FEMA director hits back at Brownie: ‘Better to be fast than to be late’

Updated
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate, pictured here in 2010.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate, pictured here in 2010.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

President Obama’s FEMA director is in no mood to listen to his disgraced predecessor’s criticisms.

Craig Fugate skewered Michael Brown’s declaration earlier this week that Obama’s disaster relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy were moving too fast. “Better to be fast than to be late,” Fugate told NPR on Wednesday.

Brown, of course, resigned amid accusations that he acted too slowly after Hurricane Katrina.

Brown told the Denver Westward on Monday, before Hurricane Sandy hit the U.S., that Obama was acting with too much haste. “My guess is, he wants to get ahead of it—he doesn’t want anybody to accuse him of not being on top of it or not paying attention or playing politics in the middle of it,” he said.

Fugate also addressed  Mitt Romney’s previous remarks that he was in favor of getting rid of FEMA and let states be in charge.

“Disasters are local,” Fugate said. “Through state constitutions, the governors are the primary incident commanders for the entire state response in support of that. And the role of the federal government is to support the states when the disaster exceeds their capabilities. And when it’s this bad, we work as one team. But we are in support of the governors.”

Mitt Romney released a statement on Wednesday saying he believes believes “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.”

FEMA director hits back at Brownie: 'Better to be fast than to be late'

Updated