The images of NJ governor Chris Christie and President Obama working together is ironic, given that Christie had been walking point in the effort to diminish the president's chances of re-election. Interesting how the rhetoric quickly vanished in the aftermath of wind, waves, and flooding.
So here is Mitt Romney on FEMA; the federal relief agency that is now proving a backstop to the president's promise to NJ and NY and the region devastated by the superstorm: "we will be there for you." Here is what Romney would say, based on his past statements: "we will not be there for you."
At a CNN debate in June, 2011, moderator John King engaged Mitt Romney on the FEMA question. Romney answered King clearly and forcefully, but not in a way that Floridians should find acceptable:
KING: ... I was just in Joplin, Missouri. I’ve been in Mississippi and Louisiana and Tennessee and other communities dealing with whether it’s the tornadoes, the flooding, and worse. FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say do it on a case-by-case basis and some people who say, you know, maybe we’re learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role. How do you deal with something like that?
ROMNEY: Absolutely. 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. Instead of thinking in the federal budget, what we should cut—we should ask ourselves the opposite question. What should we keep? We should take all of what we’re doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we’re doing that we don’t have to do? And those things we’ve got to stop doing, because we’re borrowing $1.6 trillion more this year than we’re taking in. We cannot…
KING: Including disaster relief, though?
ROMNEY: We cannot—we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. 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.
That was Romney, then. How often has Fox News played that clip, lately? Nada. Today Romney is "rowing away" from what he said as fast as he can. In the last days of the campaign he has taken a "softer tone". Make no mistake, Florida voters: radical extremists in the GOP are going to run the Romney White House the same way they did in the Bush era. With friends like that, who needs a superstorm?