|Pay no attention to the curtain behind the man.|
In a private press briefing leaked after he arrived in Tel Aviv, Republican presidential candidate and former commissioner of the 2002 Winter Olympics kicked the dust of London and Salt Lake City off his feet as he delivered a stinging denunciation of the Olympics and the Olympic spirit.
“I’ve been in business,” said the former CEO of Bain Capital, “and this is not the way an Olympic Games makes money – celebrating nationalized healthcare that doesn’t even create jobs, and returns no profits to its investors even if the sick patient happens to live,” he said, shrugging and smiling disdainfully. “I mean, are we just going to reward people for making poor genetic choices? That wouldn’t happen in private enterprise, I can tell you that.”
But even as Governor Romney had previously expressed misgivings about the preparation for the 2012 summer games, he went even further and criticized the entire ethos behind the games. “This coming together in peace and harmony in the spirit of friendly competition – it causes confusion and uncertainty and is, I think, bad for markets. Who are you going to be afraid of if the North Koreans and the Cubans and the Iranians, of all people, are able to play soccer without blowing themselves up at the press conference beforehand?”
Romney also suggested that other nations’ athletes beating US athletes undermined the idea of American exceptionalism. “It’s a false idea that suggests we’re not ready to lead – and frankly it seems a bit like insubordination.”
Asked, in a desperate attempt to change the subject, how he was enjoying his time in Israel, Mr. Romney responded, “I’m grateful to the signers of the Balfour Declaration for giving my people a homeland, even though we already have Utah. But if I ever fire my tailor or my diamond guy, you can bet I’ll be calling the Jews.”