Salt Lake City Winter Olympics: Hey Mitt, You Didn’t Build That

Did the government pay for the fireworks over the Mormon Temple during the 2002 opening ceremony?

We’ve been stupefied at the public relations disaster that has been Mitt Romney’s European vacation.

Especially amazing is that the candidate would want to draw attention to his role in the 2002 Winter Olympics, particularly in light of his effort to disavow the impact of infrastructure and public works in American business success (and if you don’t think it makes a difference, just ask a Somalian).

Romney used his role as CEO of the 2002 games, held in Mormon world headquarters, aka Salt Lake City, Utah, to jump-start his successful bid for governor of Massachusetts. But as this article in the Washington Examiner notes, the event wasn’t exactly a one-man show.

Romney: “No matter how well we did cutting costs and raising revenue, we couldn’t have games without the support of the federal government’

In Romney’s book “Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership and the Olympic Games,” Romney describes in a chapter entitled “Funds from the Feds” how he lobbied Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for funding, saying he “would need hundreds of millions of dollars worth of federal support from a long list of departments.”

“No matter how well we did cutting costs and raising revenue, we couldn’t have games without the support of the federal government,” Romney wrote.


Romney Fails at Diplomacy on Day One of European Tour

Mitt Romney is in Europe this week for two reasons. He is there to watch his wife’s horse compete in a dressage event at the Olympics, and, by the way, to show that he has the diplomatic chops and foreign-affairs know-how to be president of the United States.

“You know, it’s hard to know just how well it will turn out. There are a few things that were disconcerting.”
– Mitt Romney in London

On the latter bit, he has already failed.

Romney’s trip got off to a rocky start even before he left the country yesterday. Two of his advisers anonymously told the London Telegraph that Romney, whose father was born in Mexico and was white, is “part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage,” implying that President Obama, whose father was a born a British citizen but was black, was not. Now Romney has insulted his hosts by criticizing the London Olympics even before the opening ceremonies have gotten underway:


Romney to Olympic Athletes in 2002: ‘You Didn’t Get Here Solely on Your Own Power’

You Olympians, however, know you didn’t get here solely on your own power. For most of you, loving parents, sisters or brothers, encouraged your hopes, coaches guided, communities built venues in order to organize competitions. All Olympians stand on the shoulders of those who lifted them. We’ve already cheered the Olympians, let’s also cheer the parents, coaches, and communities. All right! [pumps fist].

— Mitt Romney in 2002, several shakes of the Etch-A-Sketch ago.