Karl Rove said Mitt Romney’s London Olympics gaffe is not “a big deal” in the grand scheme of things, but the veteran Republican strategist is nonetheless one more political observer scratching his head at Romney’s mistake.
The takeaway from Romney’s big blunder seems to be not his knock on London’s preparedness specifically, but that he managed to blow what was seemingly an un-blowable opportunity. Politicos ranging from Charles Krauthammer to Harry Reid have expressed utter amazement that Romney could have blown what was in the end, a glorified photo op.
“I would go there and I would say, ‘They have done a remarkably good job. I know how they have been hurt with the economy. But they have done this. I have done it myself. It’s so hard to do, and they have done a remarkably good job,’” Reid told the Huffington Post. “That’s what they should have done. He would have been cheered and not have the mayor, before 60,000 people, belittle one of our major party nominees.”
On Fox News Friday, Rove became the latest to share in the collective astonishment:
“You have to shake your head. Gov. Romney went to the London Olympics at invitation of the International Olympic Committee. It was a great opportunity for him to talk about his experiences, look, he stepped away from the leadership of Bain Capital for three years in order to step in and save the floundering Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002. I bet there is lots of stories he could be talking about what a wonderful experience that was and how uplifting and inspiring it was. Instead he got stuck making a, somehow or another that the comments the Brits took as insult, and walked it back pretty quickly and walked it back adroitly but nonetheless the damage was done.