Romney accepts MSNBC host's apology

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News

FILE - This March 15, 2013 file photo shows former Massachusetts Gov., and 2012 Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md. MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry is apologizing to Mitt Romney’s family after a picture of the Romney holiday card that showed the 2012 Republican presidential candidate’s adopted, African-American grandson was joked about on her show. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

A day after MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry issued a tearful on-air apology to Mitt Romney for joking about his adopted black grandson, the former Massachusetts governor accepted it as "clearly heartfelt."

“I recognize that people make mistakes," Romney said on "Fox News Sunday." “And the folks at MSNBC made a big mistake. They’ve apologized for it. And that’s all you can ask for.”

On her show last week, Harris-Perry showed the Romney family Christmas card: a photo of the family and his grandchildren — including Kieran, an African-American child adopted by one of Romney's sons. Harris-Perry and her guests then joked that it was the 2012 Republican nominee's "token" attempt at diversity.

On Saturday, Harris-Perry apologized. "Showing the photo in that context, that segment, was poor judgment," she said. "Adults who enter into public life, implicitly consent to having less privacy, but their families, especially their children, should not be treated callously or thoughtlessly. My intention was not malicious, but I broke the ground rule that families are off-limits. For that I am sorry."

“People like me are fair targets," Romney said on Sunday. "If you get in the political game, you can expect incoming. But children, that’s beyond the line. And I think they understand that."

He added: “I think it’s a heartfelt apology. And for that reason, we hold no ill will whatsoever.”

Also Sunday, Romney, who managed the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, said he's confident the upcoming games in Sochi will be safe from a terrorist attack.

"I'm convinced, the case of a nation like Russia, they have the resources to do their very best to protect people from that kind of attack," Romney said.