Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis (left) US Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (Reuters)
Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis and US Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (Reuters)

US Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's trip to London has taken another hit as Olympics legend Carl Lewis waded in over the politician's comments about the city's preparations for the Olympic Games.

Lewis, who won nine Olympic golds during his career, is the latest person to mock Romney who said there were "disconcerting" signs that London was ill-prepared for the Olympics. It was "hard to know just how well it will turn out", Romey said on the eve of the opening ceremony.

As First Lady Michelle Obama arrived in Britain with the US delegation, Lewis told the Independent: "I don't care whatever he [Romney] said. I swear, sometimes I think some Americans, shouldn't leave their country.

"Of course London is ready."

The comments by Lewis, considered by many as the greatest Olympian of all-time, were the latest over the "Romneyshambles" - a pun on the phrase "omnishambles" from BBC political comedy The Thick of It, which was also used to describe the indecision, confusion and U-turns surrounding Geroge Obsorne's budget.

Romney's comments were also rebuked by Prime Minister David Cameron who emphasised that the Games were being held in a "bustling" city and not "in the middle of nowhere" - a dig at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games which Romney was praised for rescuing.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson also took a swing at the former Massachusetts governor before a 60,000-strong crowd at a Hyde Park.

Johnson said: "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 over the last seven years. I hear there is a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we are ready."

London is ready for Olympics, says Johnson

As the crowd began to cheer, Johnson added: "Yes we are. The venues are ready, the stadium is ready, the aquatic centre is ready, the velodrome is ready, the security is ready, the police are ready, the transport is ready and our Team GB athletes are ready.

"There will be more gold, silver and bronze medals than you need to bail out Greece and Spain together."

Romney, fearing a further backlash, swiftly attempted a U-turn. "I am very delighted with the prospects of a highly successful Olympic Games," he told reporters later. "What I have seen shows imagination and forethought and a lot of organisation.

"I expect the Games to be highly successful."

He also raised a few eyebrows when he referred to Labour leader Ed Miliband as "Mr Leader" during a press conference and admitted he had been briefed about security in the UK in an unusual move by MI6 chief Sir John Sawers.

The Telegraph said of Romney's diplomatic disaster: "Mitt Romney is perhaps the only politician who could start a trip that was supposed to be a charm offensive by being utterly devoid of charm and slightly offensive."