In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, with the upcoming election a factor, one thing is apparent and that is that Mitt Romney is no better off at figuring out disaster relief than he was at figuring out which countries constitute our geopolitical enemies. You see Romney is busy backpedaling on his earlier comments about shutting down FEMA.
Let's look at those prior statements that are now causing Romney so many headaches: "During a CNN debate at the height of the GOP primary, Mitt Romney was asked, in the context of the Joplin disaster and FEMA's cash crunch, whether the agency should be shuttered so that states can individually take over responsibility for disaster response."Absolutely," he said. "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. Instead of thinking, in the federal budget, what we should cut, we should ask the opposite question, what should we keep?" Now let's contrast Romney's statements, made during the primaries when he was pandering to the far right of the Republican Party with the situation now: "Mitt Romney repeatedly ignored questions about his position on federal funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at an event for storm victims Tuesday...“Governor, you’ve been asked 14 times. Why are you refusing to answer the question?” one [reporter] asked." Not surprisingly aides to Governor Romney insisted that he would not abolish FEMA. If you look at the statements made by Romney aides it's apparent that the campaign is attempting to spin its way out of suggesting that FEMA should be eliminated: “Gov. Romney believes that states should be in charge of emergency management in responding to storms and other natural disasters in their jurisdictions,” Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said in a statement. “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.” Well it looks like one thing is for sure, the word "absolutely" no longer has a fixed meaning in the lexicon of Romney's political play book.
Mitt Romney In GOP Debate: Shut Down Federal Disaster Agency, Send Responsibility To The States; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/28/mitt-romney-fema_n_2036198.html
Romney ignores questions about eliminating FEMA; http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/wp/2012/10/30/romney-ignores-questions-about-eliminating-fema/
Romney Denies He Would Eliminate FEMA; http://www.newsmax.com/US/romney-fema-hurricane-sandy/2012/10/29/id/461931
Gov. Bobby Jindal aims to cut Louisiana state budget into shape; http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/04/gov_bobby_jindal_aims_to_cut_l.html
Vast Defenses Now Shielding New Orleans; http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/15/us/vast-defenses-now-shielding-new-orleans.html?pagewanted=all