(WASHINGTON) — Mitt Romney’s recent Olympics flap may have caused a stir overseas, but two top Romney surrogates here in the U.S. — Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Bob McDonnell of Virginia — don’t think the comments will cause a major problem for the former Massachusetts governor.
“We’re not worried about overseas headlines. We’re worried about voters back here at home in America,” Jindal said on a conference call Thursday afternoon. “Gov. Romney has said that he expected the London Olympics to be a phenomenal success. The reality is we’re all rooting for our American athletes. We hope they come back with a bunch of medals, and I’m sure they’re going to be very successful, but the reality is the focus needs to continue to be on the issues that are important to voters back home.”
McDonnell, who toured Iowa aboard a Romney campaign bus with Jindal Thursday, chimed in after the Louisiana governor’s response, saying, “I agree.”
Romney, who often touts his leadership of the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, ruffled some feathers in London when he said there were “disconcerting” signs about London’s preparedness for the Olympic games.
Some major British figures have responded to Romney’s doubts, saying the city is ably prepared to host this summer’s Olympics.
“We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere,” Prime Minister David Cameron told the Daily Telegraph.
Cameron later told reporters he “felt a vote of confidence” from a private conversation he held with Romney about the Olympic Games.
Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, took to Hyde Park, where 60,000 people gathered to celebrate the end of the Olympic torch run, and made a dig at Romney as he asked the crowd whether the city was ready for the Olympics.
“There are some people coming from around the world who don’t yet know if we are ready,” Johnson said. “There’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we are ready. Are we ready? Yes we are!”
Gov. Romney’s comments were made in response to, ironically, overseas headlines — about a security company hired to keep watch over the Games; U.K. soldiers have been tapped to try to fill some of the gaps reportedly caused by the firm.
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Kelly Wallace, CNN
Eric Bradner, Shimon Prokupecz and Dan Merica, CNN
Dan Merica and Jeff Simon, CNN
Cimaron Neugebauer, KUTV