Disaster coordination is one of the most vital functions of “big government,” which is why Mitt Romney wants to eliminate it. At a Republican primary debate last year, Mr. Romney was asked whether emergency management was a function that should be returned to the states. He not only agreed, he went further.
“Absolutely,” 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.” Mr. Romney not only believes that states acting independently can handle the response to a vast East Coast storm better than Washington, but that profit-making companies can do an even better job. He said it was “immoral” for the federal government to do all these things if it means increasing the debt.
Of course, Republicans are accusing the NYT of being taking advantage of the disaster to criticize Romney. But the election is less than a week away-- what time would be better? And so much for Mitt Romney's promise not to campaign while American lives are still at risk-- he's now holding campaign events wrapped in “storm relief”.
Even worse, the Romney campaign is actually impeding hurricane relief efforts. ABC reported yesterday that the Romney campaign was pitching in and gathering supplies to donate for hurricane relief, which is exactly the opposite of what the Red Cross wants people to do. From the Red Cross web site:
Unfortunately, due to logistical constraints the Red Cross does not accept or solicit individual donations or collections of items. Items such as collected food, used clothing and shoes must be sorted, cleaned, repackaged and transported which impedes the valuable resources of money, time, and personnel.
Breaking yet again his promise not to politicize disasters, Romney seems to be calling only GOP governors (not Democratic governors) to offer his world-renowned expertise in hurricane management (he has none).