Lawrence O'Donnell reported on Mitt Romney's comments regarding clean-up after Hurricane Sandy and said that in order to buff his own image as a disaster-relief specialist Romney compared the Sandy cleanup to... his experience cleaning up the field after a high-school football game.
Romney said, "I remember once we had a football field at my high school. The field was covered with rubbish and paper goods from people who'd had a big celebration there at the game. And there was a group of us there assigned to clean it up. And I thought, 'how are we going to clean up all the mess on this football field?' there were just a few of us. And the person responsible for organizing the effort said, 'Just line up along the yard lines. You go between the goal line and the 10-yard line, and the next person between the 10 and 20, and just walk down and do your lane. And if everybody cleans their lanes, we'll get it done. And so today, we're cleaning one lane if you will."
Hard to make this stuff up. Just like you couldn't make up Ann Romney's remarks comparing going on Mormon mission to serving in the military which she did in an interview on The View.
After listening to this campaign for eighteen months and hearing Mitt Romney debate as the self-proclaimed severe conservative in the Republican Primaries we are now, as Bill Clinton so aptly said, "Seeing moderate Mitt show up at the debates and on the stump." It is really hard not to just call Romney a blatant liar. Some are calling him an opportunist but I rather like what Newt Gingrich said during the primaries about Mitt, "It is really hard to debate a liar."
The smarminess of Romney's latest change of position is possibly one of his worst though it is a close call with his differing positions on a woman's right to choose. But as our fellow American's are literally dying from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy Romney is trying to make his views match the moment again. It was good to see Mayor Bloomberg finally give up on him and endorse President Obama.
At a Republican primary debate in June of 2011, CNN's John King asked Mitt Romney for his views on disaster relief. King's question was, "FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say, 'Do it on a case-by-case basis.' And there are some people who say, 'You know what, 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?"
Mr. Romney responded "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." He went on to advocate cutting the federal budget, leading Mr. King to interject "Including disaster relief, though?" Romney said, "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."
Andrew Rosenthal in his column in the New York Times says, "Today after Hurricane Sandy Mitt feels somewhat differently. His campaign released a statement last Wednesday that said, "I believe that FEMA plays a key role in working with states and localities to prepare for and respond to natural disasters. As president, I will ensure FEMA has the funding it needs to fulfill its mission, while directing maximum resources to the first responders who work tirelessly to help those in need, because states and localities are in the best position to get aid to the individuals and communities affected by natural disasters." No mention of the private sector; or of how it's "immoral" to amass debt and thus absolutely necessary to cut the federal budget. Just a bland assurance that FEMA will have "the funding it needs to fulfill its mission." As Rosenthal said, "The reference to "states and localities" may sound like tough federalism, but FEMA already works with local first responders. Romney did not address whether he would cut other programs to pay for disaster relief (something his running mate, Paul Ryan, has endorsed.)
As with every other change in his positions Romney doesn't bother to be nuanced or mention that it is a change but rather plows ahead with a new position completely disregarding what he said before. What this does is leave the American people in the dark on what Mr. Romney would do if god-forbid he became President. As the saying goes we all need to be very wary of 'buying a pig in a poke'.