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Herbert, Becker respond to Brit leader calling Utah ‘middle of nowhere’ (+video)

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  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    July 26, 2012 8:26 p.m.

    If Romney can offend one of our longest allies with such ease...

    I dread to think if Mitt Romney had to talk to China or Iran as a President.

  • delasalle Sandy, UT
    July 26, 2012 8:36 p.m.

    A couple of comments. I've lived in both SLC and London, and SLC is a blip on the map compared to London. That's not necessarily a bad thing but for Herbert and others to take offense to a comment that most Americans also agree with demonstrates either lack of understanding or immaturity. I love both cities but they are very different -- London being one of the most amazing and vibrant cities in the world and SLC being one of the best for outdoors and peaceful living.

    I really want to support Romney but there are just so many things he says or does that I do not understand and can only assume indicate he is trying to paint himself in a better light. If he did such a great job with the Olympics in SLC, why be critical of the efforts of others, particularly on the most national stage in the world. It boggles the mind the things this man says and does sometimes.

  • gbo Draper, UT
    July 26, 2012 8:59 p.m.

    We're all so thin skinned and easily offended. Chill! Just not a big deal!

  • Ironhide Salt Lake City, UT
    July 26, 2012 10:50 p.m.

    What is everyone so upset about! Gather some info before being so embarrassed. TheTimes columnist had it right. He didn't say anything that wasn't true. like gbo stated above. So thin skinned and it wasn't even a controversial opinion, it was the truth! I think it shows nothing but insecurity and cowardly attitudes to not be able to admit real shortfalls. Mitt has nothing to apologize for, and I won't even be voting for him!

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    July 26, 2012 11:02 p.m.

    It's been interesting to note the immediate rush to condemn someone (Cameron) who sought to defend his country against what did seem very much like a slap at Britain's security. It's true surely that a town like Salt Lake City with maybe a third of a million population would be easier to secure than a city which, the last time I took any notice, had in excess of ten millions population.

    There are other reasons too: I think that it's much easier to commit an act of terrorism in the relative anonymity of a megalopolis full of bustle and confusion, than in a smaller town.

    I think Mitt was better off when he stressed the common Anglo-Saxon heritage of England and the United States. Unfortunately I think there was a little too much of the Mitt who sees all "foreigners" as individuals to whom one does not apologize, manifest here not only in Mitt but in Governor Herbert and those other partisans; those who daily serve up that goop that passes as news with all their "shoot from the hip" reactions that today, as so often, made a mockery of objectivity and "journalitic integrity".

  • Red Headed Stranger Billy Bobs, TX
    July 26, 2012 11:38 p.m.

    Pagan,

    make up your mind. What part of what Romney said wasn't true? Many people say that Romney is a "pleaser" and just says what he thinks others want to hear so he can get elected. So, when he forthrightly answers a question he gets hammered. Europeans are already primed (they went gaga for Obama) to be contentions towards Romney. So make up your mind, does he just pander to his audience, or is he a straight talker? Or do you just reserve the right to criticize him no matter what he says, by always taking the opposite. By the way, I think Romney knows how to run an Olympics, because he has, you know, already done one.

    People get offended when they choose to be offended. Europeans don't like to be unfavorably compared to Americans; I KNOW, I am married to one and lived in two separate European capitals, not on my mission. My wife after a decade of living here is disgusted with her former country and has fully and happily embraced her Americanism. I wish more Americans would.

    Too bad Cameron lacks the grace of Thatcher. At BYU she spoke about the lovely mountains.

  • Mad Hatter Provo, UT
    July 27, 2012 1:20 a.m.

    Perhaps not exactly the "middle of nowhere", but certainly not the economic and social center of the United States. Perhaps a few levels above Alaska, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho but well below most other states. And nowhere near any of the Eastern Seaboard, California and Washington, and, of course, Texas.

    Perhaps the British press should have said "backwater" along with the rest of the South! Truth be told, it is the only Southern state north of the Mason-Dixon line!

  • Rick2009 MESA, AZ
    July 27, 2012 2:02 a.m.

    Didn't I read somewhere that the GOLD mined in UTAH was being used for the medals that are to be awarded in the Olympics?

    Not sure about the silver and bronze medals but hey they could be from UTAH as well.

    It's funny how a few words can get so blown out of proportion. Must be a slow news day over there.

  • liberate Sandy, UT
    July 27, 2012 3:28 a.m.

    @Red Headed Stranger - That's just it. Romney doesn't understand when to be candid and when to be equivocal. When asked directly about HIS policies and what HE will do, he equivocates. When asked about the efforts of OTHERS in what should be one of the most proud moments for OTHERS, he insults.

