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TODAY   |  January 24, 2014

Romney on Sochi security: I’d bring my family

In a live exclusive with Savannah Guthrie, Mitt Romney, who organized the Salt Lake City Olympic Games in 2002, said that intelligence work will be key to keeping the event next month safe, and that he believes the hard sites will be secure.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> while security was a focus of the 2002 winter olympic games in salt lake city , which were held months after 9/11. and the man in charge was mitt romney . and he joins us this morning exclusi exclusively. good morning.

>> thank you. good morning, savannah.

>> you see the results as well as we do, as the person who was once in charge of delivering and executing a safe olympic games .

>> well, of course, there's never been a games i know of that has been so targeted for specific threats as you're seeing in sochi . at the same time, the level of security preparations appears to be at an unprecedented level. i think people can recognize that the hard sites will be safe. the athletes will be safe, spectators in the venues will be safe. but it's the soft places you can't be 100% certain will be entirely safe. but my guess is the russians have done everything humanly possible to protect the games.

>> i guess the gut check question is, would you go to sochi ? would you send your own family to sochi ?

>> the answer is yes. i believe the games will be safe. but that doesn't mean there's a 100% guarantee in anywhere in the world today. the threats leveled suggest this is going to be an area that could be targeted. and therefore, there's a degree of risk associated with, well, frankly life today in a world where terrorism exists.

>> you mentioned what a dangerous neighborhood this is. you have never minced words when it comes to russia . you have a couple of memorable lines in the campaign. i wonder what you think of vladimir putin 's decision to stage these in the backyard where he's been staging battle against militants for years.

>> terrorists can move almost anywhere they want to go. and only takes one person to go through. so a place like sochi can be surrounded, if you will, the intelligence work is the key to keeping the games secure. yes, the hardened targets can have fences and patrols and so forth. but, frankly, in order to protect an area as large as sochi , you need extraordinary intel work. and that's what happened with our games that gave me confidence they'd be safe. we'll hear reports of an individual they're looking for, that suggests they have good intelligence. all in all, seems to be a very effective security program. again, no 100% guarantee. the.

>> very quickly, you said during the campaign that russia was a geopolitical foe that lined up with the world's worst actors.

>> well, i don't think you hold off particular countries based upon their politics, but there's no question in my mind. russia has been and continues to be a geopolitical adversary, not a military foe, but a geopolitical foe. they line up with assad, kim jong -un, their friends are some of the world's worst actors.

>> it's always good to get your perspective. we have a lot to talk about this morning. there's a new documentary "mitt," a look inside your two campaigns and we'll talk to you about that in a couple of minutes.