At Romney storm event, some donations supplied by campaign
October 31st, 2012
12:49 PM ET
10 years ago

At Romney storm event, some donations supplied by campaign

(CNN) – Scores of supporters turned up to Mitt Romney's rally-turned-storm relief event in Ohio Monday with supplies to donate to survivors of Superstorm Sandy, but the candidate's campaign was prepared with supplies of their own in case people arrived empty handed.

Among the neat rows of canned food, bottled water and diapers were supplies purchased by Romney staff and volunteers, filling out what could have been an embarrassing photo-op for the GOP nominee.

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"Our campaign, our staff and our volunteers did purchase and donate relief supplies so that they could be sent to a Red Cross center in the area affected by the storm. We don't have a cost assessment on it, but we were definitely grateful for everyone's help and we are happy to do our part for the relief efforts," Rick Gorka, a Romney campaign spokesman, said Wednesday.

The event, which was originally meant to be a campaign rally but was changed to a "storm relief event" on Monday evening, was held in a high school gymnasium in Kettering, Ohio. The high-profile supporters originally meant to campaign with Romney at the rally – racecar driver Richard Petty and "Alabama" lead singer Randy Owen – were both at the relief event, and Romney described the donations from the crowd as a "cover charge" for seeing Owen perform.

"We have a lot of goods here, and I know there's more coming in," Romney said in brief remarks delivered at the beginning of the event. "We're going to box these things up in just a minute and put them on some trucks, and were going to send them to into, I think it's New Jersey, as a site that we've identified that can take these goods and distribute them to people who need them."

"We won't be able to solve all the problems with our effort this morning," Romney continued. "There will still be a lot of people looking for goods even though we've gathered these things, but I know that."

After his remarks, Romney stood and accepted donations from the crowd of supporters for more than a half an hour.

He later walked outside to load crates of water onto a truck. Romney's campaign told reporters that a Red Cross warehouse in New Jersey was accepting the donation, despite a statement on the charity's website saying they "do not accept or solicit individual donations or collections of items" because processing them requires resources better used on other projects.

"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."

At his event, Romney encouraged supporters to donate money to the Red Cross, and his campaign said Wednesday he himself had personally donated to the group. They did not divulge the size of Romney's contribution.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. ondeck

    The event still had some of the trappings of a rally, including rounds of chanting for the candidate by those in attendance and a few campaign-related t-shirts (including "Obama: You're Fired!" and "Don't tread on me!"). In addition, the organizers played a video biography of Romney that is a staple of his campaign events. Top Romney strategist Stuart Stevens, asked by NPR if the video blurred the line between storm relief and politics, said "I agree" that it did and added: "I don't know how it happened."

    The Rally was obviously just a PR stunt by Romney, that was the main intent. He is a shrewd salesman selling himself and will do or say anything to advance himself. That is why he flip flops so much – no true core values, just says and does what he thinks will SELL himself – he is a CEO salesman, not the type of businessman or person who we need as a president and his Bain history shows us alot of this – 1# priority was to make alot of money for himself and a few investors, NOT to create jobs. Romney also left the infrastructure of Mass in a mess after he left office, no wonder Mass will not be voting for him nor will Wisconsin even though Ryan is from there – take note of this America, it tells us alot! In addition, most of us will agree that what may be said behind closed doors may most often be closer to the truth than what is said in public. Romney's 47% comments and the others during that private gathering are most likely what he truly thinks. However, I don't trust a thing he says because who knows what he will do at a later date – I don't want as a president a guy with no core values and flips on issues from week to week never mind one with millions in offshore bank accounts and refuses to reveal his tax history...and I could go on and on.... open your eyes America!

    October 31, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. gius

    Smith would never show anyone those golden plates he said an angel led him to.Sounds like Mitt and his tax returns.Maybe the angel came and took back Mitts tax returns just as Smith claimed the angel came back and took back the golden plates.A likely story.Sounds like Romneyisms all the way.

    October 31, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  3. Sakaria

    Here he goes, Romney, like Sarah Palin, “I can see Russia.” While our airports and subways are under water and badly flooded, he is collecting canned food from well-intended citizens, who is best they could do is nothing relative to the magnitude of the problem, and he said, “It is American way.” Romney, the developed America that we have today with this disaster does not only need canned food, but a government that can support and rescue the citizen that are hurting. Please give our agencies the credit they deserve; they are rescuing our people and restoring our infrastructure which made our country what is.

    October 31, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. Mark

    Seriously this is what we talk about! that it would be an embarrassing moment if he did not get enough donations! You people make me sick!

    October 31, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. samsneed

    The jokestar is at it again..really!!! you guys call this a relief effort? it looks like ann romney's grocery shopping for the romney's

    October 31, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. nunya

    Well, if you wanted proof that Romney does care about America, there you have it. Naturally, any savvy politician would do what he's doing, but it sure does break the [absurd] portrayal by the Obama Propaganda Machine that's been fabricating and spewing for the last months / years.

