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Romney: Christie's a strong leader, Hillary is beatable

The country needs a strong leader like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who appropriately took responsibility following the "Bridgegate" scandal, Romney said.
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 30, 2012.
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 30, 2012.

Mitt Romney is in Chris Christie's corner.

The former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee defended the embattled New Jersey governor over his handling of the political fallout surrounding "Bridgegate."

"He took responsibility, he fired people that were responsible for the scandal, and he has moved on as a leader," Romney told theTODAY  Show Friday in an exclusive interview. "I do believe that the American people want to see a strong leader in the White House, and he is."

Romney claimed Christie bears a similarity to former President Lyndon B. Johnson, who pushed through civil rights reform because he was a strong leader. 

"We're watching right now a Washington that can't get the job done. Chris does, and I think that's one of the reasons he's as popular as he is," Romney said, noting that he has been in touch with the governor recently.

Romney's interview with TODAY  host Savannah Guthrie came on the heels of Friday's release of the documentary Mitt on Netflix. The 90-minute film looks at the trials and tribulations endured by the two-time presidential candidate and his family.

Director Greg Whiteley, who filmed the movie over the span of six years, focused more on Romney's family life than the inner-workings of his campaign.

"There were some scenes I wish he hadn't included," Romney said about an instance where his relatives pray together. "I knew he was in the room, but I didn't think he was actually filming during our prayer."

Additionally, Romney, who organized the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games, told Guthrie he believes Russian security will keep athletes and spectators in Sochi secure for the worldwide event that begins in less than two weeks.

"I believe the Games will be safe. That doesn't mean there's a 100% guarantee anywhere in the world today, but this is, after all, a dangerous corner of the world," he said, adding that he would feel confident enough in the security parameters to bring his family to the Olympics.

Romney said he has no plans to run for president again. But he did weigh in on the 2016 race, arguing that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could be defeated if she chooses to run. "Because I think people recognize the country is just not doing what it needs to do."

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