CHICAGO – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who headed up the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, says Chicago would be a "wonderful" place to host the Olympics.
Romney was careful not to take sides as Chicago and Los Angeles wait to learn Saturday which city the U.S. Olympic Committee will pick to be the American bidder for the 2016 Summer Games.
"I'm not going to be partisan in that battle," he told reporters during a campaign visit.
Romney pledged to help whichever American bid city is chosen get the nod from the International Olympic Committee. The IOC won't pick a host city until 2009. Other bidders are expected to include Madrid, Spain; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Rome; and Tokyo.
"This is a great city. It'd be a wonderful place to host the Games," he said. "We're lucky to have two great cities in this final stage of the process."
On political matters, Romney said he supports President Bush's policy in Iraq, but he acknowledged a "number of errors" over the last three years. He said the U.S. was "under prepared" for what happened after the collapse of Saddam Hussein's government, had "under planned" for what occurred and had not effectively managed the war.
"We have helped contribute to the difficult position in which we find ourself," he said.
If the United States were to "withdraw precipitously" from Iraq, he said, it would be even riskier for the U.S. because a regional conflict could cause troops to have to return to a worse situation.
Romney criticized attempts by Congress to set a withdrawal date for troops in Iraq.
"I don't believe that Congress should be trying to manage the war," he said.