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Mitt Romney Had Called For End Of FEMA At Republican Debate

Mitt Romney Said He Wants To End FEMA

Mitt Romney’s statement that as president he would dismantle FEMA and give emergency management services instead to the states is coming back to bite him as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast.

The statement came during a CNN debate during the GOP primary, with Mitt Romney answering a question about the tornado in Joplin, Missouri. Romney said he would shutter the agency so states can individually take responsibility for disaster response, The Huffington Post noted.

Mitt Romney said:

“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 the opposite question, what should we keep?”

When asked if that also meant disaster relief, Romney replied:

“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.”

Though the Mitt Romney FEMA statement made few waves at the time, they have been picked up by many media outlets and left-leaning bloggers, who point out that Romney’s system would be inadequate in the wake of an event like Hurricane Sandy.

Prompted by the increase in coverage, a Romney official spoke out to clarify his position on FEMA.

“Gov. Romney wants to ensure states, who are the first responders and are in the best position to aid impacted individuals and communities, have the resources and assistance they need to cope with natural disasters,” the Romney official said.

Romney took it a step further, the Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent points out. In the debate, Mitt Romney not only called for the end of FEMA but added that he would ultimately like to see emergency services run by the private sector.

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11 Responses to “Mitt Romney Had Called For End Of FEMA At Republican Debate”

  1. J Michael Dailey

    Although the liberal media is tripping over itself to claim that a Romney administration is poised to “eliminate” FEMA, I cannot find any specific quote from him personally. Instead, Democrats point excitedly at his response during last year’s Republican debate in which Romney was speaking in general terms about how federal spending should be examined and then reduced if necessary. He said that any time services currently provided by the feds can be performed more efficiently by state and local government, it should be sent back to them. As you know, federal law generally prohibits federal involvement in disaster relief unless and until state and local resources have been overwhelmed. He never said during that debate that he would eliminate FEMA. The allegation that he did is an absolute falsehood.

  2. Michael Roberson

    "He said that any time services currently provided by the feds can be performed more efficiently by state and local government, it should be sent back to them."

    Actually, that's not what he said during the the debate you reference.

    He said that Wednesday after Hurricane Sandy.

    Just sayin'

  3. Gina Marie Yaccarino-Torres

    So I hope that makes you feel better in your own little mind then.

  4. Gina Marie Yaccarino-Torres

    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,” Mr. King said. “How do you deal with something like that?
    That was the question. FIRST WORD< FEMA. So just because he didn't "say" it, that was the question he responded to so twist the truth all you want to make is sound prettier to you, but we all know the truth.

  5. Matt Lynch

    If FEMA responded the exact same way they are in New Jersey under a Republican administration, all we would be hearing is how poor the leadership is and how they don't care with example after example of failures. Typical that you make your reply personal towards me.

  6. Gina Marie Yaccarino-Torres

    Sorry, but you're the one personally defending him…. Unless someone else typed that for you. Not sure where you are, but FEMA is doing an excellent job here on Staten Island, and to be without them and leave the recovery up to the states, would be a true devastation.

  7. Gina Marie Yaccarino-Torres

    It's up to your local politicians to spread the word for the need and if you can't even trust them to spread the word, how could you trust them to help you rebuild and recover

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