Monday, July 16, 2012

Mitt Romney to "temporarily not be a candidate" during London Olympic visit.

US Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has announced that during his late July visit to the London 2012 Olympic Games, he will temporarily cease to be a candidate and have "no contact" with his campaign. "I will be very busy visiting the Olympics and have asked that my campaign back home continues independently and without my guidance while I am away," said Romney in a statement published on his website on Monday.

However, the news was greeted with skepticism and derision by political opponents almost as soon as it was made public. "Governor Romney is and will continue to be the presumptive Republican nominee while in London - and not only that but he has even scheduled two fundraisers during his stay in the UK. This is utterly preposterous," said Sally Royson, a spokesperson for President Obama's reelection campaign.

The statement by Romney comes amidst ongoing controversies over the former venture capitalist's post-1999 role at the company Bain Capital. The candidate has insisted that he played no active role at Bain while he was on leave assisting the 2002 Olympics held in Salt Lake City. The current statement regarding London appears designed to further reinforce this narrative. "We won't speak to him while he is gone and will make all decisions without his input," said David Lober, a senior Romney strategist, adding "the separation has been planned very precisely."