Later, London Mayor Boris Johnson, also a Tory, called out Romney in a speech at an Olympics event before to tens of thousands of people in London’s Hyde Park:
JOHNSON: I’ve never seen anything like this in all my life. … people are coming from around the world and they are seeing us and they are seeing the greatest city on earth. And 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. He wants to know whether we’re ready. Are we ready? Yes we are!
Watch the clip, courtesy of the BBC:
In what’s been widely panned as “Romney Shambles,” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s trip to Europe hasn’t gotten off to a great start. One senior British official told the Guardian of Romney’s Olympic comments: “What a total shocker. We are speechless,” while Daily Mail politics editor James Chapman quoted a source saying that Romney was “[a]pparently devoid of charm, warmth, humour or sincerity” in meetings with British officials.
British media has also reacted harshly to Romney. “Mr Romney is credited with rescuing the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, now he’s appeared to question London’s readiness to host a successful olympics,” the BBC’s George Alagiah said, adding “If [Romney is] here to make friends, he’s got a funny way of showing it.”
Foreign Policy’s Joshua Keating noted today that in his book “No Apology,” Romney belittled England as “just a small island” that “doesn’t make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy.”
The Daily Kos finds Romney in 2007 calling the U.K. a “second tier” nation.