Mitt Romney’s overseas trip is doing the exact opposite of his intention; Romney is trying to prove that he is ready to be a world leader. Instead, he’s been sticking his foot in his mouth over and over and over again. So far, and this is post his campaign’s Anglo-Saxon debacle, Romney has insulted Britain by questioning their readiness to host the Olympic games, which enraged PM Cameron, and then far less threatening but still uncool, Romney gaffed and called labour leader Ed Miliband “Mr. Leader”.
In his NBC News interview Romney insulted the British by questioning their preparedness to host the Games.
Transcript from NBC News:
And in the short time you’ve been here in London, do they look ready to your experienced eye?
You know, it’s hard to know just how well it were turn out– will turn out. There are a few things that were disconcerting, the stories about the– private security firm not having enough people– the sup– supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging. Because in the games, there– there are three parts that makes games successful.
Number one, of course, are the athletes. That’s what overwhelmingly the games are about. Number two are the volunteers. And they’ll have great volunteers here. But number three are the people of the– of the country. Do they come together and celebrate the Olympic moment? And that’s something which we only find out once the games actually begin.
PM Cameron was none too pleased with Romney’s fear-mongering on matters of security, and defended their preparations for the games:
“This is the biggest security operation in our peacetime history, bar none and we are leaving nothing to chance.”
Cameron is said to have slapped Romney down in The Guardian, and embarrassingly referring to Romney’s stint running the Olympics in the middle of nowhere:
David Cameron wasted no time in slapping down Romney hours after his remarks were broadcast. On a visit to the Olympic Park, the prime minister said: “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.”
And then early this morning, Romney backtracked on his Olympic comments, only to step in a diplomatic gaffe by calling Ed Miliband “Mr. Leader”:
“Like you Mr. Leader I look forward to our conversations this morning and I have had a number of conversations with leaders both present and past and recognise of course the unique relationship that exists between our nations.”
Here’s Mitt going for a redo on his Olympic insult:
Everyone makes gaffes, but Romney needs to prove that he is up to the most simple Presidential tasks – preparing to meet other world leaders and learning enough about their protocol that he shows a modicum of respect. The tough stuff is actual wrangling through conflicting interests in order to find consensus on international issues. This, meet and greet, is supposed to be the easy stuff, because as long as you do your homework, you should be able to get through an introduction without too much trouble.
The real oops moment for Romney came in his opening his big mouth once again and saying something insultingly stupid about Britain’s readiness to host the games. It’s unclear whether Romney truly understands the job of the President at this point, but it’s clear that his approach to meeting world leaders has a whiff of the same ignorant arrogance as George W. Bush.
Romney must not believe he has to do any homework, and thinks he can bumble on over the pond and tell them they aren’t handling the games well. Perhaps this explains his refusal to take questions from the American press so far.
After all, Romney is running for President of this country, so you’d think he would answer at least one American reporter’s question. Chuck Todd summed it up in a tweet, “Can’t believe Romney took questions from the British press corps but not from my colleagues traveling overseas with him. Bad form.” Later, in another tweet, Todd added, “Whether you love or hate us in the media; you should want your leaders to at least submit themselves to questions.”
But Chuck, perhaps what you can’t see is that Romney was retroactively-retired from running for President when you asked your question.
Mitt Romney’s oops I did it again moments are piling up and we’re only on day one of his magical mystery disaster tour.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.