    Hope some of you CNNers can see things in a more accurate light now. (no, neither one is a saint by any stretch – they're both politicians, don't forget).

    Remember: Socialism is very bad and has NEVER worked. The best it has ever achieved is a 'slow' decay to its inevitable demise. How many New Yorkers do you think would die for a "Big Gulp" right about now? (instead of going w/o any drinkable water)

    And yes, I know most sodas have caffeine – a diuretic – but there's always caffeine free stuff...

    Anyways, back to the theme of this article:
    Good for you MItt! I hope people here can wake up enough to see how good you would be for the country right now (at least better than the alternative).

    October 31, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. Not here

    "Romney's campaign told reporters that a Red Cross warehouse in New Jersey was accepting the donation, despite a statement on the charity's website saying they "do not accept or solicit individual donations or collections of items" because processing them requires resources better used on other projects."

    Arg! I would blame his campaign, but it is the people who are voting for him that are the dense ones...

    October 31, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    Don't be impressed by this "act of service" by the Romney campaign ... the Red Cross ALWAYS asks for financial donations NOT food stuffs/clothing. Clearly, no one checked the FAQ page on the Red Cross website.

    October 31, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Data Driven

    This is excellent news!! For Romney!!!

    October 31, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. 'After SandyStorm'

    We'll remember" "All that was will have always been; somehow never again"...Roll-call of Neighborhood-Homes."Are you still there"..? Man-made and nature Landmark many are gone Lives changed forever...but Americans in time of Need stand together and will rebuild....'God"s speed'............

    October 31, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. Kathy Mills

    Romney is a phony. Too make sure that therir food donation was big they had to buy the food supplies. Does this sound ethical? What apiece of work Mitt Romney is! Vote OBAMA 2012 for true American values.

    October 31, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. R

    I have a new term for all the despicable acts by the Republicans and Romney – Lies about Jeep; Voter suppression: Outright lies about what he said in the past based on audience; Photo ops that meant nothing, etc etc. The term is REPUGLYCAN.

    October 31, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  13. Expat American

    ......2 cases of champagne and 5 bags of ballerina horse feed.....that's all Romney could part with for the 47% whose votes he intends to steal.

    October 31, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  14. Expat American

    Romney is donating 'Brownies'...or maybe he has some left over 'Peanuts' from his convention speech.

    October 31, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. Dave Jaipersaud

    Romney has no clue. He has no core, he has no sense of how we are all in this American Experience together and in America we always help those in need.

    Here is a good example of how Romney has no clue. On the campaign trail Romney said

    "every time you have an occasion to take something including disaster relief 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."

    Are you kidding me. He wants to put the private sector in charge of disaster relief. This man has no moral compass.
    He also said in response to federal aid regarding the deadly Joplin, Missouri, tornado, Romney said

    "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."

    I guess Romney thinks that worrying about the future of our kids is more important than saving the lives of those same kids when a natural disaster strikes. As you can see, this man will put money ahead of anything. ANYTHING! Even helping those suffering and dying from natural disasters. Is this the kind of heartless President we deserve? I think not

    At a recent campaign event in Ohio, Romney ignored questions by reporters on whether he supported the Federal Emergency Management Agency's role in disaster relief. I guess he doesn’t thing the average Americans deserve the help of the federal government but rich folks like him does through tax breaks.

    Even guys like the outspoken Republican governor of New Jersey knows that the State or the Private Sector cannot provide the help that will be needed in an natural disaster and that is why Christie declared a state of emergency and seek federal help for widespread devastation. Cristie even said in an Interview Tuesday on NBC, Christie described Obama's response as "outstanding," and he told CNN that the president had been "incredibly supportive and helpful to our state."

    The choice is clear. Do we want to go back to the exact same policies (Romney/Ryan current policies) that brought America (this great Nation) to its knees or do we want to continue to build on the recovery.

    October 31, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. AzDem

    Robmey/Boy Wonder....nice picture! Storm relief in Ohio! Try New York where it is hardest hit!

    October 31, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  17. MaryM

    Way to go Repubs. You think the more lies you tell the more Americans are going to vote for you. Red Cross needs money. They dont have time to sort thru your can goods. All you have to do is look at the Red Cross web site. You want to help, Write a check to the Red Cross.

    October 31, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. Mike

    You liberals are REALLY trying to take this effort and turn it into a NEGATIVE? America is so much worse off ever since the liberal media created the cancer of modern-day liberalism. It's a breed of people who live in MY COUNTRY who happen to HATE my country. I wish all you leftist wackos in the media and your even stupider supporters would move to a country you actually like.

    October 31, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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