Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said on Thursday that he was encouraged by law enforcement’s quick turnaround in identifying two suspects in the deadly Boston Marathon bombings.
“I’m proud of our law-enforcement community,” Romney told Wolf Blitzer on CNN. “The fact that they have been able to single out so quickly people of this nature who appear to be serious suspects.
“It’s encouraging to see the kind of movement we’ve seen — to see the resilience and the resolve of the people of Boston, Massachusetts and, frankly, the whole country.
“Boston is very much America — and I’ve been encouraged and delighted by the kind of response I’ve seen from people in this community and from across the country,” Romney said.
The 2012 GOP presidential candidate, who governed Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, was in Boston to attend an interfaith service honoring the victims of the blasts that killed three people and injured more than 170 on Monday.
The FBI on Thursday released images of two men — “considered armed and extremely dangerous” — that authorities have identified as suspects in the bombings.
One man appeared to be wearing a dark baseball cap and another a white baseball cap — and the latter, identified as “Suspect No. 2” — was seen on video placing a backpack at the scene of the second bombing near the finish line, authorities said.
“We begin the first days with trying to understand how this could possibly happen and we mourn and we grieve for those that are so badly injured and for those who have lost their lives,” Romney told CNN. “But we also say, ‘Who has done this?’ And, now it appears that we’re zeroing in on serious suspects.”
The former governor said he, like many Americans, is wondering the “why” behind the bombings.
“Why would people be so demented, so stunted in their moral capacity that they would do something so horrible?” Romney asked. “It’s hard to fathom.”
He joined current Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, past state chief executives and other officials at the interfaith service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. President Barack Obama spoke.
Romney said he was unable to greet Obama at the service. The president and First Lady Michelle Obama left almost immediately to visit survivors at Massachusetts General Hospital.
“The president gave a superb address to the people of this city and the state and the nation,” Romney said. “It was an inspiring day. It was a coming together.
“This is a city and a nation that has proved time and again that when we face real challenges — instead of pointing fingers and getting angry and running — we come together.
“United we stand. We’ve proven it time and again — and we saw in in that cathedral today.”
Future incidents of this nature — the bombings are the most-visible acts of terror in the U.S. since the 2001 attacks on New York City and Washington — is strong intelligence, Romney said.
“Intelligence work — and not just meaning the CIA, the FBI and wiretaps — is critical,” he said. “It is also people who are watching what’s going on, reporting what’s going on — combining that information — such that we can prevent the worst things from occurring.”
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