Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said he would not hesitate to take his family to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, despite security concerns.
The former Massachusetts governor said there had never been a more targeted Olympic site than Sochi, but he maintained the level of security has been unprecedented.
“The answer is yes,” he said on NBC's "Today" show when asked if he would take his family to the games.
Romney, who headed the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah, said the arenas and stadiums where the athletes compete will likely be secure, but the most concern comes from “soft sites.”
He said Russia had likely done “everything humanly possible to protect the games,” reiterating that intelligence gathering is likely the most important security preparation at a site as big as Sochi.
“You need extraordinary intel work — that’s what happened with our games that gave me confidence they’d be safe,” he said. “Now and then, we’ll hear reports of an individual they are looking for. That suggests they have pretty good intelligence. All in all, it seems to be a very effective security program, but again, no 100 percent guarantee.”
A number of lawmakers have expressed concern with security preparation, and the White House has offered its full security support to help with the games.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said the Olympic Village in Sochi is well protected, and there had been no specific threats to U.S. athletes after a visit to the site.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Wednesday expressed concern about security at the games but did not advise fans against attending. Over the weekend, Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said he would not want to go or take his family when talking about security concerns.
Romney did not question the Olympic Committee for picking the country to host the games, noting politics should not be taken into consideration. But he continued to describe the country as a “geopolitical foe” with harmful ties to North Korea and Syria.