Home / Dave Brockington / Mitt Romney, Diplomat

Mitt Romney, Diplomat


Most of us have seen this, but I still find it fantastic that Romney wasn’t adequately prepared for his trip to London.  Let’s see, travel to London on the literal eve of the 2012 Olympic games hosted by the same, and make some disparaging remarks about a Great Britain’s ability to organise said games.  It really adds to the impact that the UK already has a healthy chip on its shoulder about the United States.  Pure comedy gold.

I disagree with The Guardian‘s headline that “Mitt Romney’s Olympics blunder stuns No 10 and hands gift to Obama”. Stunned 10 Downing Street, sure. Make any difference in November?  Hardly.

I never thought I’d offer accolades to either, but the best line of this non issue issue either goes to 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.

Or The Telegraph:

Mitt Romney is perhaps the only politician who could start a trip that was supposed to be a charm offensive by being utterly devoid of charm and mildly offensive.

When the Olympics gaffe is placed along side this post over at TDS (headline below) we have the makings of a real winner here.

The invasion of Iraq overthrew Iran’s most lethal enemy and replaced it with a regime that is now Iran’s closest and most reliable ally. Depressingly, Mitt Romney has chosen the architects of this massive strategic fiasco as his principal advisors.

It’s a good thing for Romney that foreign policy doesn’t really matter much.

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  • Malaclypse

    It gets better:

    “We’re at a point here where we have two different roads we can go down. One leads to Europe. The other leads to the kind of dynamism and prosperity which has always characterised America.”

    • Holden Pattern

      England: not properly part of Europe. This is how that red-meat wingnuttery can be explained away by the Tories.

      • wengler

        And proud of it! They’ve accessed the same logic that made Dick Cheney the fourth branch of government.

  • Cody

    Romney is hard at work on the “special relationship” between the UK and US. I suppose this interaction is going to involve more “special”, and less “relationship” in it if Romney gets elected.

  • How bad at this is Mitt Romney? He makes David Cameron look brilliant!

    • Captain Splendid

      This. I’m also loving the rut ol’ Mitt’s gotten into. Individually, these gaffes might not mean much at the polls, but I think come November, a lot of independents will pick Obama for simply being the less annoying and goofy centrist technocrat.

      • Dana


        Foreign policy means nothing, but constantly reminding people you’re a clueless patrician is gold.

      • CJColucci

        Reminds me of Sam Spade explaining all the reasons for turning in Brigid O’Shaughnessy. Maybe they’re not all important, he won’t argue about that: “But look at the number of them.”

    • blowback

      I really hate that because Cameron is a real tosser, but I will say the Romney make G W Bush look like a fucking genius!

    • DrDick

      He is even being compared unfavorably to Sarah Palin by the Brits now.

      • c u n d gulag

        No wonder John “America’s Sh*tties Surviving Fighter Pilot” McCain chose “The Whore of Babblin’ On” over this rich, entitled, tax-dodging twit.

        • c u n d gulag


          “Sh*ttiest,” not “Shitties” – which is what the thought of a Romney Presidency give me.

          y kent oui haz “Edit” lyke tha otha sights dew?

          • c u n d gulag

            Double Sheesh!!

            “Gives,” not ‘give.’

            Ah, f*ck-it – I give up!

            • No, “give” is right. Shitties, like willies, is plural and the noun “give” is objectifying.

              • c u n d gulag

                No writa da Englese.

          • John “America’s Sh*tties Surviving Fighter Pilot” McCain

            I knew John McCain was Muslin, but I didn’t realize he was a Shittes Muslin.

  • mark f

    make some disparaging remarks about a Great Britain’s ability to organise said games

    To be fair, a Stupendous Britain would probably be doing a much better job of it.

    • DrDick

      That may be the only thing he has ever said that I sort of actually agree with.

  • David W.

    Since Romney’s visit to the U.K. was to give a boost to his foreign policy image and to recall his Olympic experience, his gaffe is mystifying to say the least. Contrast that with Obama’s 2008 visit to Berlin where Obama made a huge splash, and make of that what you will.

    • daveNYC

      You know who else was popular in Berlin?

      • Jole

        David Bowie?

      • Pith Helmet

        David Hasselhoff

      • Incontinentia Buttocks

        Dean Reed?

      • Colin Day

        John F. Kennedy?

      • The Beatles? OK, Frankfurt and Berlin but still…

        • burritoboy

          That would be Hamburg and not Frankfurt. I don’t think the Beatles got to Frankfurt until much later.

