Romney Cheered, Criticized in SLC Visit
By Dan Bammes
Salt Lake City, UT – Mitt Romney was happy to fall back into the role he played during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games when he came to Salt Lake City on Saturday. He stepped in to run the Salt Lake Organizing Committee after a bribery scandal threatened the success of the Games. But he couldn't escape criticism during his visit.
"What a great experience we had ten years ago," he told the crowd at an ice skating show marking the 10th anniversary of the Games. "We not only showcased the character and the passion of the athletes, we showcased the character and the passion of the people of Utah."
A group of local Democrats held a news conference earlier in the day to say Romney's claiming more credit for the success of the Games than he's due. One of them was former Salt Lake City Council member Joanne Milner.
"I'm pleased that the Olympics turned out successfully," she told reporters. "It has done great things for our state. But we need to realize that every person who was involved in that, the whole spectrum, and sometimes they're overlooked."
Romney's not without his defenders, though. Fraser Bullock was chief operating officer of the organizing committee.
"It was a tremendous success," he said at a reunion for committee staff and volunteers. "Mitt did a wonderful job. And for people to kinda throw rocks at the Olympic movement or something like that, I think is just way out of line."
Romney didn't mention his president campaign in any of his public remarks during the weekend, but he did hold a private political fundraiser while was in Salt Lake.