Romney’s Fake Storm Relief Event


I’m with Joan Walsh on all the tsk tsking about “politicizing” the terrible storm of the last few days; what better time to have a real debate about how best to respond to natural disasters? But if you’re going to try to make it about politics, at least don’t do it in such a transparently ridiculous way that it looks like an SNL sketch. That’s what the Romney campaign did, turning an already scheduled campaign stop in Ohio into a “storm relief event” while declaring it to be entirely apolitical. But they couldn’t even pull that off without looking like the Keystone Cops:

After announcing that they were going to suspend any campaign stops “”out of sensitivity to the millions of Americans in the path of Hurricane Sandy,” the Romney folks decided to turn a planned stop in Dayton into a photo op. They hastily scrubbed the site of explicitly political signage and such and asked everyone coming to the rally to bring food donations to give to the Red Cross — never mind that the Red Cross explicitly says not to donate food because distribution is almost impossible. And then this:

The plan was for supporters to bring hurricane relief supplies to the event and then deliver the bags of canned goods, packages of diapers, and cases of water bottles to the candidate, who would be perched behind a table along with a slew of volunteers and his Ohio right-hand man, Senator Rob Portman. To complete the project and photo op, Romney would lead his crew in carrying the goods out of the gymnasium and into the Penske rental truck parked outside.

But the last-minute nature of the call for donations left some in the campaign concerned that they would end up with an empty truck. So the night before the event, campaign aides went to a local Wal-Mart and spent $5,000 on granola bars, canned food, and diapers to put on display while they waited for donations to come in, according to one staffer. (The campaign confirmed that it “did donate supplies to the relief effort,” but would not specify how much it spent.)…

Empty-handed supporters pled for entrance, with one woman asking, “What if we dropped off our donations up front?”

The volunteer gestured toward a pile of groceries conveniently stacked near the candidate. “Just grab something,” he said.

Two teenage boys retrieved a jar of peanut butter each, and got in line. When it was their turn, they handed their “donations” to Romney. He took them, smiled, and offered an earnest “Thank you.”

Yes, earnest indeed. And terribly sincere. And just to prove that they were totally not politicizing the situation, they showed that weepy-eyed video about Romney’s life from the Republican National Convention. Brilliant.

Comments

  1. says

    This is Mittmoroni:
    “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. (emphasis added) {source: http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2012/10/30/romney-on-fema/}
    AND THIS:
    “the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign now insists that Romney would keep FEMA in place:

    “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.” {source: http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/10/30/1110921/romney-flips-fema/?mobile=nc}

    is Mittmoroni’s campaign manager.

    Just like SoupkitchenPaulie, Mittmoroni is doing some “carin’&sharin’moments” for the cameras.
    Lying sacks of crap. Now they’re gonna have to fire ANOTHER mouthpiece.

  2. Johnny Vector says

    “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.”

    This statement implies that states are not currently in charge of emergency management, including directing aid from FEMA. Considering that Romney was a state governor for 4 years, he knows or should know that this implication is false. States are in charge of disaster response; FEMA is only there to provide additional resources.

    Okay, I just heard that yesterday on NPR, so maybe it’s not true. It did come from a FEMA spokesman, but maybe he’s just a rabid Obama political hack. Let’s look on the FEMA website. Oh look, here’s what it says in the National Disaster Recovery Framework:

    Successful recovery requires informed and coordinated leadership throughout all levels of government, sectors of society and phases of the recovery process. It recognizes that local, State and Tribal governments have primary responsibility for the recovery of their communities and play the lead role in planning for and managing all aspects of community recovery. This is a basic, underlying principle…

    Romney seems to be making a career out of lying by omission.

  3. scienceavenger says

    Of course, never mind that as president, if he was spending his time loading a truck, he’d be guilty of gross negligence of his duty to delegate those tasks.

  4. Artor says

    I’ve figured out Rmoney’s strategy! He’s trying to make everyone facepalm so hard they cause permanent brain damage. With enough cognitive impairment, anyone might vote for Rmoney!

  5. savagemutt says

    @Johnny Vector

    You’re absolutely correct. I serve on a state Incident Management Team in a hurricane-prone state. The resources on the front-line are state, county and municipal employees along with local National Guard units and volunteer agencies like the Red Cross. Even if we qualify for FEMA money we rarely actually see a representative, unless its an auditor several months later.

    There are some exceptions where we’ll have FEMA people telling us what we can and can’t buy, but that’s about it.

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