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London mayor Boris Johnson ribs ‘a guy called Mitt Romney’ at rally

at 04:00 PM ET, 07/26/2012

London Mayor Boris Johnson called Mitt Romney out by name in front of tens of thousands of people at an Olympic rally Thursday.

Johnson, speaking at a cauldron-lighting ceremony at Hyde Park, hit back at the GOP presidential candidate for his suggestion that London might not be prepared to hold the games.

“There are some people who are coming from around the world who don’t yet know about all the preparations we've done to get London ready in the last seven years,” Johnson said. “I hear there’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we’re ready. He wants to know whether we’re ready.

“Are we ready? Are we ready? Yes, we are!” Johnson says, exhorting the crowd to cheer.

Romney, who successfully turned around the Salt Lake City Olympics a decade ago, mentioned some reports about potential strikes by customs officials and security firms running short of personnel in an interview Wednesday with NBC News.

He backed off those comments Thursday, but has already earned a rebuke from British Prime Minister David Cameron and now Johnson.

It’s not surprising to see Johnson hit back at Romney. While Romney’s comments weren’t overtly critical to begin with — he was merely citing reports of problems — Johnson has a reputation staked on the games, much as Romney did 10 years ago.

 
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