With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the East Coast, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) preparing to respond to disasters in a dozen states, political analysts are revisitng a pledge that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made during the primary campaign: he'd like to return FEMA's responsibilities fully to the states.
Romney was asked by CNN's John King last June if, in the wake of the Joplin tornado and FEMA's tight finances because of a slew of disasters, he would support closing the agency and returning those obligations for responding to such disasters fully to the states.
Here's how he responded, according to The Huffington Post.
"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. Instead of thinking, in the federal budget, what we should cut, we should ask the opposite question, what should we keep?"
Pressed by King if he would include disaster relief in those cuts, Romney said he would:
"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, knowing full well that we'll all be dead and gone before it's paid off. It makes no sense at all."
The video is below.
Romney's campaign told The Huffington Post Sunday that the former Massachusetts governor still stands by that position.
"Gov. Romney wants to ensure states, who are the first responders and are in the best position to aid impacted individuals and communities, have the resources and assistance they need to cope with natural disasters," a campaign official said in an email to the news agency.