In U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney's first stop on his tour abroad, he faced challenges both from British Prime Minister David Cameron and from London's mayor. Romney now begins his trip in damage control mode.
By the end of U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney's first full day in London on Thursday, he had been the target of a verbal jab from the British prime minister and had been mocked by the city's mayor, who spoke before a cheering crowd.
So it is safe to say that Romney's trip - carefully choreographed to boost his image on an international stage - has not gone exactly as planned.
The Republican ruffled British feathers by appearing to suggest in a U.S. television interview on Wednesday that London was not ready for the Games, whose opening ceremony in the British capital is on Friday.
"It's hard to know just how well it will turn out," Romney, who led the Salt Lake City Winter Games in 2002, told NBC News of London's Olympic preparations. "There are a few things that were disconcerting," including the threat of a strike by immigration and customs officials.
The comments provoked an uproar in the feisty British media and drew a biting response from Prime Minister David Cameron, one of the government officials with whom Romney met briefly on Thursday.
Cameron, who was forced to deploy extra troops to bolster security at the Olympics to cover a shortfall left by a private contractor, defended Britain's handling of the Games and seemed to suggest that the challenge was significantly greater than what Romney faced at Salt Lake City's much smaller Winter Games a decade ago.
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