After days of dodging the issue during fake storm relief events, Romney has finally come up with a response to the question, “Now that the hurricane has passed, do you regret your comments about wanting to cut funding for FEMA?”
Reversing his previous position, he today announced that he appreciates FEMA and wouldn’t dream of giving the agency less than it needed to function… even though the Romney/Ryan budget still calls for cutting the agency’s budget by at least 34%.
Here’s a clip from the Huffington Post:
…Now, a week before Election Day, after of a massive disaster, Romney’s campaign is reassuring voters that his administration wouldn’t leave disaster victims in the lurch. The public’s attention is locked on the devastation caused by Sandy at a time when Romney and President Barack Obama are locked in a close presidential campaign. With Obama heavily involved in getting federal funds to those in trouble, the Romney campaign moved quickly to reassure the public it supports a strong program of storm relief.
“I believe that FEMA plays a key role in working with states and localities to prepare for and respond to natural disasters,” Romney said in a statement supplied by his campaign Wednesday. “As president, I will ensure FEMA has the funding it needs to fulfill its mission, while directing maximum resources to the first responders who work tirelessly to help those in need, because states and localities are in the best position to get aid to the individuals and communities affected by natural disasters.”
Wednesday’s statement came after the candidate ducked a spate of opportunities Tuesday to personally clarify his position and the statement essentially endorsed the current disaster aid system.
But what the campaign wouldn’t do is say whether a President Romney would insist that help for disaster victims be funded by cutting other programs in the federal budget, as many conservative Republicans insist…
For what it’s worth, I don’t imagine this guy is buying it.
For those of you who didn’t follow that first link, the man in the video is angry because Romney, after promising not to politicize the storm and saying that he’d cancel his campaign appearances out of respect to the families devastated by this natural disaster, went on to do the exact opposite, holding events in Ohio that, in every way, looked like his previous events, but with the addition of canned food, diapers, granola bars, and a few banners declaring these campaign stops to be “storm relief” events. And, the saddest part is, it’s been discovered that the Romney campaign bought these food donations, spending, in one case, $5,000 at a local Wal-Mart, only to hand them out to supporters outside a rally, so that they could then be photographed as they entered with “donations” in hand. If I’d just lost my home, I would have found it a disgusting spectacle as well. But, Romney got the photo he needed of his compassionate supporters handing him bags of food, demonstrating that individual charity can, in times of crisis, be more effective than intervention from big government. Meanwhile, up and down the east coast, a newly recreated FEMA saved lives all day long, not just handing out granola bars, but actually pulling people from the rising water, bringing them to safety, and putting them in temporary shelter.