Published on 26 Jul 2012

Romney gaffe machine in Olympic overdrive

If you check out last night’s Jay Leno show (you can see the clip on Politico here at 1’15 in ), you get a flavour of how Mitt Romney’s having to live down the fact that his wife has a horse in the dressage competition at the Olympics – “horse ballet,” Jay Leno calls it – “finally something that connects Romney with the average American voter.” Another US comedian called it “competitive horse prancing”.

In his NBC interview last night at the Tower of London, Mitt Romney down-played the whole thing: “I have to tell you, this is Ann’s sport. I’m not even sure which day the sport goes on… I will not be watching the event.”

Well, it’s a week today for the dressage and the horse to look out for is Rafalca.

Here’s an attack ad that plays on the horses and another that tries to turn Romney’s success in saving the  Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City against him.

There was a glimpse of the Romney gaffe machine in action in his NBC interview when he appeared to suggest London wasn’t ready for the Olympics. “You know, it’s hard to know just how well it will turn out… There are a few things that were disconcerting,” before going on to talk about the security and airport strike stories.

This morning he tried to correct that impression, saying: “It is impossible for no mistakes to occur but those are overshadowed by the extraordinary demonstrations of courage, character and determination by the athletes.”

There’s real concern amongst some Whitehall sources about what is seen as a lack of foreign policy awareness in the Romney team. Mitt Romney has said Russia is the US’s “number one geopolitical foe”.

A Romney presidency would pose a whole host of problems for the coalition. He’s inclined to slow down the rate of withdrawal from Afghanistan. David Cameron is utterly wedded to the current timetable.

He’d be likely to ratchet up pressure on Iran – the most dangerous force on earth since Hitler’s Germany and Communist Russia, he has stated. London could find itself trying to hold Washington back on Iran.

He wants much more investment in military hardware and would presumably urge allies like the UK to stop hacking back defence budgets. He’s having chats with the DPM, PM, chancellor, foreign secretary, Tony Blair and Ed Miliband today.

In at least one of these I understand Mitt Romney stuck pretty much exclusively to matters economic, where he feels more comfortable. Mitt Romney knew all about the UK – 0.7% GDP figure out yesterday. The chat was, I’m told, dominated by the Eurozone troubles and world economic growth.

Tweets by @garygibbonblog

8 reader comments

  1. Philip Edwards says:


    While we’re doing this knockabout stuff….can someone please tell Mitt to do something about his dyed hair?

    It looks like he does it himself, or he has the worst hair stylist even in the USA. Someone should tell him about highlights – possibly Dolly Parton.

    Meanwhile, the prospect of this tenth rate spiv becoming Prez is enough to revive that old dig at Tricky Dick Nixon: “Hail to the Thief.”

    It should do wonders for the “special relationship.” Well, special in the sense of a UK poodle yapping at the beck and call of a US rabid mongrel.

  2. Tom says:

    He’s a complete moron. He’ll probably win.

  3. za says:

    throws his own wife under the bus.

    Classy, Mitt.

  4. Samuel2 says:

    As an American I am embarrassed that this clumsy buffoon is making such a mockery of us in our most important ally’s greatest city, on the eve of the Olympics no less! For all I know they hate Obama too over there, but I know I can be proud of his leadership abroad no matter what, not with this jackass.

    1. Philip says:

      No we don’t hate Obama over here. We don’t think he’s very interested in us – and why not, indeed! But he’s got class unlike this identikit chump who’s desperation to become President involves such convulsions in what he appears to believe & the sort of person he wants voters to believe he is. Given that the Conservatives here usually support Republican candidates,it takes some doing to get Cameron & Johnson (united for once) in having a go at him. My only surprise is that he called Ed Milliband “Mr leader” rathe than David Milliband….That may not translate in the US, but it was the gaffe he missed! Good luck with your election…I’m sorry your system so rarely throws up anyone better than ours.

  5. Steve Willis says:

    If I were an Obama “attack dog” I’d be running an attack on the transposition of ROMNEY into R MONEY.

    He may be tax efficient in his private finances, but in matters of diplomacy the guy is jumping into a quagmire with this gaffe.

  6. rufde says:

    Romney has been given a chance by Obamas lack of decision over any major policy! banks , Palestinian statehood! israeli illegal building. He!s bummed it and has lost all credibility as a man able to deal with any tough situation.

  7. Mudplugger says:

    It is a sad reflection on the US electoral system that it heads for a run-off between the likes of Obama and Romney.

    I wouldn’t trust Romney as far as I could throw him, he looks like a crook, walks like a crook and quacks like a crook – problem is, I wouldn’t trust Obama either. Obama is a triumph of polished style over substance, a glossy act concealing hidden shallows, a two-bit Tony Blair or Call-Me-Dave Cameron, a huge disappointment.

    Were I required to vote in November, I would have to default to my late father’s advice – “Don’t vote for the one who will do you the most good, because none of them will – vote for the one who will do you least harm”.

    I offer that free advice to troubled ex-colonial cousins, along with my sympathy at their self-inflicted dilemma.

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