-- LONDON—Mitt Romney continued to dial back his suggestion he found London's preparations for the Olympic games "disconcerting," telling NBC's Today Show on Friday that he is "absolutely convinced" the city is "ready" for the games.
"After being here a couple of days, it looks like London is ready," the presumptive Republican nominee told NBC's Matt Lauer.
On Wednesday, Romney caused a stir when he raised questions about security and other issues ahead of the London games. That didn't sit well with the British media and top officials in the country. Asked about Romney's comments, Prime Minister David Cameron swiped Romney, telling reporters it's harder to organize a major event like the Olympic games in a big city compared to the "middle of nowhere"—a comment widely inferred to be a reference to Salt Lake City, where Romney oversaw the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Asked about Cameron's comment, Romney said he didn't believe the prime minister was talking about Salt Lake City.
"I don't see that," Romney told NBC. "I read the same reports a lot of people did about all the challenges faced by the organizing committee… Of course it's hard to put on games in a major metropolitan area. What they have done that I find so impress is they took the venues and put them right in the city."
Asked about British media reports slamming him, Romney said it would be old news once the games actually begin.
"I'm absolutely convinced the people here are ready for the games," Romney said. "In just a few moments, all of the things politicians say will get swept away because the athletes will take the stage. The games are about the athletes. That's why the games virtually anywhere they have been have been a success."
Lauer asked Romney about the increasing negativity of the presidential campaign and whether he was "proud of the campaign" he's running.
"I'm proud my campaign is focused on the economy," Romney replied. He insisted his campaign is not focused on "personal attacks but policy differences."
Asked about the upcoming Republican National Convention in Tampa next month, Romney said he had not yet started to write his speech accepting his party's nomination.
"I know the themes. They are the themes I've been speaking out for several years," he said. "Words to paper, that hasn't begun yet."