2012 Election | Mitt Romney | News

Romney on 'Immoral' Federal Disaster Relief Spending and Privatizing FEMA: VIDEO


Think Progress pulls up a video with some relevance given the impending landfall of a powerful hurricane on the New Jersey Coast. Back during the GOP primaries, the "severely conservative" version of Mitt Romney suggested that "it would be 'immoral' for the federal government to fund disaster relief efforts without cutting the budget elsewhere" and suggested shuttering FEMA and sending responsibility for disaster relief back to the private sector.

KING: What else, Governor Romney? You’ve been a chief executive of a state. I was just in Joplin, Missouri. I’ve been in Mississippi and Louisiana and Tennessee and other communities dealing with whether it’s the tornadoes, the flooding, and worse. FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say do it on a case-by-case basis and some people who say, you know, 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?

ROMNEY: Absolutely. 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 ourselves the opposite question. What should we keep? We should take all of what we’re doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we’re doing that we don’t have to do? And those things we’ve got to stop doing, because we’re borrowing $1.6 trillion more this year than we’re taking in. We cannot…

KING: Including disaster relief, though?

ROMNEY: 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.


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  1. Oh, heavens, let's not privatize it! Now when a President can sit in the big boy chair for a photo op reading off teleprompters giving the nation weather updates. How laughable he's so desperate to be in "charge" of something. Anything. Get the f- out of the way, Barry.
    We know you sat and watched Americans die in Benghazi on LIVE stream and did nothing for your political gain.

    Posted by: MarkUs | Oct 29, 2012 8:16:28 AM

  2. Can someone explain to me how this liar seems to win. He is a catastrophe and a ekstreminist. Why do not people this

    Posted by: nn | Oct 29, 2012 8:20:35 AM

  3. "It's better to die the death of a hero than live the life of a coward."

    -the late Navy Seal's father. Think that will get some play this week?
    He means you, Mr President.

    Posted by: MarkUs | Oct 29, 2012 8:21:33 AM

  4. What the Hell is Markus talking about? Benghazi is relevant to FEMA how?

    Posted by: Mikemike | Oct 29, 2012 8:35:09 AM

  5. Grasping at straws, Markus?

    Posted by: Mikey | Oct 29, 2012 8:36:58 AM

  6. ...and Romney is THISCLOSE to being elected president next Tuesday. This is exactly the kind of strategic thinking the nation does NOT need for the next four years.

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Oct 29, 2012 8:39:30 AM

  7. The media to be far harsher on him. He so repulsive. I can't figure out whether he's as stupid as Bush or simply as entitled.

    Posted by: Paul R | Oct 29, 2012 9:08:12 AM

  8. Don't pay attention to Markus. Like Coulter, Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Palin, etc, he's an attention seeking troll. Don't feed trolls.

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 29, 2012 9:09:26 AM

  9. I agree totally, Mike - starve a troll, feed a supporter!

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Oct 29, 2012 10:00:17 AM

  10. I've been thinking for weeks that Romney would win the popular vote (he was up by 1% end of last week), but lose the electoral vote--there are quite simply not enough northern and western states in his reach, unless he was to sweep virtually every one of them (Colorado, Nevada, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, New Hampshire, etc.). So I predicted Obama would be re-elected by one or two states.

    Now, however, if this quote and clip gets traction, I predict Romney will lose both--and possibly by a wider margin. A lot of people who lived through Katrina and are going to slog through Sandy (with the government's disaster relief assistance) are going to think really hard about electing a guy who is on record as saying that he's so beholden to right-wing interests, he'd let almost 1/5 of the country blow away or drown. But this definitely fits with Romney's ongoing narrative: he only cares about people who are just like him (i.e., people who live in safe, gated communities).

    Posted by: Dback | Oct 29, 2012 10:33:53 AM

  11. MARKUS: has Hurricane Sandy blown away what little common sense and dignity you had?

    So what is Richie Rich saying...he wants to download disaster relief to the states and make them pay for it? Yeah, they've got a ton of money just sitting around waiting for something to do with! The reason there is a FEMA and it is handled on a national level is because many of the natural disasters affect more than one state at a time, so that way relief is handled in one central authority. Doing it piece meal and not duplicating responsibilities actually SAVES money (isn't that what they preach in the business world?). UGH.

    Posted by: BETTY | Oct 29, 2012 12:31:21 PM

  12. If Romney were actually a successful business man, he would have learned that there can be real problems to outsourcing parts of the business that are not considered the core of its operation. (e.g. Information Technology)

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Oct 29, 2012 2:16:06 PM

  13. So he wants to give people disaster loans instead of relief. I guarantee that they will be a larger burden on the people and this country than the sub-prime mortgage loans. And we'll be the ones out the money, not him!

    Posted by: Garst | Oct 29, 2012 4:25:06 PM

  14. "And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better." So there's a disaster situation and Romney want's to leave it up to the "private sector" to handle the situation. Has he EVER seen how the private sector works in a disaster situation? Everything becomes extremely expensive. Imagine $20 bottles of water and outrageous fees for the simplest of tasks. I can't imagine states being able to afford what these private contractors would charge when they become desperate for help.

    This just shows how out of touch people like Romney and Ryan are. They've spent too much of their lives in corporate boardrooms and congressional offices surrounded by yes-men. They live in an idealist world of Ayn Rand, where schoolboys read comic books and imagine a world where everything is exactly as they imagine, regardless of reality and practicality.

    Posted by: Isaac | Oct 29, 2012 11:05:42 PM

  15. He probably wants to outsource it to India...

    Posted by: Joe | Oct 30, 2012 1:49:23 PM

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