In the last 24-48 hours hurricane Sandy, and the destruction it has caused on the east coast, has been the focus of much of the media’s attention. Although it is truly a tragic event, with one week left until the election it is difficult not to consider the political ramifications this could have after about 18 months of constant campaigning.
In the midst of the media’s blanket coverage of hurricane sandy, several news outlets went back through transcripts of the GOP debates and found Mitt Romney making some comments about FEMA that may come back to haunt him. In the debate CNN’s John King mentioned that he had just been in Joplin Missouri after the tornado that devastated many communities, but noted that FEMA was running out of money to combat these disasters. When he asked Romney about how he would deal with a similar situation he said “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.”
After these comments began to circulate there were many reporters who attempted to ask the former governor about his position on FEMA during his “storm relief event.” Many news outlets have covered his “refusal” to answer their questions, but to be fair they were essentially shouting questions at him while he helped sort canned food for the relief effort. Campaign spokespeople have claimed that Mitt Romney would not abolish FEMA as President, but the timing of this story is not great for the campaign, given that it plays right into the Democrats’ attempt to paint conservatives as heartless budget slashers.
It is unlikely for this story to impact the election much, given that the storm did not hit any swing states, but it could leave some moderate and undecided voters concerned about which Mitt Romney would be President.