Mitt Romney may be the key to Olympic bid between San Diego, Tijuana

SAN DIEGO - Staffers for Mitt Romney told 10News on Monday they will be trying to get a response from Romney after he was invited to lead a joint Olympic bid between San Diego and Tijuana.

Romney owns a home in La Jolla, but will those ties be enough?

More than a decade ago, Romney was credited with saving the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake after plenty of scandal and deficits. He and supporters touted his leadership during his presidential bid.

One political ad by a group backing Romney applauded him for turning a $400 million budget deficit into a $100 million surplus.

Could that track record now provide a big boost for San Diego's chances to host an Olympics?

"It would be a great collaboration," said John Eger.

A decade ago, Eger helped lead an effort to drum up support for an Olympic bid with San Diego and Mexico.

He is now crossing his fingers after San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's recent public invite for Romney to be honorary chair for a 2024 bi-national bid for the Olympics.

According to the United States Olympic Committee, the San Diego-Tijuana bid is one of 10 bids now being looked at.

Eger says Romney would add instant credibility to a local bid, addressing a top USOC concern: losing money.

"With Mitt Romney, we won't be talking about a loss," said Eger.

From his management skills to fundraising ability, Romney could move San Diego out of long shot status.

Still, a multi-country bid presents many challenges, such as how to share costs and how to provide security. What would an Olympic village look like?

"I think we could create a border-free Olympic zone that's surrounded by fences, if you want fences," said Eger.

Filner and Tijuana's mayor are expected to name a bi-national committee this week to lead the Olympic efforts.

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