Conservative pundit: Romney wants to abolish FEMA, now flip-flopping

“A lot of people don’t think that’s a good idea”

Conservative writer and commentator Debra Saunders admitted today on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” that Mitt Romney wants to abolish FEMA, and that now he’s running from his own statements.

KURTZ: Debra Saunders, Romney didn’t quite say in that debate that he’d abolish FEMA, but he did seem to kind of, sort of, imply it.  Fair game for the press in the wake of this devastating hurricane?SAUNDERS: Yeah I think it is fair game for the press. I mean, he did seem to say that he wanted to move this federal agency for states to run things, and I’m sure a lot of people don’t think that’s a good idea.  You don’t see him talking about that a lot this week, do you?

I think that we’ve seen the Etch-a-Sketch Romney

Then Bill Press talks about Romney refusing to answer questions about FEMA, and his overall flip-flopping.

Debra Saunders

PRESS: With Romney there is an attempt, at any rate, to reinvent himself.  Look, he was totally against abortion, now, not so much: “I’m not as bad as you think I am.”  He was totally against Obamacare, now he says “no there are some parts that I actually like.”  So now he says “give disaster relief all to the states,” now he says “no, but we’ll still keep FEMA.” That raises a question, I think, of where does he really stand.

KURTZ:  That has become a theme of the recent coverage, Debra Saunders, not as much of a theme as one might expect, I wonder if you think it’s fair or are we seeing a certain amount of spin in this coverage.

SAUNDERS: Well, look it, I think that we’ve seen the Etch-a-Sketch Romney. He moved to the right in order to win the primary, now he’s moving toward the center…. I think it’s fair for people to point it out and ask which one is the real one.


CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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19 Responses to “Conservative pundit: Romney wants to abolish FEMA, now flip-flopping”

  1. rovibo says:

    This Ann Coultergeist of the west coast is finally telling the truth for a change. We will find out how long it would last.

  2. hollywoodstein says:

    Then GOTV!

  3. hollywoodstein says:


  4. hollywoodstein says:

    Boy, when even a conservative hack like Saunders is jumping ship you know the writings on the wall.

  5. hollywoodstein says:

    Don’t forget lying about his taxes and residency in Massachusetts.

  6. hollywoodstein says:

    No, Americans are going to elect Obama, because Romney’s a dick.  No other reason necessary.

  7. BeccaM says:

    The old saw about broken clocks comes to mind, with regard to Debra Saunders. I remember her columns well from when we used to live in the SF Bay area. Only here, her concern seems to be “Where’s the severely conservative Tea Bagger Mitt Romney we Republicans came to…well, if not ‘love’, at least accept and tolerate during the primaries? Why is he dabbling in the heresies of moderation? Could this mean he wasn’t sincere about being conservative, too?”

    Well, yeah. There’s principled conservatism, where you say what you honestly believe, knowing not everyone is going to agree with you. Example? Rick Santorum. I think he’s crazy as a loon, and dangerously wingnutty, but there’s really no doubt that he fervently believes everything he says — and it doesn’t change from day to day. I can almost respect that.

    And then there’s the self-serving kind, where you may have all kinds of conservative core beliefs due to your upbringing and predilections, but they take second place in the service of ambition and personal greed. This is Mitt Romney saying whatever he thinks he needs to say to get what he wants, but once he does have it and is secure in his position, he’ll finally let us all know what he really has in mind for the nation. He’ll gladly play the liar and hypocrite until then. That said though, genuine ‘moderate’ isn’t in that deep Mitt-closet.

    There really is no shortage of information about what Mitt Romney likes to do when he’s elected to an executive position in government. We need only look at his history in Massachusetts, and what his priorities were then. Faced with a budget deficit, he imposed regressive increases in state fees and energy taxes. Most of his budget cuts were to things like education, resulting in massive increases in tuitions at state colleges and universities and deep cutbacks in K-12 schools. Charter schools began draining resources from public education. Due to cutbacks in local support from the state, overall the combined state and local tax burden for Massachusetts residents actually went up during his term off office.

    In addition, he was extremely secretive and didn’t like anybody knowing what was going on in his office — to the point of breaking state law by not delivering records to the state archives and buying up computer hard drives from his offices to have them destroyed. He lied about his involvement with Bain and about his official residency. His behavior during the campaign, withholding his tax records and refusing to explain or detail his positions on just about anything at all? It’s how Mitt rolls. I’d be amazed if Ann Romney is even allowed to see the family’s investment balance sheets.

    On the other hand, he ran as a gay-friendly pro-choice candidate for governor — but once in office, he made it clear he did not believe in same-sex marriage equality, that gay parents weren’t really parents at all, and gee whiz — his opinion about women’s reproductive freedoms became a position 100% consistent with his oft-mentioned deeply held Mormon beliefs. He even vetoed a bill that would’ve have expanded access to emergency contraception (thankfully it was overridden). He did everything he could, too, to stonewall marriage in MA, and since 2004 has advocated for a U.S. Constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage, civil unions, and any domestic partnership approaching marriage status in rights granted.

