Davenport, Iowa (CNN) – Mitt Romney spoke Monday with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Administration and the National Weather Service as Hurricane Sandy slammed into the U.S. East Coast.
Romney joined the representatives from the agencies, as well as officials from the Department of Homeland Security, on a 20-minute phone call at 4 p.m. ET while the GOP nominee was in Davenport, Iowa for an event, according to campaign spokesman Kevin Madden.
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The presidential candidate received updates on the progress of the Category 1 hurricane, as well as the status of federal, state and local disaster relief efforts, Madden said. Romney was further briefed on the potential effects to states and communities in the storm's immediate aftermath.
Romney's comments about FEMA, made at a CNN Republican primary debate in June 2011, received renewed attention Monday. At the time, Romney said he favored states taking on a large role in disaster relief. "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," he said.
Asked Monday whether Romney held the same position he did at the June 2011 debate, Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg explained the candidate believes "states should be in charge of emergency management in responding to storms and other natural disasters in their jurisdictions."
"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," Henneberg said. "This includes help from the federal government and FEMA."
While Romney canceled his campaign plans in Virginia on Sunday, in addition to an event in Wisconsin Monday night, he still held a rally in Iowa Monday. The campaign said the event was attended by 2,250 people, according to a count of those who went through security.
"I was speaking today with the National Weather Service and the folks at FEMA as they're preparing for the landfall of a very dangerous hurricane. It's going to affect a lot of families, it already has," Romney said at the event.
He continued: "And the damage will probably be significant and of course a lot of people will be out of power for a long time and so hopefully your thoughts and prayers will join with mine and people across the country as you think about those folks that are in harm's way."
The former Massachusetts governor encouraged supporters to donate to the American Red Cross. "We love our fellow Americans, wish them well!"
President Barack Obama, who also canceled campaign events, spoke to reporters in the White House Briefing Room earlier Monday, saying "millions of people" will feel the storm's impact. He held a briefing Sunday at FEMA's headquarters in Washington, D.C. and met with officials on Monday in the White House Situation Room.
- CNN's Rachel Streitfeld, Kevin Liptak and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.
From what i gather from this article.... and i am neither for nor against romney.... all that happened was Romney listened in on a 20 minute phone call of some official discussion probably to just get the scoop on what is going on. He does have ties to Massachusetts so im sure he has legitimate concern for the area. Regardless of what he said or didnt say its not like hes trying to direct or give any direction at all to any part of the said listened-in phone call. And nowhere does it say he is now embracing FEMA on any level.
its a 20 minute listen in phone conference.... try harder.
No matter what the reality, to Romney it's always about Romney.
With any luck and a righteous God, next Tuesday we will show Romney that America has no use for him or his ego.
i wonder what he had to say. Good Job President Obama or he he flip-floppied as usual
If this man gets elected, I will have lost all faith in the American people and be moving to Canada
"He has no shame!!! I'm sitting here in NYC thinking that he and his handlers are the worst natural disaster that can happen to this country, worse than any hurricane or terrorist threat!" I love You SC .....Thank you
Wow Mitt...there is just no low you won't sink to to pretend you care. Disappointing as usual. Your Ohio event in my state is a joke too. YOu didn't bother in your press release to indicate what you wanted for vicim relief or what we should do to help. You, so many of your surrogates, and your campaign just doesn't meet our challenges.
If Romney and republicans are so much against the govenrment, why are they part of it and want to be part of it? A simple way for them to reduce the government is to be not part of it. Let Romney not run for the POTUS and his republican friends, who don't represent the common person any way, not runfor the House and the Senate seats. Simple solution that will save billions in total expenses.
Its very sad to think so many people in America have been fooled by Mitt Romney.
The same good people that were fooled by GW Bush in 2000.
how soon we forget .
Saying his name makes me nauseuos!! Just called the Des Moines Reg. to ask them how they could possibly endorse this fool. Anyone else like to do the same #515-284-8000.
