AM EDT

                I am now convinced the Republicans are nominating the right person. He will hand the election to the Democrats!

                • 6 votes
                Reply#76 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:11 AM EDT

                lol and this was just the first day, of Mitten's world wide book tour. Can't wait for more! lol

                • 2 votes
                #76.1 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:41 AM EDT

                Not unless all loosers show up to vote..

                  #76.2 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:43 PM EDT

                  No wonder Right-wingers love Richie Rich Flip Flopping Mitt,all his negative qualities look so good to Right-wingers. This as they work their Walmart greeters job. Hey Right-winger who did the convicted drugee Rush tell you to hate today?

                  • 3 votes
                  Reply#77 - Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:11 AM EDT
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