Romney: Russia Olympics will be safe

Mitt Romney said Sunday that he believes Russia will be able to keep the upcoming Winter Olympics safe, even as he questioned whether the country should have been awarded the games in the first place.

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The former Massachusetts governor acknowledged that Russia had a particular security challenge for next month’s Olympics in Sochi, following two suicide bombings and threats from Chechen separatists.

Romney, who headed up the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, said he believed that the Russians had the intelligence capabilities to keep the games safe.

“I don’t think any major global event that brings people from all over the world together like an Olympics can possibly escape the threat of violence,” Romney said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I do believe that the Russians will do everything in their power to protect the athletes and the spectators. I believe they’ll be safe.”

But the former Massachusetts governor also questioned whether Russia should be hosting the Olympics, given the hardline actions of the country’s president, Vladimir Putin, and Russia’s harboring of NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

“Were it my choice, I would not vote for Russia to hold the Winter Olympics or the Summer Olympics,” Romney said. 

“But it’s not my choice. They are a player on the global stage. They have a right to make their bid.” 

During his 2012 bid for the White House, Romney got in some trouble for questioning during a trip to Great Britain by questioning whether London was ready for the Summer Olympics that year.