Top advisers to both presidential candidates squared off on Sunday over Mitt Romney’s overseas trip, with Romney adviser Kevin Madden arguing that his candidate's well-publicized gaffes abroad will have no bearing on the election and Obama adviser Robert Gibbs saying they indicate he’s not ready for the presidency.
“Look, 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," Gibbs said on ABC’s This Week. "I think the world is not yet ready for Mitt Romney.”
When Romney told NBC’s Brian Williams in an interview last week that there were “disconcerting” signs that London wasn't ready to host the Olympics, his statement amounted to an international incident, prompting a snarky response from British Prime Minister David Cameron, who said that “of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere,” a thinly-veiled reference to Salt Lake City, where Romney ran the 2002 Olympics.
He was jeered at on the streets of London and lambasted by British press, and spent much of the subsequent few days backpedaling on his comments, saying on NBC’s Today show that, “after being here a couple days, it looks like London is ready.”
Though the incident may have left a sour taste in the mouths of many Brits, Madden said that he doesn't believe the gaffe will have a lasting impact on the election in the U.S.
“I think this is an election, again, that the public is viewing around big things. I don't think that a gaffe or a YouTube moment is really going to make or break this particular election,” he said.
But Gibbs said Romney’s misstep in London was more than just a slip of the tongue.
“Literally to go overseas, stand in the country of our strongest ally, and an 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,” he said.