(WASHINGTON) — Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs on Sunday said that Mitt Romney “embarrassed” himself in London when he questioned the readiness of the city to host the Olympics.
“Mitt Romney wondered aloud whether London was ready for the Olympics, and I think it’s clear that voters in this country wonder aloud whether Mitt Romney is ready for the world, and I think the world is not yet ready for Mitt Romney,” Gibbs said on ABC’s This Week. “Literally to go overseas, stand in the country of our strongest ally, and on Olympics that they’ve been preparing for years for, and question whether or not they’re ready does make you wonder whether or not he’s ready to be commander-in-chief…I’m happy David Cameron had the last word, because I thought it was embarrassing for our country.”
Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, was verbally tweaked by London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, and also by Prime Minister David Cameron, after Romney questioned the readiness of London to host the Olympics just days before they got underway in the U.K., a strong ally of the United States.
“There are a few things that were disconcerting,” Romney said. “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.”
Romney campaign senior adviser Kevin Madden, joining Gibbs during This Week, brushed off the remarks by the former Obama press secretary.
“I don’t think that a gaffe or a YouTube moment is really going to make or break this particular election. I think it’s going to be about the direction of the country, how we rebuild the economy, how we continue to have a stronger national security posture around the globe,” Madden said. “I think that the headlines that — that come out of London on one day are not going to be as important as the overall view that people take when it comes to our economic prosperity here at home and then our safety and security around the globe.”
For his part, President Obama has come under attack from the GOP for comments he made earlier this month in which he said “if you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.” Gibbs lashed out at the Romney campaign for what he said was ”selectively” editing the president’s words.
“We’re not going to let him play his tried-and-true role as prep school bully,” said Gibbs, who seemed to reference reporting by the Washington Post earlier this year that Romney bullied a gay student while in high school.
Madden countered that Obama bears responsibility for the negativity engulfing the presidential campaign.
“He promised to challenge the status quo. And instead, he’s been very much a conventional politician over the last three-and-a-half years,” Madden said.
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