Huffpost Politics
Ryan Grim Headshot

Mitt Romney In GOP Debate: Shut Down Federal Disaster Agency, Send Responsibility To The States

Posted: Updated:
MITT ROMNEY FEMA
Getty

During a CNN debate at the height of the GOP primary, Mitt Romney was asked, in the context of the Joplin disaster and FEMA's cash crunch, whether the agency should be shuttered so that states can individually take over responsibility for disaster response.

"Absolutely," he 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?"

"Including disaster relief, though?" debate moderator John King asked Romney.

"We cannot -- we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids," Romney replied. "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." The clip was flagged by HuffPost blogger Eric Zuesse.

WATCH:

UPDATE Sunday, 10:04 p.m.--

A Romney official reaffirmed the former governor's position Sunday evening in an email.

"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.

UPDATE II Monday, 9:10 a.m.--

The Washington Post's Greg Sargent adds: "There’s another nugget here worth highlighting, though. In that appearance, Romney also suggested it would be 'even better' to send any and all responsibilities of the federal government 'to the private sector,' disaster response included. So: Romney essentially favored privatizing disaster response."

Also on HuffPost:

Hurricane Sandy
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Mitt Romney on Budget & Economy

Former FEMA Director Michael Brown apologizes for accusing CSU ...

Obama visits FEMA, says Hurricane Sandy resources "are in place ...

2011 VIDEO- Mitt Romney: Federal disaster relief “immoral.” Tell that ...

Obama visits FEMA, says Hurricane Sandy resources "are in place"

Mitt Romney Cancels New Hampshire Trip Ahead Of East Coast Storm

Hurricane Sandy 2012 In Virginia: Mitt Romney, Joe Biden Cancel Virginia ...

How Romney And Ryan Would Severely Impair Disaster Relief Efforts

Romney's Strong Debate Performance Erases Obama's Lead | Pew Research ...

 
  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results