Senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie on Sunday had nothing but good things to say about the way President Barack Obama’s administration handled the response to Hurricane Sandy.
During an interview on the Sunday before the 2012 presidential election, ABC host George Stephanopoulos asked Gillespie if he had “any quarrel” with the way the president managed the federal response to the super storm that devastated much of the east coast.
“From what we’ve heard, the governors, they’re working well with FEMA,” Gillespie admitted. “There’s a good working relationship between the state and the federal government.”
The top adviser pointed out that Romney was also concerned about the storm and had asked his supporters to bring canned goods to campaign events.
In the aftermath of Sandy, the former Massachusetts governor changed his tune about his promise to “absolutely” eliminate the federal agency charged with providing relief to the millions of Americans who have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
During a Republican primary debate earlier this year, the former Massachusetts governor had said that abolishing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was “the right direction” and eliminating all federal disaster relief was important because “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.”
But after repeatedly ignoring reporters’ questions about that topic in the wake of this week’s super storm, Romney reversed course in a statement on Wednesday.
“I believe that FEMA plays a key role in working with states and localities to prepare for and respond to natural disasters,” the candidate said. “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.”
Watch this video from ABC’s This Week, broadcast Nov. 4, 2012.