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SALT LAKE CITY — As presidential candidate Mitt Romney embarks on a foreign trip to test the waters as a potential leader, some are asking whether, since he ran a successful Olympic games in Utah, he can gain some political momentum touting his leadership abilities overseas.
Romney is hoping that his appearance in London will help Americans remember the successful 2002 Winter Olympics, but some are saying the presumptive GOP candidate is an entirely different person than he was 10 years ago.
A decade has passed since Mitt Romney was at the forefront of the world's stage at the Salt Lake Olympics. In November, he hopes to reclaim that spot as President of the United States.
In the Deseret News:
In London, Governor Romney spoke exclusively to NBC about the games, his faith and his image.
"It seems to me, this completes your Olympic experience," anchor Brian Williams told Romney. "You get to run the games, and now you have a horse in the race."
Romney does have a horse in the race, literally. His wife, Ann Romney, is part owner of Refalca, a 15-year-old mare who is competing in the dressage competition at the Olympics.
"Obviously, it's fun to be part of the Olympics in any way you can be part of them," Romney said.
In contrast to allegations that Romney is out of touch, the presidential candidate says the American people will get to know him, but right now he's focused on the message of generating more jobs and bolstering the economy.
Former Salt Lake City mayor and current presidential candidate Rocky Anderson says Romney isn't the same man he knew 10 years ago.
"Mitt is a completely different person," Anderson said. "If one was to compare who he was and what he did, and what he stood for at the time of the Olympics and when he ran for governor of Massachusetts as compared to the Mitt running for president of the United States."