(CNN) – Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who ran the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, said Wednesday he would feel secure enough in traveling to Sochi if his calendar allowed it.
"For those of us who love the Olympics and love the experience and want to see the athletes compete, it's something I would feel safe in doing, I'd take my family to do," the former Massachusetts governor said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."
But given the security concerns about the region-especially in light of a new threat emerging Wednesday involving toothpaste tubes-Romney said it's understandable to be concerned.
"I don't think there's any way around" those concerns, he said, adding he understands why some lawmakers have said they personally wouldn't go to Sochi. "But frankly given my love of Olympic sports and the athletes, I would do that if my schedule allowed it."
The United States is advising airlines with direct flights to Russia to be aware of the possibility that explosive materials could be concealed in toothpaste or cosmetic tubes, according to a law enforcement source.
The source emphasized there was no known threat to the United States, but the notice to U.S. and international carriers is based on new intelligence information ahead of the start of the Olympics in Sochi this week.
Romney said if this is in fact a credible threat, "you would ask yourself why you wouldn't insist that any flights going into Sochi or in the region would prohibit any kind of tubes of toothpaste or anything else...to make sure that this threat couldn't possibly be carried out."
Aside from the emerging threat, Romney said he would feel safe in the "hardened venues" in Sochi that will be heavily guarded by law enforcement officials, such as the places where athletes are competing, the so-called Olympic Village, the hotels and official transportation system.
"Even there, there's no such thing as a 100% guarantee. But nonetheless you can't walk through life fearing that buildings are going to fall on you or that terrorists are going to strike any moment," he said.
Republican Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House subcommittee on terrorism and intelligence, said on the same program that he wouldn't go to Sochi, citing the lack of intelligence the Russians have provided to the United States.
Spectators will be "reasonably safe" he said, but added, "I would not go, myself."
"I don't think it's worth the risk. Odds are that nothing is going to happen, but the odds are higher than for any other Olympics, I believe, that something could happen," he said. He agreed with Romney that the Olympic site itself is locked down pretty well, but as for "getting there and the surrounding areas, I would say there's real cause for concern."
CNN's Mike Ahlers contributed to this report.