Mitt Romney believes FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is unnecessary, and it would be “immoral” to keep it. The Republican presidential candidate made his comments first last year during a GOP debate, and re-affirmed his comments yesterday.
Media outlets have picked up on this in the face of Hurricane Sandy, which has already killed dozens of people and is estimated to cost billions in damage.
The Atlantic obtained this transcript via CNN:
KING: You’ve been a chief executive of a state. 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.
It’s vital to remember that a hallmark of President George W. Bush’s administration was its handling of Hurricane Katrina, and FEMA director Michael Brown, whose immediate prior experience was as the Judges and Stewards Commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association, (IAHA), which he was forced to resign from. ”Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job,” was George Bush’s praise given publicly that reflected the sheer incompetence of Bush.
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