After dodging reporters’ questions (up to 14 times) about his stance on cutting FEMA spending and federal disaster relief, Mitt Romney‘s campaign is finally responding. And it looks like some major backpedaling in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and how he would help such victims, although it still is a bogus plan.
In case you missed the whole thing, back in June at a CNN Republican primary debate, the presidential candidate was asked about his stance on FEMA by debate moderator John King:
FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say, ‘Do it on a case-by-case basis.’ And there are some people who say, ‘You know what, maybe we’re learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role.’ How do you deal with something like that?
To which Romney responded that he didn’t believe disaster aid should come from the federal government:
Absolutely. And every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.
As expected, this comment is now drawing a lot of criticism after Hurricane Sandy. And rightly so.
And after ignoring questions from reporters about this multiple times, Romney’s campaign spokesperson, Amanda Henneberg (not Romney himself) finally gave us an answer:
Governor Romney believes that states should be in charge of emergency management in responding to storms and other natural disasters in their jurisdictions.
She went on to say:
As the first responders, states are in the best position to aid affected individuals and communities and to direct resources and assistance to where they are needed most. This includes help from the federal government and FEMA.
Oh, OK, that certainly clears things up. Not. Sounds like some heavy backpedaling is going on here. How exactly does Romney expect individual states to take on this amount of expense in the wake of any natural disaster? As of right now, there are predictions that Sandy could end up costing over $50 billion in damage. If Romney has his way, each state would be given a specific amount of money in the form of a disaster relief grant, but here’s the thing: That money wouldn’t necessarily have to be used for disaster relief, including food, water, shelter and emergency recovery efforts, according to PoliticusUSA.
So this raises a lot of questions about what would be happening right now to all of those affected by Hurricane Sandy if Romney were in office. Luckily, he’s not.
Meanwhile, at his rallys though, Romney continues to solicit votes while asking for “thoughts and prayers” for those affected by Sandy. Obama, on the other hand, is not campaigning right now and actually doing something to help those victims, like he’s done all along by supporting FEMA.