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CNN Refutes CNN's Claim That Romney Is In Hot Water Overseas

CNN hyped Mitt Romney's "rocky start" to his London trip, casting his concern for the security at the London Olympics as a flap. However, British CNN host Piers Morgan shot down that sentiment completely by stating Romney is "absolutely right."

"I mean, it's no secret over here that for the last three weeks, the security at the Olympics has been in shambles," sounded Morgan. "Mitt Romney was only saying exactly what's been happening. And he's run an Olympics, so I thought he was perfectly entitled to be critical." 

CNN host Fareed Zakaria also threw water on CNN's frenzy over Romney's "latest flap," saying "I think this is probably we in the media making more of this than it deserves to be."

[Video below. Audio here.]

The quote in question was from Romney's Wednesday interview with NBC's Brian Williams. "There are a few things that are disconcerting, 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 said of the preparations for the Olympics in London.

Anchor Brooke Baldwin thought the British would be in an uproar, quipping that "it's a good thing the British do not vote in our elections, good for Mitt Romney, that is." However, moments later Morgan threw that assumption back in her face by agreeing with Romney.

"But I thought it was a bit of a fuss about nothing. They have had some issues here, especially about security, and he was just speaking the truth, which sometimes can be rather unpalatable," Morgan said.

CNN reported on the controversy hour after hour on Thursday. Correspondent Jim Acosta touted Romney's "making waves" with the statement, with Prime Minister David Cameron getting defensive about Britain's security efforts for the Olympic games.

"We are holding an Olympic games in one of the most busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. I mean, of course, it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere," Cameron responded.

However, CNN correspondent Becky Anderson said that people on the streets of London were not familiar with Romney, much less his remarks.

"So, as far as those comments are concerned, they are certainly not making the front pages of the press here. People will know more about who he is after he leaves, I think, people will cover the story. But as we speak today here on Parliament Square, it is all about the torch," she reported from London.

A transcript of the segments, which aired on July 26 on CNN Newsroom beginning at 2:01 p.m. EDT, is as follows:

[2:01]

BROOKE BALDWIN: And it's a good thing the British do not vote in our elections, good for Mitt Romney, that is. Romney's audition as an international statesman is, quite honestly, off to a rocky start for what he said about the Olympics there on the eve of the big global event. London awoke to Romney second-guessing its preparation. Listen to this.

(Video Clip)

MITT ROMNEY, Republican presidential candidate: You know, it's hard to know just how well it will turn out. There are a few things that are disconcerting, 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.

(End Video Clip)

(...)

BROOKE BALDWIN: But I just have to ask you first, we played the sound from Mitt Romney earlier. I believe the word he used describing the Olympics, and the preparation or lack thereof in terms of security is "disconcerted." I'm just curious, how are the Brits feeling today over those comments?

PIERS MORGAN: (chuckles) I thought he was absolutely right, wasn't he? I mean, it's no secret over here that for the last three weeks, the security at the Olympics has been in shambles. The outside firm they got in to run it has been all over the place, they didn't have enough people, and the army had to be drafted in. So Mitt Romney was only saying exactly what's been happening. And he's run an Olympics, so I thought he was perfectly entitled to be critical. Clearly, he had to slightly change his rhetoric after the Brits pointed out, hang on a second, old boy, you've got to talk us up a bit. But I thought it was a bit of a fuss about nothing. They have had some issues here, especially about security, and he was just speaking the truth, which sometimes can be rather unpalatable.

(...)

[3:03]

BROOKE BALDWIN: You heard the soundbite, both earlier on with NBC and after the fact, after he met with David Cameron. He's overseas, London, Poland, Israel, to bolster his foreign policy cred. But would you say he's off to a bit of a rocky start? Is that fair?

FAREED ZAKARIA: I think this is probably we in the media making more of this than it deserves to be. But I would say this, Brooke, he does seem in general not very well briefed on foreign policy. For example, while this was a very minor issue, I think that one of the first rules when you're a kind of visiting dignitary is you never criticize the host country for anything.

-- Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center