      • Hogan

        Sally Bowles.

      • burritoboy


      • burritoboy

        Actually, the NSDAP (Nazi party) were particularly unpopular in Berlin itself (at least, before they grabbed all power). The Party headquarters were in Munich, not Berlin, until after their takeover (and it took some years to bring the majority of the party machinery to Berlin). Berlin itself instead was the biggest SPD and KPD stronghold by far, and was distinctly viewed as a potentially troublesome city, perhaps the most potentially troublesome city.

    • Bart

      Can’t wait until he gets to Poland.

      • dmf

        Don’t forget Poland!

  • Pithlord

    Cameron’s line is kind of funny, but it seems like a big diplomatic error of its own. After all, Romeny has about a 50/50 chance of becoming President and Cameron just dissed his big achievement/insulted the Mormon homeland.

    • Cody

      Romney started it! Welcome to British politics Romney.

      • ploeg

        This is the relevant point. If you go there, you take your lumps.

      • Ken

        Yeah, if Mitt can’t handle a remark like that, he’s not going to make it through his first Question Time in the House.

    • Amanda in the South Bay

      Are you being serious? I’m pretty sure Cameron doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Utah, Mormonism and how that would play into a hypothetical President Romney’s relations with GB.

      • Mitt Romeny


        • commie atheist

          Anglo-Saxon Huns!

    • wengler

      Maybe. But the UK has already had a number of highly visible screwups before the Olympics have even officially begun and it’s the Cameron government that is looking stupid because of it. I’m guessing the last thing he needs is some US politician coming over and taking potshots at him.

      Also where are the stories about the notorious bribery of the IOC over Salt Lake City?

      • Manta

        I thought that “IOC” and “notorious bribery” were synonyms.

      • John

        This is the best thing that’s happened to Cameron in some time. The tabloids have all forgotten about attacking his government for fucking up the Olympics, and switched over to attacking Mitt Romney for attacking Cameron’s government for fucking up the Olympics.

    • njorl

      It’s good to put Romney on notice that if he plans on being an absolute jackass, he won’t even be supported by conservative allied governments. I’m sure the English have no desire to invade Iran. Letting Romney know you’re willing to call him an idiot in front of the whole world seems prudent.

  • Darkrose

    This is the funny that keeps on giving, too: he talked in public about meeting the head of MI6–which is apparently Not Done–and then mentioned looking out “the backside” of No. 10.

    Also, his trip to Israel may not start well. Bibi has categorically denied that he and Mitt were ever friends, let alone the BFF’s Mitt’s been claiming they are.

  • Jim Lynch

    Does this spell the doom of Romney’s “Anglo-Saxon uber alles” talking point?

    • Cody

      No, the people that are voting for him will buy it anyways. It doesn’t really matter what he does – Republicans are suckers for stupid leaders.

  • I disagree that this is meaningless in November. This – or, I should say, “these” – don’t just tell us about Mitt Romney and foreign policy; they tell us something about Mitt Romney, the man. He’s made himself look like a clown again. Hatred isn’t fatal is politics; laughter is fatal.

    Also, foreign policy won’t matter in this election…unless something happens between now and November. But what could possibly happen?

    • ploeg

      Agreed. “This” might not make any difference in November, at least by itself, but Mitt is a perpetual “this”-producing machine. It’s as if Mitt’s staff packed Mitt on the earliest possible flight overseas so that Mitt could do “this” where “this” hopefully might not do so much harm.

    • Pithlord

      Hard to imagine a swing voter in Ohio caring about this. Obama is way ahead on foreign policy anyway, but that’s not what decides elections.

      • NonyNony

        This isn’t about foreign policy, actually. This is trivial stupidity.

        Trivial stupidity is what a sizeable chunk of swing voters are all about. Which candidate looks stupid in a tank? Which candidate said something out of touch about supermarket grocery scanners? Which candidate claims to have invented the Internet? Which candidate acts like a robot made out of wood? Which candidate would you like to have a beer with?

        “Haw haw, Romney’s a moron” sways more people than it should. People don’t like to vote for losers, they like to vote for winners.

        • Uncle Kvetch

          I’m old enough to be having flashbacks of Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford…

        • Pithlord

          I defer to Scott, but isnt the social science evidence that this stuff -Dukakis in a tank, Ford unaware that Poland was in the Warsaw Pact, the Swiftboating – actually didnt matter? Journalists and political junkies just create narratives that retrospectively explain voting results that were actually economically determined?

