Hurricane Sandy may flatten Romney campaign
At the beginning of his 2012 campaign, President Barack Obama said, “The one thing that we absolutely know for sure is that if we don’t work even harder than we did in 2008, then we’re going to have a government that tells the American people, ‘You are on your own.’
“If you get sick, you’re on your own,” he continued. “If you can’t afford college, you’re on your own. If you don’t like that some corporation is polluting your air or the air that your child breathes, then you’re on your own.
“That’s not the America I believe in. It’s not the America you believe in,” the president concluded.
The implications of that statement became clear this week as Hurricane Sandy dumped on Atlantic Coast states. If Mitt Romney had been in the White House on Monday, we might have seen the America Obama warned against.
It would be difficult to imagine a more dramatic illustration of the difference between Obama and Romney than their reaction to the role of the government in such natural disasters as Hurricane Katrina, the Joplin tornado, last winter’s Alaska blizzard and, this week, Hurricane Sandy.
Asked by ABC News during the GOP primary debates if the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, should be shut down, Romney answered, “Absolutely! Any 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.”
Pressed further, Romney said the country cannot afford such programs. “It is simply immoral ... for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids,” he said.
As Sandy struck the coast and turned inland, Romney tried to walk back his remarks. The result was more Romney double-talk, from which nothing can be ascertained about if, or how, he has changed his fundamental position in favor of dumping disaster relief on the states — if it can’t be privatized.
Meanwhile, Obama calmly and firmly took control of the situation, assuring state governors and their people he has their backs.
“This is a serious storm, but we are going to do what it takes to keep people safe and secure, and make sure the communities affected get the assistance they need. FEMA is working with state and local governments to respond effectively,” he said. “At this stage, everybody is confident that the staging process, the prepositioning of resources, commodities, equipment ... needed to respond to this storm are in place.”
When asked about the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the election, Obana said, “I am not worrying at this point about the impact on elections ... the election will take care of itself next week. Right now, our number one priority is to make sure we are saving lives.”
While Obama took charge of the national emergency, it was politics as usual for Romney. He took the day off from campaigning and issued a routine statement sympathizing with the victims of Sandy. Then he released a new attack ad against Obama that reveals far more of Romney’s character than Obama’s faults.
Although the story has been debunked by every reputable organization that has reported on it — including the Chrysler Corp. — Romney, in what could be his penultimate ad, desperately repeated the lie that Jeep plans to move its entire production to China.
So, Romney concludes his campaign as he began it, with an outrageous lie that he has not yet retracted. His very first campaign ad attributed words spoken by John McCain to Obama in a total distortion of reality.
As The New York Times endorsement of Obama said, “Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has gotten this far with a guile that allows him to say whatever he thinks an audience wants to hear.”
Prior to the 2008 election, a Gallup poll revealed that a majority of voters were “looking for an honest person who has strong leadership skills above all else” for president.
They found that individual in Barack Obama. It will be tragic for America if he is dumped in favor of Romney, who is as undeserving of the presidency as he is incapable of serving the country with the honesty and integrity its people deserve.