    Furthermore, his notion about ‘reaching across the aisle’ to work with his solid Democratic majority legislature in Massachusetts? Talk about a joke. In his last year alone, he vetoed 250 measures — nearly all of which were overridden, often unanimously because even his own GOP caucus had gotten sick of his reflexive obstructionism. In 2006, rather than do his job as governor, he spent 200 days out of state, laying the groundwork for his failed 2008 attempt to win the GOP nomination for president. His signature achievement, Romneycare? He went for it because his friend, Staples founder Thomas Stemberg suggested the idea — framing it purely from a financial perspective, due to the cost of the uninsured going to emergency rooms and a threatened Medicaid cut-off because Massachusetts had too many poor who weren’t being covered. In short, Stemberg spoke Romney’s language: Money.

    Mitt Romney’s top priority in all things is…Mitt Romney. The way he governed and the way he ran his businesses and investments are indicative of a man who, when it’s a matter of social conscience, is hard-right conservative. And as for matters touching on money or power, which always takes precedence, he’s an opportunist, a slick salesman, and a self-serving hypocrite happy to put on whatever face or position he thinks will benefit him most in the moment. His core is extremely conservative, paternalistic, and self-serving — it’s just that unlike most other conservative candidates, he’s glibly willing to lie about every last thing he believes in.

    They’ve got the Etch-a-Sketch part right — nothing Romney says can be believed because he’s perfectly willing to keep repeating lies, even after they’ve been exposed. But even that children’s toy has inner mechanisms, the rods and gears the move that stylus around to draw an easily erased picture. They don’t change, they just perform the functions they’re designed to do. And in Mitt Romney’s case, they exist for the purpose of serving his desires and ambitions.

    TLDR; version — On financial or power matters, especially those directly benefiting himself, Mitt has no moral or ethical compass, no conscience. On social issues, including women’s rights, LGBT rights, anything touching on religious influence in gov’t? He’s the severely conservative man he claimed to be a few months ago, and his record backs this up.

  8. America2inc says:

    Obama wins by a LANDSLIDE – Read all about it here.  Why are we so sure?  Because Las Vegas Odds Makers put ROMNEY’s chances of BEING IMPEACHED for tax EVASION at 95%.  That would mean the country would be even MORE DEADLOCKED on the issues of creating jobs and everything else.  INDEPENDENTS have apparently FIGURED this out and are going to vote for OBAMA in the vast majority for this REASON.  In other words if you loved the deadlocked Congress we’ve had under a vigorous President, then vote for ROMNEY because the Congress would be OUT TO LUNCH for years holding HEARINGS and INVESTIGATIONS of Romney’s finances that would take at least 4 years.  

  9. Guest says:

    And the Kandidate from Kolob.

  10. kingstonbears says:

    And now she admits that she doesn’t know who her Mitt really is?   Hot dang, it just keeps getting better.

  11. Guest says:

    In Pennsylvania, we’re being bombarded by Romney adds telling Obama to take his “hate” back to Chicago.  Gotta hand it to them.  They’re masters at tarring their opponents with their own worst vices.  The hate is bundled up in the Republican Party this year on steroids.  Anybody who disagrees with them is demonized.  And slick, slimy Manchurian Candidate Romney hopes to surf this tide of resentment, envy and visciousness into the White House.  For the love of God, defeat this monster.  

  12. karmanot says:

     Let’s start with The Book of Mormon.

  13. karmanot says:

    Why anyone would give Debra Saunders the time of day is amazing. She’s been on the wrong side of every issue and history itself, since the first day of her mediocre career at the Chronicle.

  14. samiinh says:

    14,000 came out for Obama in this morning’s rally in Concord, NH!  Largest political event in NH history.  The crowd was “fired-up and ready to go.”  Clinton was great, as was the President.

  15. SkippyFlipjack says:

    If Saunders admits the etch-a-sketch, it’s true. She benefits greatly from affirmative action; she’s the token conservative in the SF chronicle and really plays that angle up, always taking the right-wing perspective no matter how illogical. She’s like an official troll, getting paid to have the stupid position.

  16. Quilla says:

    Wait, what?  A “Conservative pundit” can’t find Willard when she beats the sheets?  Shocking.

  17. confusion says:

    Who knows from where springs evil..

  18. mgardener says:

    I personally thought that should have a been a multiple choice section so that people who vote for Romney of their choice.
    Their are so many mitts to chose from. It would have been interesting to see what republicans thought they were getting from their vote

  19. douglas01 says:

    There is no “real” Romney. He is a soulless vessel that just craves power and money and doesn’t care how he gets it. I remember his father who was an honest man and now must be rolling over in his grave.

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