Rachel Maddow tore into Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday for what she called his stunning decision to resume campaigning after Hurricane Sandy ripped its way across the East Coast.
Maddow contrasted Romney campaigning with President Obama visiting storm-stricken areas of New Jersey. She then called out the Republican presidential nominee for changing a campaign event in Dayton, Ohio to a non-campaign "storm relief" event, in which Romney asked supporters to donate canned goods, bottles of water, diapers and such. She said the event was a blatant photo-op attempt to capture images of Romney collecting groceries and canned goods to aid in disaster relief efforts.
"Unless you are specifically requested by relief agencies or public officials to do that, donating canned goods and groceries is just not logistically helpful, especially on a large scale and from across the country," Maddow said. "Especially if you are a presidential candidate getting national press implicitly telling the whole country that this is the way to help."
The Red Cross website makes clear on its website that the organization does not accept inkind donations. "The way you actually can help them is by donating blood, or donating money," Maddow.
Maddow then turned to a BuzzFeed report that provided more details on the "storm relief" event. According to BuzzFeed, the Romney campaign actually purchased $5,000 worth of canned goods and diapers from a Wal-Mart and provided event-goers with materials to then hand to Gov. Romney.
"This is a real disaster," Maddow said of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. "This is not a plot in a sitcom about how to run for president. This is a real disaster, an ongoing one, affecting millions of Americans. And real help really is needed, and that is not the same thing as using the suffering of millions of Americans as an occasion to accrue political capital for yourself by trying to create the appearance that you are helping when you are not bothering to actually try to really help."