Mitt Romney is having a hard time in the UK during his first international trip as the Republican candidate for president.
In an interview with NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams earlier this week, the presumptive GOP nominee criticized London's readiness for the Olympics, saying there were "disconcerting" signs around the Games, and it was "hard to know just how well it will turn out.”
Romney led the Salt Lake City Olympic Games in 2002. Reaction to his criticism was blunt and immediate.
“I hear there's a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we're ready,” London Mayor Boris Johnson told a crowd of at least 60,000. “He wants to know whether we're ready. Are we ready? Are we ready? Yes, we are.”
Prime Minister David Cameron also criticized the remarks and pointed his own criticism at Romney that “of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere."
This controversy follows comments from an unnamed Romney aide earlier this week that the candidate appreciates the two countries' “Anglo-Saxon heritage” better than President Barack Obama.
Both comments have put the Romney campaign on the defensive, messaging wise. In an interview today with Williams' colleague Matt Lauer, Romney said, "I'm absolutely convinced the people here are ready for the games."
Moving forward, Romney is likely to have a warmer reception this Saturday in Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has major differences with Obama, notes The Washington Post.