VIDEO – Mitt Romney’s foreign tour, meant to highlight his ability on the world stage, started with a disastrous trip to the United Kingdom. In a matter of two days, Romney has insulted British Prime Minister David Cameron, been mocked by London Mayor Boris Johnson to a crowd of 80,000, revealed a meeting with the head of MI6 (the British intelligence agency) that was supposed to be secret, and forgot the name of the leader of the opposition Labour party, Ed Miliband, calling him “Mister Leader”.
Mitt Romney’s UK debacle started before he even arrived, with one of his campaign advisors telling the British press that Romney has a better understanding of the Anglo-Saxon heritage than President Obama.
Then, in an attempt to show off his knowledge of running the Olympic Games, Romney criticized London’s readiness and questioned their enthusiasm for the games in an interview with Brian Williams. That prompted this from Prime Minister David Cameron: “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.” (Romney ran the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake Ciy, Utah.)
It also caused the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to taunt Romney in front of 80,000 people at an Olympic torch ceremony in Hyde Park: “There are some people who are 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. I hear there’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we’re ready. Are we ready?”
Oh, and he also said he looked out of “the back side of 10 Downing Street” to the British press. In Britain, “backside” means “ass”.
The Guardian has a timeline and list of Romney’s UK gaffes (so far).