How do you know if a pundit or columnist is a liberal?  If he or she claims Romney said he wanted to abolish FEMA.

Headlines abound from the sandy beaches of California to Sandy-ravaged New York: “Romney’s FEMA flip-flop!” “Romney Now Says He Would Not Eliminate FEMA!” “Romney Says He Would Never Again Eat Lassie!” Wait… I’m not so sure about that last one.

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Thanks to YouTube and network transcripts, anyone who’s curious about almost anything a Presidential candidate ever said in public is readily available.  This is obviously ignored by columnists and bloggers who are behind deadline and are forced to dig deeply into their shallow pool of preconceptions.  Ironically, the quote is from the Republican primary debate held on June 13, 2011, inspired by the deadly Joplin tornado, which President Obama controversially ignored in favor of a jaunty little trip to Ireland.

Let’s go to the transcript and see where Romney said he’d eliminate FEMA.  Moderator John King said, “FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say do it on a case-by-case basis and some people who say, you know, maybe we're learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role.” Mr. King then asked, “How do you deal with something like that?”

Gov. Romney answered, “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 ourselves the opposite question: What should we keep? We should take all of what we're doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we're doing that we don't have to do? And those things we've got to stop doing, because we're borrowing $1.6 trillion more this year than we're taking in. We cannot ...”

King interrupted, “Including disaster relief, though?”

Romney replied: “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.”

Aha!  Bad Romney!  Governor Romney said we should look for opportunities at keeping efficiencies and restructuring inefficiencies.  Agreeing that states should “take on more of this role” obviously means “eliminate everything,” right?  Right?  Oh.  Wait.  He did not say, “send it all back to the states.”  He said every time you have an occasion to send something back to the states it’s the right direction.  To a liberal, i.e. the New York Times editorial board, that sounds like “eliminate.”  To anyone else, it sounds like “evaluate and assess on a case-by-case basis.”

What Romney said this week in response to hyperventilating Obama supporters is pretty much what happens now: "Gov. Romney believes that states should be in charge of emergency management in responding to storms and other natural disasters in their jurisdictions," said the statement by spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg. "As the first responders, states are in the best position to aid affected individuals and communities, and to direct resources and assistance to where they are needed most. This includes help from the federal government and FEMA."  That sounds a lot like what Romney said last year.

Henneberg added, "a Romney-Ryan administration will always ensure that disaster funding is there for those in need. Period."

Well now, we certainly can’t print THAT, can we?


© Copyright 2012 Rick Jensen, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Rick Jensen is Delaware’s Award-Winning Conservative Talk Show Host on 1150AM WDEL and 93.7FM HD3, Streaming live on WDEL.Com from 1pm – 4pm EST. Contact Rick at [email protected], or follow him on [email protected]