stuck in the mittle

Mitt Romney’s Campaign Is Doing Its Best to Distract People from His British Gaffe Jaunt

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26: Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for the USA presidential election, leaves 10 Downing Street after meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron on July 26, 2012 in London, England. Mr Romney is meeting various leaders, past and present, on his visit to the UK, including Tony Blair, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Romney in London. Photo: Oli Scarff/2012 Getty Images

In the wake of Mitt Romney’s troubled visit to London — where he managed to dis the Olympics and draw the public ire of Prime Minister David Cameron, Mayor Boris Johnson, and most of the British citizenry while blabbing about secret meetings and weirdly undermining his wife and her fancy horse — campaign aide (and work wife) Beth Myers tweeted what looks like the candidate’s VP shortlist. When asked about the post (which included @BobbyJindal, @marcorubio, and @robportman), she gave a response both social-media-savvy and regular-media-baiting: “It’s a Friday follow.” Intriguing, right?

The campaign also announced its readiness for a “Saturday Obama Surprise.” What does that mean, you ask? Well, it’s a surprise — duh! — but Romney’s people would like for everyone to know that they’re prepared:

We want to communicate to the world that we are ready for whatever they throw at us,” a Romney adviser told BuzzFeed unsolicited. “After poor economic numbers today, we are preparing for them to throw out absurdities, distractions, and anything else they can to divert from the economy.”

It’s well into the afternoon and we haven’t noticed any surprises, but we’ll go ahead and keep watching because that’s our job. The sneaky Obama campaign, for its part, insists that they haven’t got anything up their sleeve for today — a spokesman called the suggestion “dog-wagging that would make David Mamet blush.”

Meanwhile, observers are still discussing Romney’s flubbing of what should have been an easy opportunity to make nice to the outside world. Though he was quick to say that the London gaffe was ultimately “not a big deal,” none other than Karl Rove could not help but express his amazement at the candidate’s ability to offend our closest ally. “You have to shake your head,” he told Fox News Friday. He went to say that while Romney could have stuck to “talking about what a wonderful experience” he had heading the Salt Lake City Olympics, he “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.”

And now it’s on to Jerusalem, where Romney’s pro-Israel stance and longtime friendship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should make for a warm reception. Of course, we now know that nothing is foolproof.

Romney Campaign Tries to Distract From UK Visit