The Republican governor of Michigan under fire for the lead-poisoning crisis in Flint on Sunday deflected blame and resisted calls for his resignation.
Presidential candidates had gone out of their way to denounce the actions of Gov. Rick Snyder during the Democratic debate hosted by NBC News and YouTube on Sunday, saying the Michigan Republican should be held accountable for the toxic levels in Flint’s drinking water as the result of cash-saving measures.
“We’ve had a city in the United States of America where the population, which is poor in many ways, and majority African-American, has been drinking and bathing in lead-tainted water,” Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton said. “And the governor of that state acted as though he didn’t really care. He had request(s) for help that he basically stonewalled.”
But in a series of tweets following the debate, Snyder fired back at the criticism, touting efforts to provide cases of bottled water and filters to residents since officials declared a state of emergency.
Calls have grown for Snyder to resign amid the ordeal. National Guard troops were deployed last week to distribute clean water to the city’s 100,000 residents amid rising health concerns that the toxic levels of lead had adverse impacts on children.
Following Clinton’s lead, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders also doubled down Sunday night and put the onus and responsibility on Snyder.
“A man who acts that irresponsibly should not stay in power,” Sanders said.