At Tuesday’s “relief rally”, which looked conspicuously similar to a campaign event, Mitt Romney artfully dodged reporters’ questions about his position on FEMA a whopping 14 times. You see, in the not-so distant past, Mr. Romney had come out vehemently against the agency.
During a primary debate in June, Mitt Romney answered a question about disaster relief by saying, “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.” Mr. Romney continued, “If you can go even further, and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.”
Fast forward four months and a superstorm named Sandy later, and Mitt Romney’s found that he’s painted himself in a corner.
So how does Mitt Romney feel about the role of FEMA now?
Well, not surprisingly… he’s evolved.
Here’s how it started:
Speaking to the good folks of Kettering, Ohio, Mr. Romney said, “You can’t always solve all the problems yourself, but you can make the difference in the life of one or two people.”
One or two people? Does Gov. Romney realize he’s not running for president of one or two people?
But as the event continued, and the candidate collected cans of food donations and loaded trucks (with $5,000 worth of supplies purchased by the Romney campaign, according to Buzzfeed), something must have clicked.
As the sun broke Wednesday morning—almost 48 hours after Hurricane Sandy hit—Mitt Romney issued the following statement:
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.
We don’t know anymore which Mitt Romney to believe, so we’ll chalk this up to a new case of Romnesia. After all, as Mitt Romney himself said at a press conference back in May, "I’m not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was."