WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, in an interview with Meet the Press, criticized Russia for spending $51 billion on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
"You don't need to spend $50 billion as Russia has or as China did to put on an Olympic sport," Romney said to David Gregory. "Olympic sport can be demonstrated at $2 or $3 billion dollars. And all that extra money can be used to do some very important things in terms of fighting poverty and fighting disease around the world."
Romney alluded to the fact that the money was used not for the Olympics but for the bolstering of politicians' international profiles: "To take money from some people so that politicians can be puffed up and be shown around the world, I think is something that is very distasteful at a time when there is so much poverty and so much need."
Romney is not the only one to criticize Sochi's exorbitant price tag, and Russian President Vladmir Putin has said that the alleged corruption and the high cost of the Olympics will be investigated.