The Winter Olympic Games at Sochi have wasted tens of billions of dollars that would be better spent fighting poverty, Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, said Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press.
Romney, who last week criticized the reported $50 billion spent on the games in USA TODAY op-ed column, said the events could have been held for as little as $2 billion. The excess spending authorized by President Vladimir Putin in Russia, and a similar amount in China for the 2008 summer games at Beijing, were staged cynically to "show off politicians," Romney said.
Romney was the CEO of the Winter Olympic Games at Salt Lake City in 2002. Those events cost less than $3 billion to stage, he wrote in his column. On Sunday, he called on the International Olympic Committee to step in to limit lavish spending on the games.
"It's a very unsavory thing," he said.
Despite the problems with the games, Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, said he supported Boston's bid to host the Olympics in 2024.
"Boston would love it if the games came home," he said.
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