Mitt in London: Brags About Secret Meeting, Insults Olympics
Eyebrows going up about Romney's claim to have met the Sir John Sawers, the chief of MI6. Asked about Syria by an American reporter whether he and Cameron spoke about Syria and he replies: "I appreciated the insights and perspectives of the leaders of the government here and the opposition here as well as the head of MI6"
As The Guardian explains:
For our American readership, this isn't like bragging you just met David Petraeus. The British take on the national secret intelligence service comes with an extra-heavy dollop of the whole secret thing. The very existence of the MI6 was not officially acknowledged until 1994.
Good luck, Romney handlers: this is only stop No. 1 on a three-stop international tour. What will he say in Jerusalem?
Maybe if MI6 also handled Romney's tax returns then he could have kept his mouth shut?
Or perhaps he was simply distracted by trying to put out the fire caused by his other gaffe: saying that he doubted Great Britain's ability to pull off the games.
"You know, it's hard to know just how well it will turn out," Romney said. "There are a few things that were disconcerting, 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."
Prime Minister David Cameron reassured Romney that everything would turn out just fine, adding a bit of a rebuke to Romney: "We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world," Cameron said. "Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere." Romney, who has made "No Apology" the centerpiece of his foreign policy, subsequently apologized,walking back his comments doubting London's readiness.
I guess the moral of the story is that Mitt Romney has all of Dick Cheney's diplomatic talent ... with none of his charm.