    Thatcher understood this, which is why she talked about the lovely mountains. Can you imagine her providing criticism of her hosts as Romney did?

    In your words - Do you reserve the right to praise Romney no matter what he says, you know by always taking his side?

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 27, 2012 6:04 a.m.

    we ARE in the millde of nowhere. So what's the big deal?

    Pagan,
    I'd rather have a president who can throw a friendly barb at an allie than one who appeases despots and tyrants and throws away tacticle and intelligence advantages for political gains at home.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 27, 2012 6:11 a.m.

    Re: Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    "If Romney can offend one of our longest allies with such ease..."

    A tempest in a teapot.

    Romney will be warmly received in Poland. Unlike Obama he won't refer to "Polish death camps".

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    July 27, 2012 6:39 a.m.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron probably doesn't understand that Mitt Romney isn't even from Utah, although he did come here to rescue our Olympics.

    I felt embarrassed for Mitt Romney for his dumb 'slip of the tongue'. The British Prime Minister clearly felt slighted, he had a chance to be the better man but he choose the lower road. Now I also embarrassed for him, even more so, because he said what he had ample opportunity to weigh his words before speaking.

  • Glen in the Bronx Bronx, NY
    July 27, 2012 6:42 a.m.

    It was a very unfortunate and visceral comment made by someone under a lot of pressure from his home team to strike back. Of course, Mr. Cameron at least had the decency not to say it while actually in Salt Lake City. The same could not be said of Romney's mean spirited jab, made in the heart of a city that has just spent seven years and untold billions in preparation expenses. To paraphrase Carl Lewis, "some Americans should not be allowed out, and Romney is one of them."

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    July 27, 2012 7:50 a.m.

    re: Read Headed.
    The thing is, Romney was still pandering by ticking off the Brits. They aren't the ones voting for him. He is pandering to his conservative base in London the same way he was pandering to them at the NAACP. When your base is rabidly anti-European, nothing could be more pleasing than appearing critical and unpopular in Europe.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    July 27, 2012 7:51 a.m.

    The comment by Mitt Romney and the response by the Press that wants to make everything Mitt says a national and international incidents shows the world, they don't care about substance but politics.

    On September 11, 2001, Mitt Romney had a big responsibility for the Olympics and the safety and security of all people, foreign and domestic. He didn't just have the Olympics, he had national security to worry about. The United States of America isn't just the City of Salt Lake City, Utah and the Olympics were a potential for a national incident that would be international in a micro second. Remember the Olympics in 1972 in Germany?

    Where is our President in defending what the Federal Government, State and Local governments did to ensure the safety and welfare of our and other people, including government leaders?

    Mitt Romney is correct in what and how he said what he did. For the Prime Minister, who was influenced by what the media said with all his advisers and public affairs people, was a bad thing to do. He was not hitting at Mitt Romney, he hitting our country and our President who speaks bad of mother Britain.

  • Pragmatic Salt Lake City, UT
    July 27, 2012 8:08 a.m.

    Mitt made a major blunder. I don't know how he will recover from this one. At the same time it was petty and childish for Herbert and Becker to respond. This isn't kindergarten guys! Grow up!

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 27, 2012 8:23 a.m.

    It used to be athletes who trash-talked each other before the contest. Now it seems to be moving off the field of competition and into the board rooms.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    July 27, 2012 9:07 a.m.

    Don't read too much into the PM's comments. You see, they're a bit geographically challenged in the UK: For example, they don't know the difference between North and South Korea.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    July 27, 2012 9:30 a.m.

    Romney's prediction that things can go wrong was validated when they hoisted the South Korean flag for the North Koreans. His statement was to let the Olympic Committee know that things seldom go perfectly despite good preparation. As Churchill said, "Keep calm and carry on."

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    July 27, 2012 9:45 a.m.

    I was born and raised in SLC. It IS definitely the middle of nowhere, especially when compared to London. How ridiculous of your governor to join in this silly exchange. How unfortunate of Romney to not just reply diplomatically when asked about London's state of readiness. We've seen these questions before in soft interviews. They weren't looking for a detailed response - just say: "I'm sure they'll do a great job" and leave it at that.

    I agree with others that this was a bad way to start off Romney's foreign tour and raises questions (along with other negative comments he's made about Europe, China and Russia) about his ability to think through his comments about other countries and build bridges. We're seeing what kind of leader Romney will be...

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 27, 2012 9:59 a.m.

    Owl,

    "Romney's prediction that things can go wrong was validated when they hoisted the South Korean flag for the North Koreans....."

    Utah can take pride that there were no such embarrassing gaffes for the Salt Lake City Olympics. The worst that happened there were allegations of bribes paid to the IOC. But all of the indicted were acquitted and no one did time in the big house.

