October 30th, 2012
01:21 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney on storm aftermath: 'People are hurting this morning'

(CNN) – With a week to go until Election Day and a day after superstorm Sandy slammed the East Coast, Republican nominee Mitt Romney swapped campaign rallies for a relief event in the all-important battleground state of Ohio Tuesday.

"We have heavy hearts as you know with all the suffering going on in a major part of our country. A lot of people are hurting this morning," said Romney, adding that he had the chance to speak with some of the governors from the affected areas.

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The storm had killed 29 in the United States with a total of 97 deaths overall, including 67 in the Caribbean, as of Tuesday.

The former Massachusetts governor thanked supporters for their generosity and equated the Ohio crowd's relief effort to those of citizens of his home state in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Obama updated on Sandy through the night; praised by Christie

After addressing the crowd briefly, the GOP nominee hopped off a makeshift stage to glad-hand with supporters and collect items as they filed past to donate relief goods like bottled water, canned foods and fleece blankets.

Romney's campaign told reporters that a Red Cross warehouse in New Jersey was accepting the donation, and distributed a statement they attributed to the Red Cross.

"The American Red Cross appreciates the support from the Romney campaign and is working with the campaign to process this donation of supplies," the statement read. "We are grateful that both the Obama and Romney campaigns have also encouraged the public to send financial donations to the Red Cross. We encourage individuals who want to help to consider making a financial donation or making an appointment to give blood."

He did not answer questions from reporters on whether he would eliminate the Federal Emergency Management Agency as president - a topic the storm brought back into the political spotlight from the Republican primaries when Romney said he favored states taking a larger role in disaster relief.

Meanwhile, running mate Rep. Paul Ryan will stop by campaign offices in his home state of Wisconsin Tuesday to thank volunteers and collect items for storm relief efforts.

President Barack Obama's campaign cancelled events for Monday and Tuesday, flying back to Washington, D.C. to monitor the storm, as well as campaign events for Wednesday in Ohio.

–CNN's Rachel Streitfeld, Dana Davidsen and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Ohio
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. khaleeshi

    The is no low enough for Willard – he will stoop to exploiting a national disaster for political pandering. How shameful. Willard said he would defund FEMA – that the government shouldn't help. He doesn't care about these people at all. What a complete phoney. Go home Willard and let FEMA do their job.

    President Obama will see that all government help is extended via FEMA to anyone needing help.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 30, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Kirk in michigan

    You would think he would help all states effected, especially mass. but , no vote, no help. what a guy, man he really is Impartial is he not. man how much more can you ignore, this is not a trustworthy man. period

    October 30, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. Under-educated, Bigoted, Right-Wing Fox News Drone

    Conservatives need to reject all support from FEMA! Don't listen to those liberal weather reports from the national Weather Service either. Stay off those federal highways. Certainly don't let your Governor request Federal Disaster Funds or low interest loans and grants. That's all "socialism". That Coast Guardsman who risked his life to rescue the guys in the life raft was just another socialist tool. So are the national Guardsmen who stack sandbags or set up shelters and hospitals. Socialists!

    We should do what Romney recommends and privatize disaster relief. Wouldn't you feel good to see those good Christian bubbas in Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina make a little money off these disasters? That's Bain Capital capitalism at it's finest! They could use a loudspeaker to hold a price negotiation with people on their roof-tops waiting for rescue. Think what people would pay for rescue from drowning, food, medicine, and shelter. They'd pay a lot with the water a-rising... Let's hear it for small "guvemment"!

    October 30, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. Sorry Red Cross. I may need to save my money

    ...for eventual disaster relief tax payments to the state of Florida. Ask Mitt for help. You know, Willard doesn't look presidential to me. He looks like a GRANDSTANDER. Hope he keeps up the disaster relief if he gets into office when he abolishes FEMA or there will be no relief for the states. I hope nothing happens in Florida. Florida can't afford it's own disaster relief. Rick Scott has already laid off state employees who investigate child abuse and welfare fraud. We simple can't afford it.

    October 30, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. beevee

    it is very obvious that Romney is trying to exploit a sad situation to political gains. Dispeccable, but he is a political chameleon and changes colors/truth often. He does not have the dignity and honesty to be president.

    October 30, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. Sorry Red Cross. I may need to save my money

    ...for eventual disaster relief tax payments to the state of Florida. Maybe Mitt can help. You know, Willard doesn't look presidential to me. He looks like a GRANDSTANDER. Hope he keeps up the disaster relief if he gets into office when he abolishes FEMA or there will be no relief for the states. I hope nothing happens in Florida. Florida can't afford it's own disaster relief. Rick Scott has already laid off state employees who investigate child abuse and welfare fraud. We simple can't afford it.

    October 30, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. jeff odette

    WOW!! Is that romney and his crew a slimey bunch or WHAT. Simply disgraceful. Frofound ignorance.

    October 30, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. Rick in L.A.

    Remember the adage "The people will get the Government they deserve."

    October 30, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. FactCheck

    And yet, your campaign is only making donations in swing states. What a disgusting excuse for a human being.

