He managed not to hock a loogie at the Queen.
But the damage seems to have been done. As The Guardian reports, some are saying that Romney is "worse than Palin". Well, that's gotta hurt:
In terms of winning British hearts and minds, Mitt Romney's attempt to burnish his credentials on the international stage as a potential future world leader has fallen at the first hurdle. His achilles heel was lack of diplomatic tact – a pretty crucial skill for anyone with leadership ambitions.
The reaction from the UK media to the Republican presidential hopeful's charm offensive was decidedly lukewarm on Friday morning. "'Nowhere man' Romney loses his way with gaffe about the Games," wrote the Times, while the Daily Mail quipped over a double-page spread: "Who invited party-pooper Romney?" The Independent seized on the play doing the rounds on "omnishambles" – the quip first coined on the satire The Thick Of It but cleverly appropriated by the Labour leader Ed Miliband: "Romneyshambles: Mitt begins his trip with a swipe at London." And to really put the boot in, a quote from one British diplomat in the Times described the former governor of Massachusetts's performance as "worse than Palin" – a reference to the gaffe-prone Republican former vice-presidential candidate.
It doesn't get much worse than that for someone who was hoping to boost his profile abroad, raise funds and canvass support among the capital's American community before the November elections. All that he appears to have achieved by suggesting that the country was not behind the Games was to create that very British unity that he worried might be lacking when the Olympic moment arrived.
And famed Olympian Carl Lewis says that "some Americans just shouldn't leave the country".