This is truly disgusting. As Americans on the east coast are battling to stay safe (and in some cases, alive) in the midst of post-tropical cyclone Sandy, Mitt Romney can't be bothered to hold off campaigning. His campaign first told us that he's canceling events tomorrow, but then, they told us, nevermind. Oh, and this time, they are going to insult everybody's intelligence by holding events in Ohio and Wisconsin, and labeling them 'storm relief.'
Romney will attend an event in Kettering, Ohio, Tuesday morning with race car driver Richard Petty and country music artist Randy Owen. [...]Why Ohio, governor? You know, that state you used to be governor of, Massachusetts? It's in the way of the storm. That's where your campaign headquarters are. Go hold your 'storm relief' event there. But no, you're appearing in an event in Ohio, a state not impacted by this storm.
The Romney campaign did not advise what the event would entail, but a Republican source indicated attendees would be asked to bring disaster relief supplies to the event, and that Romney might give brief remarks.
Oh, and before anyone even goes to "Oh, it's too hard to fly to MA now", this storm didn't just appear out of thin air. You could see this coming from space. Literally. We knew almost to the dot when and where it was making landfall. If Romney wanted to help, he could have flown to MA before it did, but then that might have meant sacrificing a few campaign events bashing the president and lying about Jeep. Can't have that.
Paul Ryan isn't doing much better either. He will be in Wisconsin, holding another one of these 'storm relief' events.
Ryan, who was originally scheduled to campaign Tuesday in Colorado, instead returned home to Wisconsin on Monday night. On Tuesday afternoon, Ryan will drop by a Romney campaign office in La Crosse, where he will thank volunteers gathering or donating items for storm release efforts. Later in the evening, Ryan is scheduled to stop at another campaign office in Hudson, again thanking supporters.By the way, isn't Paul Ryan the Chairman of the House Budget Committee? Shouldn't he be calling on the Speaker of the House of his party and urging Boehner to get Congress back in town so that they too are ready to respond with any legislative and emergency funding measures? Shouldn't the chairman of the Budget committee be there making sure a bill is waiting to provide funding for any contingency? As the president mobilizes the entire federal emergency response structure from the executive perspective, where the hell is Congress?
I really hope people see through this. I think that they will. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan both have a singular policy idea about disaster response: end - or at least weaken - the federal government's ability to respond to emergencies, giving it to the states, or even better in Mitt Romney's words, to the private sector.
Romney's running mate Paul Ryan's budget - embraced wholeheartedly by Mr. Romney himself - would not only cut the FEMA budget as it takes a hatchet to everything non-defense, it would demand that any emergency spending - you know, like money for hurricane relief - be offset elsewhere before Congress can even authorize that emergency money. That restriction, of course, would not apply to war spending. As part of his own plan to institute a 5% across-the-board cut, Romney would seek to impose additional cuts on FEMA.
As far as I can tell, Mr. Romney, the American people don't need you to hide an Ohio campaign event under the veil of 'storm relief.' We need you to stay the hell out of the way while the professionals take care of this. And oh, we need you to explain why it's such a grand idea to privatize disaster response.
By the way, if you can afford to contribute to the Red Cross' efforts in Sandy, please do so.