          • njorl

            It might matter to 512 voters.

            • ligne

              never underestimate the power of two.

          • John

            Social science evidence? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Political scientists certainly put a lot of stock in very limited data sets.

      • It’s easy to see a swing voter in Iowa caring about whether or not she can take Mitt Romney seriously as a President, if enough of “these” accumulate.

        It’s particularly unhelpful on his first real appearance on the world stage.

        • STH

          Well, I think these things have a greater impact if they feed into an ongoing narrative; if Obama can tie this into the “clueless rich guy” meme, it could help him.

        • Cody

          Personally, I look at it more in the angle of his campaign strategy. Now he is once again on the defensive. After being shoved into the label of “vulture capitalist” by Obama this month, he followed it up by gaffes on foreign policy.

          The foreign policy doesn’t help, but now he has nothing to distract us from his Bain record. What’s he going to say? “Look at what I’m doing now – insulting the UK and such while in London – instead of what Obama told you I did 10 years ago!”

      • rea

        Look, he’s on on this tour for a reason–he’s trying to emphasize his differences from Obama on foriegn policy–supposedly closer to our traditional European allies and less likely to take shit from Mooslums and orientals. His handlers wouldn’t have him doing this if they didn’t think it was important, maybe not to the masses of voters, but certainly to the elites to whom a Republican ordinarily looks for support. Day 1 of the trip, he attacks Obama for supposedly not appreciating the historic “Anglo-Saxon” alliance. Day 2 of the trip, he starts fights with every British politician in sight.

        Whatever this trip was supposed to accomplish, it’s not accomplishing it, due to Romney’s incompetence.

        • chris

          Whatever this trip was supposed to accomplish, it’s not accomplishing it, due to Romney’s incompetence.

          Well, that’s one interpretation. The other is that this is the NAACP speech writ large — he went there to get booed, because having foreigners hate him proves he’s more American. Screw foreigners anyway, that’s what Real Americans think.

          …I hope it would take a serious kool-aid overdose to make him think that’s a winning strategy, but low-information voters never fail to disappoint.

  • Donalbain

    London Mayor Boris Johnson got in a little dig as well. Referring to Mitt as “some guy called Mitt Romney”.

    • Mitt Romney is going to become a stereotype for Americans before this trip is over.

      When people in other countries want to tell an American joke, it’s going to start “So Mitt Romney walks into a pub…”

      • KadeKo

        As long as Mittster doesn’t profess his love of football, the real kind.

        I already have to overcome being a footie fan from America to begin with, when it comes to Britons, Continentals, and South Americans.

      • mds

        When people in other countries want to tell an American joke, it’s going to start “So Mitt Romney walks into a pub…”

        …and can’t drink anything, but he does fire all the patrons.”

        • Barack Obama wants to surrender to terrorists!

          While Mitt Romney pulls up next to them, gets out of the car, hands them his keys, and tells them to put on their name tags like the rest of the staff.

  • scott

    I got this off the Political Wire site below, but in his campaign book he apparently dissed England as a small place that doesn’t make anything anybody wants. Grace and tact don’t seem to be his strong points.


    • wjts

      “England is just a small island. Its roads and houses are small.”

      “Its trees are the wrong height. I do not like England.”

      • SEK

        Also, of course, England isn’t an island.

        • rea

          Not an island?

          This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle,
          This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
          This other Eden, demi-paradise,
          This fortress built by Nature for herself
          Against infection and the hand of war,
          This happy breed of men, this little world,
          This precious stone set in the silver sea,
          Which serves it in the office of a wall
          Or as a moat defensive to a house
          Against the envy of less happier lands,
          This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

          Well, yes, calling England an island is a bit disrespectful of Scotland and Wales, but there is ample precedent.

      • Win.

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  • rea

    You have to admit it’s impressive: only a day or so after accusing Obama of insufficient sensitivity to the historic alliance of Anglo-Saxon countries, he’s got himself into a slagging match with the Prime Minister of Great Britain.

  • Hogan

    Mitt Romney is perhaps the only politician who could start a trip that was supposed to be a charm offensive by being utterly devoid of charm and mildly offensive.

    And that’s what his friends are saying about him.

    • mds

      Oh, I think someone at Romney HQ will rue the day they clained the Telegraph was lying about that whole “Anglo-Saxon” story.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Brockington,

    I think it’s great that you are able to bring your perspective to this issue since you are from across the pond and it’s very welcome.

    When you post on issues that are American issues…..not so much.

