Romney Does Double Back Flip on FEMA

You had to know this was coming. Just yesterday, Mitt Romney repeatedly refused to answer reporters’ questions about his position on FEMA funding. During the Republican primaries, Romney argued that the Federal government should have no role in disaster response and that the functions of FEMA should be returned to individual states.

But today, Romney suddenly switched gears and became a fan of FEMA. The Boston Globe reports:

Mitt Romney on Wednesday stepped up his support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, further rebuffing accusations that he would end funding for disaster relief if elected president.

“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. “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.”

Romney’s comments last year during a GOP debate in New Hampshire were interpreted by some as a call to eliminate FEMA altogether.

“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,” Romney said. “And if you can go even further, and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.”

Politico has more reporting on the sudden switch, directly from the campaign trail:

Mitt Romney’s campaign tried Wednesday to reassure voters that the GOP nominee believes the Federal Emergency Management Agency plays a “really important role.”

“Gov. Romney believes in a very efficient and effective disaster relief response, and he believes one of the ways to do that is put a premium on states and their efforts to respond to these disasters,” senior adviser Kevin Madden told reporters on the flights from Tampa to Miami. “That’s why they call them first responders — they’re first to respond, the states. Traditionally, they’ve been best at responding to these disasters. But he does believe FEMA has a really important role there and that being a partner for these states is the best approach.”

So why couldn’t Romney just say this yesterday in response to the 14 separate questions he ignored in Kettering, Ohio? Did his campaign have to run a focus group overnight to determine his new policy?

Madden also dodged a question on whether Romney agrees with NJ Governor Chris Christie that President Obama has been doing an excellent job in responding to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy:

Asked if Romney agrees with Christie’s comment that Obama’s response to the natural disaster has been fantastic so far, Madden said: “I refer to Gov. Christie’s remarks. I believe the response is still going on so I’m not in a position to qualify the response by the federal government. I believe it’s still ongoing.”

Frankly, I can’t imagine Romney is going get away with this one, but if in the next couple of days he starts claiming that he always supported FEMA and that he did a great job responding to disasters as Governor of Massachusetts, we’ll know the focus group liked his latest backflip.

40 Comments on “Romney Does Double Back Flip on FEMA”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Krugman was a Sandy victim, and he’s not happy with Mitt Romney and the Republicans.

    There’s something pathological here. It’s really hard to think of a public service less likely to be suitable for privatization, and given the massive inequality of impacts by state, it really really isn’t block-grantable. Does the right somehow imagine that only Those People need disaster relief? Is the whole idea of helping people as opposed to hurting them just anathema?

    • ANonOMouse says:

      When you have Corporate Executives, who aren’t Obama supporters, calling Mitt Romney’s Chrysler outsourcing bluff, you may be seeing the effects of Romnesia.

      Mitt Romney is getting so desperate you can almost smell it.

    • List of X says:

      It would be nice if GM and Chrysler announce that if Romney wins they would move to China.

  2. RalphB says:

    If Romney were in charge of Obama’s ads …

    • bostonboomer says:


    • ANonOMouse says:

      That was funny ralph. I can’t believe Romney gottn away with the cut & paste misrepresentations of Obama as long as he has. It looks like the lies may be catching up with him

  3. Beata says:

    Gawd, Romney changes positions so often he makes my head spin. I already suffer from vertigo. Just let his farce of a campaign be over so he can go back to building car elevators and firing the help and I can get up from the floor.

  4. pdgrey says:

    Fox news needs some kind of FCC rating, like if you watch Fox News, you must wear a special hat so we know who you are. 🙂

  5. ecocatwoman says:

    I was screaming at the radio again today. I think it was on Here & Now, but it’s not in the online story. A Romney spokesman said that Romney “didn’t mean to say that”, speaking about Romney’s primary debate FEMA comment. I screamed – then why did he say it? If I say something I didn’t mean, I generally apologize & say that’s not what I meant to say. Now Romney “realizes” about 6 or 8 months later that he didn’t want to say turn disaster relief over to the states or better yet privatize it & let victims of disasters pay for being rescued. Yeah, that’s believable – NOT! This constant BS back flipping is really pissing me off, big time.

    • pdgrey says:

      The entire country is going to need eye and ear bleach before this election is over.

    • RalphB says:

      I can’t help but wonder if that’s one of the reasons for Obama’s golden good polling today. Maybe a lot more people are noticing that the man is a pathological liar now?

  6. ecocatwoman says:

    Great interview with Bill Nye, the Science Guy, on our local PBS radio station: It’s only about 15 minutes long, but seems like it was 5 minutes. He was, as always, brilliant & really hammered the press & Romney/Ryan. Really good info on Obama’s space plans. Check it out.

  7. pdgrey says:

    OK, bleach is not strong enough, help me think of something else. Exorcism?

    • pdgrey says:

      I wanted to add, this is another republican who didn’t take Steven Colbert’s advise to stab a pencil in your eye until it hits the part of your brain that says the word rape.

  8. RalphB says:

    Don’t know if this has been posted yet but it’s good (and not for John McCain).

    TPM: Michigan Poll: Obama By 6 Points, Half Say Auto Bailout Is A ‘Deciding Factor’ In Their Vote

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Yep……Some things you just can’t lie about, One of those is an NYT Editorial titled “Let Detroit go Bankrupt”.

      Forward Michigan

  9. ecocatwoman says:

    Mitch Daniels was on Colbert last night. I loved when he said we should give people the freedom to make choices – I added except regarding abortions. And when Colbert asked him who chloroformed him & stole the money from treasury (since W’s term of which Daniels’ was head of OMB started with a surplus), Daniels blamed it on the bursting of bubble. No, of course, it wasn’t the long and unnecessary “conflicts” in Iraq & Afghanistan. Don’t you just LOVE (not) the Repugnant version of history & their positions on issues?–1

    • ANonOMouse says:

      They are shameless!!!

    • RalphB says:

      Those tax cuts were harmless for the deficit to, if you believe those nut jobs.

    • socalannie says:

      The Mitch Daniels Colbert was a repeat from about a week ago. Colbert just ripped Daniels a new one, over and over. He was positively vicious, even to the last couple of seconds where he does something with the gift Daniels gives him. (omigosh, so funny…the manical expression on Colberts face!) My teenage son & I were screaming with laughter. I highly recommend checking it out if you have a few minutes. I bet Daniels walked out of there damning Colbert and every relative he has. I doubt if we’ll see Daniels on Colbert again.

  10. peregrine says:

    Ya’ll have been working hard all day on the numbers. It’s break-time on this Halloween Night!
    You can sing along, or not, while I do my magic on NC’s numbers. Stirring my witches’ brew now.

    It’s magic!

  11. pdgrey says:

    Well this is just sad and I know how this little girl feels. I would have said it different, like a lot of 4 letter words.