Mitt Romney handed Barack Obama a potential gift for the US presidential election campaign when the presumptive Republican nominee blundered on his first diplomatic outing by questioning whether London was capable of staging a successful Olympic Games.
In a move that astonished Downing Street, hours before it laid on a special reception for Romney at No 10, he told NBC there were “disconcerting” signs about the preparations for the Games. One senior Whitehall source said: “What a total shocker. We are speechless.”
David Cameron wasted no time in rebuking Romney hours after his remarks were broadcast. On a visit to the Olympic Park, the prime minister said: “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities in the world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.”
Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday told reporters outside 10 Downing Street in London that his meetings with British officials included one with Sir John Sawers, head of the Secret Intelligence Service MI6. British news outlets called the comment a gaffe, since meetings with MI6 – Britain’s equivalent of the CIA – are typically kept under wraps.
the art and practice of conducting negotiations between nations for the attainment of mutually satisfactory terms <the technique of direct diplomacy, whereby responsible members of governments deal with each other face to face instead of through ambassadors or other intermediaries — N.F.Busch> <secondly, there is the other kind of diplomacy … : the search for agreement between friends on policies and tactics and timing — Lester Pearson> — compareDIPLOMATIC AGENT b : the procedures, methods, and forms employed in conducting such negotiations diplomacy> <forget that diplomacy is itself a skilled profession — Llewellyn Woodward> diplomacy> c : the skillful or successful settlement of differences between peoples <diplomacy is the peaceful resolution of disputes between autonomous groups — M.J.Herskovits> d : a statesman’s or nation’s policies and strategies in conducting foreign relations <when the diplomacy of certain aggressive statesmen was employed to isolate a particular enemy so as to facilitate his defeat — C.J.Friedrich>