Election 2016

Romney Forced to Clarify Comments That Disaster Relief Is 'Immoral'

Now how to explain this one from Mitt? "And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better."

Photo Credit: AFP

Newly Moderate Mitt has been forced to clarify what Severely Conservative Mitt meant when he called federal spending on disaster relief "immoral" during a primary debate. With the entire northeast being threatened by the monster storm, Mitt has been forced to say that he doesn't really want to abolish FEMA.

“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.”

What that statement doesn't clarify is how states and localities could possibly be able to maintain their ability to respond under a Romney/Ryan budget that would slash funding to states, and specifically target first responder public employees—firefighters and cops. His budget would have to result in drastic cuts to emergency response. There's just no other way to make his domestic spending caps, tax cuts and increased defense spending work.

And pushing it off onto the states means that states, under balanced budget constraints, would have to cut education or health care or transportation or something in order to pay for disasters. Of course, there's Severely Conservative Mitt's ultimate solution: "And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better." Since Newly Moderate Mitt is still talking about forcing states to take the lead, it seems pretty clear that he agrees with Severely Conservative Mitt that it would just be best to have private enterprise take it over.

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Joan McCarter is the Senior Political Writer for Daily Kos.