Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is kicking off his foreign policy tour in London, a trip that is quickly being overshadowed by his comments on the city's preparedness for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Romney criticized Britain, saying there were some "disconcerting" things about how ready the country is for the games.
"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 told NBC. "It is hard to know just how well it will turn out."
He also made an odd comment questioning the Olympic spirit of the British people. "Do they come together and celebrate the Olympic moment?" Romney said. "That's something which we only find out once the Games actually begin."
British Prime Minister David Cameron shot back at Romney, who often touts his experience heading the 2002 games in Salt Lake City, effectively saying one cannot compare planning an Olympics in London with organizing the global event in Salt Lake.
"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 said.
The British media were also quick to jump on Romney, with The Independent story headlined "Romneyshambles: Mitt begins his trip with a swipe at London" and the Daily Mail asking, "Who invited party-pooper Romney?"
After the Olympic Opening Ceremony Friday night in London, Romney will also make stops in Poland and Israel. This is the Republican's first foray onto the foreign stage as a presidential candidate, having focused his campaign around the economy and other domestic issues. With no foreign policy experience, Romney will have to prove himself adept at dealing with national security and international affairs and convince voters he could be as effective in that realm as President Barack Obama.
Obama has a strong foreign policy record, most notably approving the raid that ended in the death of Osama bin Laden.
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