That's what a President Romney thinks about people who lose everything due to fire, flood, earthquake or a really nasty, once every 100 years storm. Let me put an exclamation point on that by quoting him directly (transcript via ThinkProgress)
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. [...] We cannot — we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.
Shorter Mitt: Turn natural disasters into a profit center.
Keep this in mind as governors in red and blue states alike declare states of emergency in anticipation of the coming storms. Keep it in mind when you hear Mitt pay earnest lip service to helping those people get back on their feet. Keep it in mind, because he will do it. It's another form of Romnesia, intended to play to people who will be fooled into thinking Romney is some kind of centrist.
He is not, and has never been a centrist. His 2008 organization morphed into the "severely conservative" people who stirred up the astroturf grassroots and set conservatives' hair on fire. So he will now posture and forget what he said in that debate, but people should not let him forget.
Privatizing disaster services. What a concept. Because that way insurance companies and private industry can do the double dip on ordinary people suffering extraordinary loss.
Behold the Real Romney.
Update: I went back this morning to hunt down some more Romney on FEMA clips and posts here on the site. Let's take a walk into the recent past:
- Romney to Isaac victim who lost their home and asked what they should do: "Go home and call 211"
- Mitt's 47 percent comments would cover those folks who are victims of a natural disaster and look to government for assistance, too.
- RJ Eskow writes about Texas tornadoes and Mitt's cronies' climate change denial
There are more, like Ron Paul being silly about things, but you get the idea from these. In case there was any doubt, here's what Romney spokesman said this morning, in a nasty, cynical comment on CNN:
Ron Bonjean, GOP Strategist: “Most people don’t have a positive impression of FEMA and I think Mitt Romney was right on the button. But I don’t think anybody cares about that right now. I think people care about whether or not their power’s on, whether or not their basement’s going to be flooded. And I think that if the president gets too far in front of this and something goes wrong, people are going to remember, hey, my power’s not out, and the president’s talking about FEMA. I’m not a real big fan of FEMA. That could sway their vote.”
Basically the Romney campaign thinks there's risk in the president planning in advance and placing FEMA assets strategically in order to move in as soon as it's safe because something might go wrong and cause people to vote for the other guy?
Expect a Romney administration to take this attitude, too.
Update #2: Oh, look! Suddenly Romnesia has set in, as Romney says no, no, no. He doesn't want to get rid of FEMA, he just wants to "give more power to states." Politico:
The Romney campaign stressed Monday that states should take the lead in responding to emergencies like hurricanes. But the campaign said Romney would not abolish the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“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.”
A campaign official added that Romney would not abolish FEMA.
That's NOT what he said, though!!!! Read what he said. If you hand that money to states, there's no need for FEMA, right? FEMA=Federal Emergency Management Agency
Desert Beacon expands more:
Remember the Romney-Ryan budget proposal calls for 20% cuts across the board in non-defense discretionary spending. Their previously issued statements also call for transforming emergency funds into Block Grants for states. So, whatever disaster strikes the ‘resources and assistance’ would come from the state — not federal resources. The state of Louisiana would have had to pick up the bill for Hurricane Katrina from its ‘block grant.’ The state of Missouri would have been responsible for paying all emergency services bills associated with the Joplin/SW area tornadoes. Western states would have to pay for emergency services during wild land fires from their ‘block grants.’