  • Peter Coyotl West Jordan, UT
    July 27, 2012 10:10 a.m.

    I was born and raised in one of North America's largest and most vibrant cities. But I kind of like it out here in the middle of nowhere.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    July 27, 2012 10:11 a.m.

    So if anyone is getting upset over this, ummmm, didn't the pioneers come to Utah for the reason that it was kind of a no wheres land? Utah would not be what it is today if it had not been for the fact that it was not a very desirable place. Maybe those who think it is the middle of no where are still reading the 1840's history books, sad that they are not advanced enough to have updated information. ;)

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    July 27, 2012 10:11 a.m.

    how does Mitt recover?
    Oh please. This is a non story that you will not find in British papers today. Lots of obama groupies posting on this one.

  • Noodlekaboodle Salt Lake City, UT
    July 27, 2012 10:12 a.m.

    I don't get why people are offended. David Cameron isn't wrong about his assessment. Salt Lake is a large city in the middle of nowhere. You have to drive for 5-6 hours to get to another major city (Las Vegas) Heck the population of London is 8 million and the entire Wasatch Front only has 1.5 million people. I love Salt Lake, but it's just not the same kind of city as London.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 27, 2012 10:21 a.m.

    We are in the middle of nowhere. Who cares?

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    July 27, 2012 10:24 a.m.

    Herbert's comments just demonstrate his grade-school education and mentality. He probably thinks he's clever, but talking about King George III? This obsession with old, dead men...

  • bma SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    July 27, 2012 10:25 a.m.

    Why do our leaders have to get so defensive about this comment? They look like idiots. Do they not realize that compared to London we ARE in the middle of nowhere? And that is not a bad thing. The Prime Minister is giving his view of Utah/SLC from his perspective and he nailed it.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    July 27, 2012 10:31 a.m.

    Romney saying that was not diplomatic. It shows that he's not diplomatic material at all, almost as bad as Obama who said that if Pakistan doesn't come down hard against the Taliban in Pakistan that he would attack the Taliban in Pakistan. . .

    Well, on second thought, it is an easy mistake to make. We should lighten up on Romney. The wise thing to do when asked a question like he was asked is to state your opinion about the difficulties and then comment that the Brits will pull it off. They are nothing if not organized.

  • dobberdobber Ivins, UT
    July 27, 2012 11:11 a.m.

    To me it just shows Mitt Romney is not ready for "prime time".

  • bricha lehi, ut
    July 27, 2012 12:05 p.m.

    You know i felt justified by Herberts and Beckers comments, its not like the Prime minister, or anyone outside of Utah is going to read and pay attention to them, but it made me feel a little bit better.

  • justired Fillmore, UT
    July 27, 2012 11:26 p.m.

    The middle of no where we're not, but you can see it from here.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    July 28, 2012 10:34 a.m.

    A stiff Upper Lip and Thin Skinned too?

    Don't worry our British friends, Cameron and the Wacky Mayor of London....

    America will still be there for you, the next time your little Island (abt. the size of the State of Utah) again needs to be protected and freed from your enemies.

    We will once again, send our young men and women from the "Middle of Nowhere", in the Prime of Their Lives, to risk life and limb, in order to save your ungrateful souls.

    And like 70 years ago, many will come home in bags, never be found or simply Memorialized in New Cemeteries on your own soil.

    Romney only echoed what the British papers had been saying for month's now and rest assured he
    will restore the 911 Churchill Bust to it's rightful place, in the Oval Office of the White House!

    If our Allies are really this touchy, perhaps it's time to just roll over, we're all doomed!

  • Freedom Fighter Saratoga, UT
    July 28, 2012 2:59 p.m.

    The Brits need to remember that Romney pulled off the Olympics RIGHT after 9/11. If you remember, the games were almost called off, but SLC pulled it off anyway! Plus, Romney didn't say anything that the British media themselves weren't saying all along.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    July 28, 2012 7:08 p.m.

    I moved from the middle of somewhere, Los Angeles, to Utah, because it still is, for the time being, the middle of nowhere. I did a Church mission in England, spending time in London. Definition of London, Los Angeles, New Your City, ect. Nice places to visit, wouldn't want to live there, even if I had the millions of dollars it takes to live there like I can live here on much less. One thing I did not remember about the Brits was their being so thin skinned. I wonder what has brought that on? I mean if Mitt insulted them it was a 1 on a scale of 10. Usually the Brits I knew would gladly get into a battle of wits all for the fun of it. Now they cry to their PM and the newspapers go nuts. Why didn't they do that when our insult of a world leader known as President Obama, sent back the bust of the man I think is possibly the greatest figure of the 20th Century. Namely, Winston Churchill? I guess England has gone too Euro in the intervening years since I was there. Sad.