Romney kicks off foreign tour in UK but won’t stay for wife’s horse to compete in Olympics

Updated
 
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney arrives at 10 Downing Street to meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London, July 26.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney arrives at 10 Downing Street to meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London, July 26.
Jason Reed / Reuters

Mitt Romney’s first stop on his three-country tour was London where he met with British government officials Thursday, including Prime Minister David Cameron. 

Romney will remain in England for the kickoff of the 2012 Summer Olympics in which his wife Ann has a horse competing in the “dressage” category on the U.S. Olympic Equestrian team.

The candidate was quick to distance himself from the decidedly non-proletarian sport, though, telling NBC’s Brian Williams: “It’s a big exciting experience for my wife…This is Ann’s sport. I’m not even sure which day the sport goes on…I will not be watching the event.”

The Morning Joe crew poked fun at the candidate’s seeming obliviousness (video after the jump). “If my wife were in the Olympics—the Olympics—I think I would show a little more enthusiasm,” commented Willie Geist, reporting from London. “That must have been some sort of political calculation. He really ought to tune in. His wife is at the Olympics. It’s kind of exciting.”

His wife will stay on for the competition, Romney added during his interview with Williams. 

Romney led the U.S. Olympic Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics, which took place in Salt Lake City.

 

Ann Romney's horse, Rafalca, trots around the ring after placing third in the National Grand Prix Dressage Championship at the United States Equestrian Federation Festival of Champions in June.

Israel and Poland are the next stops for Romney on his international trip, which Peter Beinart wrote on The Daily Beast “smacks of Cold War nostalgia” due to the chosen locales.

When asked by a reporter in London what he thought of the country’s austerity measures, the presidential candidate turned the other cheek.

“While I’m on foreign soil, I’m very careful not to be critical of my own government’s policies,” he said. “I would be even more remiss if I were to be critical of any other government’s policies.”

That comment seems to support critiques of the foreign tour that have said it will be “heavy on fanfare, light on foreign policy,” as The Wall Street Journal put it.

Olympics, Sports and Mitt Romney

Romney kicks off foreign tour in UK but won't stay for wife's horse to compete in Olympics

Updated