Romney now flip-flopping on abolishing FEMA

Romney Flip-Flops on Abolishing FEMA

Mitt Romney today clarified – in only the way he can – that he would NOT abolish FEMA as he previously stated he would.  Maybe.

You’ll recall that Mitt Romney had previously said he might dismantle FEMA and devolve its responsibilities to the states.  The Romney campaign appeared to confirm these statements last night, and the campaign most certainly refused to issue a statement denying it.

Now, after much criticism in the middle of one of the largest natural disasters in American history, the Romney campaign is saying that he wouldn’t “abolish” FEMA, but would still partially dismantle it.  And they’re not even willing to give a real quote, with a real official’s name behind it, even though the rest of the statement from the campaign, about giving more of FEMA’s powers to the states, they do say on the record with a named official.

Then Romney Backs Off His Own Flip-Flop on FEMA

Note what happens here.  First, a named official gives Politico a quote that still  sounds like they’re going to tear FEMA apart.  Then, an unnamed official refuses to give an actual quote saying that they wont’t abolish FEMA.

Here’s Romney’s typically wish-washy “clarification” that doesn’t really clarify anything:

“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.”

Now the unnamed campaign official and no longer a quote:

A campaign official added that Romney would not abolish FEMA.

See that.  First it’s Ryan William and a quote when the quote is somewhat anti-FEMA.  Then it’s no name and no quote when supposedly the content is pro-FEMA.

I’m a bit surprised that Politico didn’t find this odd, and didn’t frankly demand an on the record quote by a named official before they’d print the campaign’s claim that Romney won’t abolish FEMA.  It’s also odd that they didn’t push Romney on the clear implication in the quote that FEMA may be emasculated and partially dismantled by Romney should he win.

Romney Previously Said Funding FEMA Was “Immoral”

Politico also didn’t bother giving you the rest of the quite damning quote about FEMA Romney made during the GOP primaries:

“Including disaster relief, though?” debate moderator John King asked Romney.

“We cannot — we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids,” Romney replied. “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.”

The man said it’s immoral to keeping spending money on disaster relief while running a deficit. But we’re now supposed to believe that the latest Romney flip-flop, one that the campaign won’t even give an on-the-record quote about, is the “real” truth, the real Romney.

In the end, the Romney campaign doesn’t want to be held to this promise, so no one made it – there’s no quote, so if they end up abolishing FEMA they’ll say that Politico is crazy, they didn’t even have a source.

Latest view of the earth and Hurricane Sandy:


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. 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