Has anyone else heard the compliments from NJ Gov. Christie about the job the president is doing with this crisis?? GREAT!!
From what i gather from this article.... and i am neither for nor against romney...
Oh, I'm sure that you aren't a Romney troll. Glad to see his followers are taking his lead in lying through their teeth.
MUTT- You are not the POTUS nor will you ever be. Butt out , check you many many bank accounts and shut up !
Romney Ryan are now working on how to get rid of FEMA too. God forbid there is a program to help people in emergency situations. Your doing a heck of a job, Mitt....now go home and shut up.
We have one President at a time and Romney has no power to do anything to help Americans in need and should never hold power to destroy Americans to satisfy his own ego. Again as his own fellow Republicans said "Romney will say and do anything".
Where's Trump in all of this because his casinos being effected and he'll make piles of money on insurance relief from Sandy..Republican governors getting relief,calls from Romney in only swing states and he hasn't called any democratic governors as well,talk of being partisan,petty and you want this Mormon moron as your leader,please don't make me laugh for as far I'm concerned Romney,Ryan are through plain and simple ,this political stunt will sink his campaign,you'll see!!And see if this Christie thankyou goes public,just the president doing his job something the Bushs could never do!!
Romney is disgusting to try and make this sound like he is on top of things and effecting matters for solutions. Snake oil sleeze.
If Mr. Romney's self-centered, me first behavior is typical of the leaders in his church- it must be one Hell of a religion.
Willard I though you wanted to cut FEMA and let the states take over the expense of disaster recovery. Willard so your are all for FEMA if it helps you get votes. Willard are you really for anything other than giving tax breaks to your wealthy friends.
WILLARD THE WORTHLESS FOR PRESIDENT NOT WITH MY VOTE.
Excuse me, but who does he think he is, speaking to FEMA? Is he a currently elected official? Disgusting to try to gain points from other people's tragedies and sorrows.....
This is just crap for political points. Who does Romney think he is? I guess a self- proclaimed President of these United States? What powers does he have or directions can he provide at this time? Was there an election, and I missed it? Nov. 6, 2012 is Election Day still right? The last time I checked, President Barrack Obama was still the President of the U.S.A.
Geez, does anybody ever think about the suffering these people are going thru? You make everything about politics...think about our fellow Americans for once and get your mind off politics!
This man is the height of hypocrisy
i am embarrassed of Mitt Romney....truly ...a man who stands for nothing but personal gain
It's incredibly insulting to everyone suffering from the storm that CNN chooses to push stories about Mittens "response" to the storm over what the actual, sitting POTUS is doing about it. This doesn't belong at the top of the Ticker. Nor do the stories about what Obama is doing belong at the middle or bottom. Mittens has no authority and no reason to be running around...in OHIO no less, where it wasn't even effected...yammering about the storm response and pretending like he's involved in helping organize and execute it. HE'S NOT. NOT IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM.
Being a friggin CEO/running a Corporation and United States President are like night and day-not the same thing and never will be the same thing therefore Mitt you're not qualified for the job and you did more harm than good as Governor of Massachusetts which is why you had sense enough not to run for a 2nd term. Please go away, run your corporations in China and India and we don't care if you continue to hide your money in a Swiss Bank Account and in the Cayman Islands just go away please and take your weird family with you!
Romney speaks with an agency he plans to eliminate....This will not end well....
All politicians mislead, omit and lie – that is a given. However, if Romney makes it to the White House he will be the most blatant lying, flip-flopping, etched-a-sketching and statement denying president we've had in modern times. How can any citizen or foreign leader believe anything this individual says? How can Ryan stand there, with a straight face, and tell us he believes Romney?
He's planning an event in Ohio to raise money (I guess for the Sandy victims) with NASCAR Richard Petty and country singer Owens. Once again making light of a dire situation. God help our country should this person be elected as President.