Romney campaign slows down hurricane relief for Ryan photo opp

Message: Paul Ryan Cares (When the Cameras Are Rolling)

Yes, we wouldn’t want someone to rush aid to one of the largest natural disasters in American history if it meant Paul Ryan would miss his chance to use the suffering of millions as a political photo opp.

From Zeke Miller at Buzzfeed:

In Hudson, the packing was proceeding too quickly, and the supporters wearing red “Team Wisconsin” t-shirts were given the order to slow down and then to stop to be sure there were still goods to be packed when Ryan entered.

One by one the boxes were filled and loaded into a waiting U-Haul, and then they stopped to wait for the candidate.

You can tell it’s for charity because the cameras are rolling.
meltechfoto / Shutterstock.com

Of course, these supposed Hurricane Sandy relief events are phony to start with.  Reporters who were at the earlier Romney event were surprised by the amount of politicization, and partisanship  Romney injected into the rally. They were giving out anti-Obama tshirts, and even playing Mitt Romney’s campaign video.

But let’s pretend for a moment they’re real, and inspired by a sincere desire to get relief supplies to storm victims in dire need.  Why would stop preparing supplies for a dire emergency just so the boss could get his picture taken for the local paper?  Sorry, Mrs., Smith, no soup for you, Paul Ryan’s running late from his last photo opp!
I ask you: What is more important? Getting aid to Americans in need, or getting Paul Ryan another phony photo opp to show “he cares,” when, if he actually cared, he’d volunteer for more than 3 minutes at a time, and he’d do it even when the cameras weren’t rolling?

At What Point Will Team Romney Stop Giving the Red Cross Donations It Doesn’t Want?

Of course, if Paul Ryan actually cared, he wouldn’t be collection donations of food that the Red Cross has explicitly said on its Web site that it does not want.  Why?  Because donations of “stuff” slow the Red Cross down.  They have to spend time dealing with all the items you give them, sorting them, rather than simply accepting donations of or blood that they can easily send wherever it’s needed.  Toothpaste, Campbells soup, slightly less fungible than cash.
But remember, Team Romney doesn’t listen to Fact Checkers, even if the Fact Checker is the victim of their own disaster relief donations.  I say “victim” because the Romney campaign is actually hurting Red Cross relief efforts by donating goods when the Red Cross keeps telling everyone to stop donating goods.  Here’s the Red Cross’ own Web site:

And I quote 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.

And then to add insult to injury, Ryan announced today their offices across the country – creepily called “victory centers” – are accepting donations of non-perishable goods from the public for the relief effort.  Apparently to insure that the good work of the Red Cross is truly impeded.

He noted that victory centers across the state and the country are accepting donations of non-perishables.

You’ll Take It and You’ll Eat It

Think about it.  What kind of person gives you something that they know you don’t know, don’t need, and can’t really use effectively?  Then take this out of the context of a gift, and put it into the context of what we’re actually dealing with, a natural disaster.

I’ve had conservatives on Twitter tell me that the Red Cross should be thankful for whatever folks want to give it.  Yeah, but that’s not the way the disaster relief game works.  The Red Cross doesn’t exist to make you feel good about yourself, to make you think you’re helping people in need, when you’re really not.  The Red Cross exists to help people in need.  Not to boost your ego.  And not to help you win presidential elections.

So the moral of the story is, if you ever need a blood transfusion, don’t call Mitt Romney: He’ll bring canned fruit and a photographer.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

Share This Post

  • ELSEVAR

    Slick Willard and Racin’ Ryan, the amazing dynamic duo!

    Dashing along with their two trusty sidekicks, Queen Ann and her Prancing Pony!

    Faster than a speeding bankruptcy!
    Overlords of Chinese workers’ paradises!
    The Men with a Plan!
    Jolly Privateers, with their campaign at sea !!!
    Man the capstans, Paulie! Tonight we sail for the Caymens !!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=749538575 Donna J Wade

    “So the moral of the story is, if you ever need a blood transfusion, don’t call Mitt Romney: He’ll bring canned fruit and a photographer.”

    That line resulted in a good, spontaneous belly laugh. Thanks, John. Well said.

  • http://adgitadiaries.blog-city.com karmanot

    Heck of a job Paulie!

  • http://adgitadiaries.blog-city.com karmanot

     Day old bread and cans of corn fructose are the Republican ideas of charity.

  • LanceThruster

    What a douche canoe.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Astonishingly Orwellian, isn’t it?

  • silas1898

    Romney desperation. 
    Florida is going blue!

  • colleen2

    ‘Victory Centers’? Oh that is just awful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-Coleman/100001217693049 Thomas Coleman

    I think his Secret Service detail needs identifying t-shirts that clarify: “I’m With Stupid —->”

  • Jim Olson

    I’m sorry, but I disagree.  In the immediate aftermath of a disaster like this, the MOST helpful thing is cash.  Then, once the infrastructure is back in place, and the immediate crisis has abated, clothing and food *may* be helpful.  Stopping the work of loading aid items to wait for the candidate to take a picture is just crass.  I suggest you go read Matthew 6:3 and the surrounding verses for some perspective about this.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Bosse/608235497 Joe Bosse

     I can hear what you’re saying, I think it might be the shouting.

  • ORBAUDAIS

    THESE COMMENTS ARE DISGUSTING. I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU PEOPLE ARE CRITICIZING THOSE WHO ARE HELPING. SHAME ON YOU.YOU ARE THE ONES WHO ARE POLITICIZING THE RELIEF EFFORT.

  • usagi

    I’ve had conservatives on Twitter tell me that the Red Cross should be thankful for whatever folks want to give it.

    Not to mention, Romney is politicizing the Red Cross. Does anyone do that?

  • HereinDC

    Funny how he likes to slow down relief to hurricane victims…..but he sure does like to speed up personal marathon times.

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