    • That is some weak sauce trolling

      • wengler

        He could’ve at last made fun of Plymouth.

        • firefall

          Isn’t that kind of redundant, like mocking Belgium?

          I mean … Plymouth.

      • DrDick

        Not even aware that Dave is American. Fucking clueless trolling.

        • Also, “across the pond”? Who the fuck says that?

          • I do! Sometimes “across the puddle,” too.

            A not so secret shame? Is “across the pond” to be thrown under the bus?

            • firefall

              Me too, although across the pond is usually reserved for trans-Pacific, while the Big Ditch is used for the Atlantic

              • Really? Is that a West Coas thing? I’ve never heard Big Ditch.

                • firefall

                  Aussie/Kiwi thing :)

              • Katya

                I, a resident of the eastern seaboard, usually hear “across the pond” in reference to transatlantic relations.

            • Slocum

              Is “across the pond” to be thrown under the bus?

              Just stop ramming it down our throats.

              • Pseudonym

                Sounds like a game changer to me.

          • McKingford

            Lane Pryce.

            • Before or after hanging himself?

    • Stag Party Palin

      Not only RTIQ (room temperature IQ) but room temperature in the Hebrides.

      • DrDick

        At Ice Station Zebra, I think.

  • In fact that trolling is almost as horrible and gaffe-filled as Mitt Romney’s trip thus far

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  • wengler

    Romney adviser: You need to go somewhere to highlight your foreign policy.

    Romney: Where?

    Adviser: I dunno. London? They’ve got the Olympics and you did that.

    (Romney goes to London)

    Romney: OK I’m here. Now what?

    Adviser: Everyone I’ve called is busy with the Olympics and won’t do a photo op.


    • NonyNony

      Naw. Romney is there to visit his money. Photo ops and political talk are incidental.

      I’m actually wondering if Romney is seething in his hotel room now shaking his fist and insisting that they’ll all rue the day that they mocked him.

    • Murc

      Demand to see London’s manager! Make London rue the day it thought it could give Mitt Romney attitude! Do you know who he is? He’s the man who’s gonna burn your economy down! With the derivatives!

      He’s going to get his accountants to invent a financial derivative that burns your economy down!

      • firefall


      • NonyNony

        You mock, but if Romney loses this election he’s going to try to figure out a way to acquire London and make them pay. Possibly literally if he can acquire it via a leveraged buyout.

        • Cody

          Maybe he will rename the town to Bikinis like this banker.

          The capital of England will be Bikini, which I find very ironic.

      • Only slightly off-target is this bit of Onion win: http://www.theonion.com/articles/romney-spends-most-of-factory-visit-yelling-at-emp,28508/

        According to sources, the GOP candidate continually screamed at workers throughout the expansive paper mill to “stop slacking off,” and in some cases even stood behind individual employees for as long as 15 minutes, loudly critiquing what he called the “unbelievable sloppiness” on display during every step of the paper’s production cycle.

  • anniecat45

    There’s a Twitter hashtag now, #romneyshambles, and the tweets are laugh-out-loud funny. Sample:

    “London hasn’t seen this big a bombing since World War II”

    • Barry Freed

      Also #AmericanBorat

      • swearyanthony

        Also #MittsterBean after Podhoretz (!) called him that on the twooters.

  • DMN

    Why do they hate us?

  • Anonymous

    Mitt Romney, Diplomat

    You’re thinking of the old unreformed LDS. Mitt’s only a monoplomat.

    • firefall

      Oh priceless!

      • herr doktor bimler

        In that case, “anonymous” was me.

  • JR in WV

    I saw – what, 80,000 people? – cheer the Mayor’s jab at Willard, and it was wonderful.

    Please, some rich liberal, use that in a commercial over and over and over until next Xmas!!

    And Mr. Rommoney – please don’t stop doing what you have been doing.

    And whoever said Willard’s advisers were responsible for the greatest foreign policy disaster since Chamberlain’s visit to the Sudentland, WIN!!! That was wonderful.

    Please, FSM, don’t let this cretin become the leader of the “free world”! Please!

    • rea

      the greatest foreign policy disaster since Chamberlain’s visit to the Sudentland

      Chamberlain didn’t visit the Sudetenland.

      • Pseudonym

        Not even retroactively?

  • CJColucci

    Dear World:

    We apologize for Mitt Romney.



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  • Rotterdam
    • Malaclypse

      EvenTheLiberal Piers Morgan? Via the scrupulous video editors employed by the dead cokehead? By Jove, that exonerates Mittens completely!

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