Salt Lake City invites Cameron to 'nowhere'

2012-07-27 11:00

Washington - Salt Lake City's mayor extended a tongue-in-cheek invitation on Thursday to host British Prime Minister David Cameron, offering him a map to show him where the "middle of nowhere" is.

The taunt was the latest salvo in a transatlantic heated exchange over the Olympics.

It all started when US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney made some ill-advised remarks about London's Olympic preparations after arriving in Britain on the first-stop of an international tour designed to showcase his diplomatic skills.

Within hours of landing, NBC television broadcast an interview in which Romney, a Republican, said it was "hard to know just how well" the Olympics will turn out and said there were "a few things that were disconcerting".

He even questioned the British Olympic spirit, adding: "Do they come together and celebrate the Olympic moment? That's something which we only find out once the Games actually begin."

The British press poured scorn on Romney's comments.

Belittling response

"Mitt Romney is perhaps the only politician who could start a trip that was supposed to be a charm offensive by being utterly devoid of charm and mildly offensive," the right-leaning The Daily Telegraph said.

The tabloid Daily Mail was more forthright demanding: "Who invited him?"

Cameron duly responded with what was believed to be a veiled attempt to belittle one of Romney's crowning achievements, his rescue of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City from financial ruin.

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

Cue a prickly but amusing response from Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.

"While those of us who have had the fortune of visiting London know it is certainly a wonderful city, Prime Minister Cameron's comments likely reflect his lack of familiarity with Salt Lake City," he said through his spokesperson Art Raymond.

"He can stop by, any time - we'd love to have him and happy to send a map so he doesn't run into any trouble locating the middle of nowhere," said the statement sent to AFP.

  • Stirrer - 2012-07-27 11:15

    Politicians. *** facepalm ***

      Squeegee - 2012-07-27 11:35

      Cameron is going to look really stupid if things go wrong at the Olympics. After the Flag debacle the first day, I hope nothing else goes South. (pun intended)

      Squeegee - 2012-07-27 19:01

      Another mess up in London - this time at the archery event. Romney may well be proved correct: " While the London Olympics site clearly states that the event isn't open to the public, many other sites, including the Daily Mail, listed it as a free event. Others even sold illegal bogus tickets."

  • francois.viljoen.12 - 2012-07-27 12:20

    but lets be fair, Romney is an idiot. his wife does more talking then he does! Heaven helps the States if he wins the elections

      nick.armstrong.1800 - 2012-07-27 12:55

      Heaven help the US if Obama wins...! Heaven help them if either wins... Obama is a fraud! Hot air and bluster and empty promises - which swept him to power.. Swept to power by a nation hungry for change.. Only to be lied to by the pathetic, hand-wringing, Socialist machine that is the Democrats.. The only - and I mean - ONLY - US politician who truly represents genuine, genuine change - change in everything - from the financial system to the system of government - is Dr. Ron Paul.. Unfortunately - the Establishment 'sidelined' him and his messages (the same now as they were 30 years ago - the simple truth of freedom and civil liberties never changes).. The people have not listened.. The 'teacher' appeared, yet the 'pupil' was not ready... The US could've led the way in these coming times of change and Transformation.. It's now not to be, and what we've been 'heading for' for years/centuries - shall now come to pass...

  • lerato.kay.3 - 2012-07-27 12:46

    In the western world people are really proud of their countries, I like the way British media stood up to defend their country despite all the problems associated with London Olympics. We can’t say the same about our own media; I remember how they were attacking their own country to the extent of etv inviting a would-be 2010 murderer for an interview!

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