Sunday, September 2, 2012

Mitt has Forrest Gump Moments in Louisiana Flood

source: facebook

Just when you think Mitt Romney couldn't possibly sound more clueless than he has in the past, he surprises us with new depths of confusion. He left the Republican Convention and went straight to Louisiana to see the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac. He could offer no help to the victims since right now he holds no office, but he probably thought it would be a good photo-op for himself and Governor Bobby Jindal.

Well, the pictures are pretty good, but Mitt's responses - not so much.

Washington Post
“We really appreciate you coming here,” Jindal said.

“I appreciate the chance to be here,” Romney replied. “I have a lot of questions for you.” The two discussed evacuation procedures and the contributions of the Red Cross, Salvation Army and other organizations.

“Did the water come from the sky, or the rivers, or the ocean?” Romney asked. Jindal’s response was not audible to reporters.

Well, that quote is worthy of Forrest Gump right there. I would love to know Jindal's response, LOL.

We've been through every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stinging rain...and big old fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath. Shoot, it even rained at night.
~ Forrest Gump


I think this is another example of surrogate fail, since one of his advisers could have shown him a map or explained the difference between rain and storm surge. Maybe a Google Earth Map of Lake Ponchatrain. And that big river over thar? That be the Old Man, I mean, the Mississippi. You can imagine him saying "Oh, it's so big! Are you sure that's is a river? In Michigan rivers are the right size."


And unfortunately Mitt had some mind-numbingly bad advice for victims:

From AFP
There, with the world's media looking on, he met 22-year-old mother-of-two Ashley Vegas, whose home was destroyed by a 12-foot (four-meter) wall of water, and whose bare feet contrasted oddly with Romney's suede loafers.

His advice for the suddenly homeless family? Seek a bailout from the US federal government's disaster agency FEMA by calling its 211 emergency hotline.

Vegas was thankful for the lifeline, open to many in Louisiana since Romney's opponent President Barack Obama declared a federal emergency there earlier this week, freeing up government rescue funds for beleaguered communities.

"I think he's a very good man," Vegas volunteered. "He's here to help everybody and do what he can."

Yeah, call FEMA - if they haven't been defunded by the Republicans led by Paul Ryan. LOL. (sorry, that's not really too funny) But notice that Obama was the one who freed up the funding for Louisiana at the request of Bobby Jindal, which is ironic in itself, since Jindal's tendency has been to turn down "hand-outs" from the Federal Government.

Romney gave his bad advice to more than one person:

Mediaite quoting AP
When faced with one of the victims of the flood, however, Romney came up well short in the empathy department. From The Associated Press:

Romney and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) spent close to an hour meeting with first responders and local officials. Romney shook hands with National Guardsmen outside the U.S. Post Office and talked with a local resident, Jodie Chiarello, 42, who lost her home in Isaac’s flooding.

“He just told me to, um, there’s assistance out there,” Chiarello said of her conversation with Romney. “He said, go home and call 211.” That’s a public service number offered in many states.

Chiarello said she will likely seek some other shelter because her home was submerged in the flooding.

In Romney’s defense, at least he didn’t offer her a quarter for the payphone.
For a candidate whom voters already don’t think understands their struggles, who is on an already cynical-looking tour of a disaster area, and whose party has a famously bad record of helping people during natural disasters, this is not a great headline. You could say, in fairness to Romney, that at least he was trying to help, but when someone tells you their house just got submerged in a flood, telling them to go home isn’t actually all that helpful.

source: Reuters

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