    October 30, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    "Romney isn't the president, so he went out to provide service and help with the relief efforts. The entire country would think he's a complete jerk if he didn't!"

    Had he NOT used this crisis and simply suspended his campaign a few days I would agree. However, trying to turn it into a "relief" campaign effort is simply too disgusting for words.

    BTW: One assumes that roads are quite impassable in the hardest hit areas. Has Romney explained how that bus of his is going to get through the FEMA relief efforts already underway? You know ... his security detail and all?

    October 30, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. larry L

    @Phil

    You people above are UNBELIEVABLE! His hands are tied he can't really do anything on the political stage regarding Sandy so he is doing what he knows best.
    ================================================================================================
    You are almost correct. He is doing what he knows 3rd. best. He's trying to make cheap political points by pandering to the cameras in a swing state. What he does 1st. and 2nd. best is tell ridiculous lies and flip-flop.

    October 30, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. MNAnonymous!

    Another photo-op, disgusting/sad! Like Paul Ryan with the clean pan at the homeless shelter... playing politics again!

    October 30, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. Critical Thinking

    These comments are too funny. You can actually feel the panic level when you read them. You all might as well face it, President Obama will be a one term president, just as he predicted. Begin to come to terms with that outcome, it will make Nov. 7th so much easier to handle. The on the job training program is now over.

    It's time : BO MUST GO !

    October 30, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. Marcia

    You people are ridiculous! Romney got stranded in Ohio because of the storm, as did some of the press. I know, because I live here. I knew someone was going to say he only helped out to be political. This guy is LDS, and Mormons always mobilize during a disaster. Right now there are semis full of food and supplies headed to the east coast from the Bishop's Storehouse in Utah, I'm sure. After Katrina, the Mormons got there days before the feds. Romney can't just help out because he happens to want to? Geez, people!

    October 30, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. G Smith

    What a phony....

    ROMNEY / RYAN IS ON RECORD TO CUT FEMA.!!!!

    Just a thought for Tuesday election day!!!

    October 30, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. Primewonk

    Instead of handing out food, I would have thought Romney would have been interviewing private companies to take over once he gets rid of FEMA. Hope everyone in the affected ares has a few extra tens of thousands of dollars to pay the Mittens 'R Us Save You Fasterer company – of course, payment is expected in full prior to any actual saving!

    October 30, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. Ancient Texan

    BeeVee- And Obama's posing in the middle of the FEMA meetiong wasn't political grandstanding ? The only time he has even tried to look presidental; for the last 18 months was for political advantage

    October 30, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  18. kikik66

    On reporter even said, you have been asked this question 14 times, why are you ignoring us. He still didnt respond. I think his campaign said dont answer any questions until we find out how FOX news wants us to respond.

    October 30, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. km4candles

    My gosh people enough is enough. Think of the people that are devasted this morning. This man is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't in your eyes. If he was going about the campaign you'd whine and moan, and belittle. He tries to get supplies to people and you still whine, moan, and belittle. Grow up people and go and help someone yourselves, instead of belittling everyone else.

    October 30, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    -Marcia

    You people are ridiculous! Romney got stranded in Ohio because of the storm, as did some of the press. I know, because I live here. I knew someone was going to say he only helped out to be political. This guy is LDS, and Mormons always mobilize during a disaster. Right now there are semis full of food and supplies headed to the east coast from the Bishop's Storehouse in Utah, I'm sure. After Katrina, the Mormons got there days before the feds. Romney can't just help out because he happens to want to? Geez, people!
    ************************************
    Mormons also only help their own: that's what the Bishop's Storehouse is for. They are only interested in you as missionary fodder or as someone they can use to their own benefit. I learned that from personal experience.

    October 30, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  21. Tony

    The campaign announced they would load supplies into a campaign bus for delivery in Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania – all swing states impacted by the storm."

    Romney compared the Ohio crowd's relief effort to those of citizens of his home state in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. However, Romney is sending relief supplies to New Hampshire, but not Massachusetts, his home state.

    October 30, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. Kirk in michigan

    Marcia, if he were planning to help all effected, orn worse affected, that would land him in a democratic voting state, and that does not seem to be the game plan. yes he really is as slImy as this seems, this guy has no bottom, sad that he even hasb a chance to win, i am truly dissappointed in america right now. vote straight ticket and send a message

    October 30, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. dachozen1

    People are hurting so let's cut unemployment, cut food stamps, cut teachers, cut social security, cut medicare and cut more social program and lower taxes for rich folks.

    October 30, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. St. James Place

    Willard how is that cut FEMA statment working for you?

    October 30, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    -Ancient Texan

    BeeVee- And Obama's posing in the middle of the FEMA meetiong wasn't political grandstanding ? The only time he has even tried to look presidental; for the last 18 months was for political advantage
    ********************************************
    He's doing his job: the last time Romney held an elected position, he bailed on MA after 2 years. Romney would not know how to act presidential if his life depended on it, but he does act like a ambulance-chasing politician with no core values or spine. The ' well-oiled weather vane", that's the Mittster.

    October 30, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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