Robert Gibbs: Romney’s London trip was ’embarrassing for our country’
A senior adviser to President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign on Sunday lamented that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had “embarrassed” the U.S. by insulting Britain as they kicked off the Olympic games last week.
Robert Gibbs told ABC’s Matthew Dowd that Romney had disgraced himself “in front of our strongest ally in the world.”
“Look, Mitt Romney wondered aloud whether London was ready for the Olympics, and I think it’s clear that voters in this country wonder aloud whether Mitt Romney is ready for the world,” Gibbs quipped. “And I think the world is not yet ready for Mitt Romney.”
“Literally to go overseas, stand in the county of our strongest ally — in the Olympics that they had been preparing years for — and question whether or not they’re ready does make you wonder whether or not he ready to be commander in chief.”
“I thought it was embarrassing for our country,” Gibbs added.
In an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams last week, Romney had offended Brits when he suggested that London wasn’t ready for the games.
“It’s hard to know just how well it will turn out,” the candidate said. “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.”
During a torch lighting ceremony, London Mayor Boris Johnson made a point of calling out Romney by name in front of tens of thousands of people.
“There are some people coming from around the world who don’t yet know about all the preparations we’ve done to get London ready in the last seven years,” Johnson told the massive crowd in Hyde Park. “There’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we’re ready.”
“Are we ready? Are we ready? Yes, we are!”
Even conservative Prime Minister David Cameron took a jab at Romney’s 2002 games in Salt Lake City, saying, “Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.”
The next day, the British press panned the GOP hopeful as “devoid of charm, offensive and a wazzock.”
“Good old Mitt,” The Guardian‘s Paul Harris tweeted. “His charm offensive in the UK failed to be charming, but he really pulled off the offensive bit.”
Watch this video from the ABC’s This Week, broadcast July 29, 2012.