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Liberals to Romney: Only We Can Politicize Hurricane Sandy

Democrats, media pounce on natural disaster to score political points.

6:05 PM, Oct 30, 2012 • By ANDREW STILES
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MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Monday predicted Republicans would “have some weird excuse” to blame Obama for mishandling the federal response to the storm.

GOP leaders such as New Jersey governor Chris Christie, however, had nothing but praise for the president’s handling of the situation thus far.

On Tuesday, as the full extent of the storm’s damage was being assessed, Democrats and liberals continued to politicize the crisis in an effort to make the case for bigger government.

Former Democratic Ohio governor Ted Strickland said the storm’s devastation “demonstrates as clearly as anything I can think of, the importance of having a strong federal government.”

“When a hurricane comes, everyone wants Big Brother,” New York Times reporter Nicholas Confessore said on MSNBC.

Others echoed Eugene Robinson’s argument that Hurricane Sandy was the result of a Republican-led effort to block a massive federal intervention in the global energy market aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

Former President Bill Clinton mocked Romney for mocking Obama’s now infamous claim that his victory in the 2008 Democratic primary “was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

Former vice president and failing cable executive Al Gore said the hurricane was “a disturbing sign of things to come” if the United States declines to offer dramatic taxpayer-funded subsidies to green energy companies.

Democratic blogger Jonathan Chait praised the attacks on Romney, writing: “What you are going to see over the next week is an overt effort by Democrats to politicize the issue of disaster response. They’re right to do it.”

Reporters pestered Romney over his FEMA comments during a hurricane relief event in Ohio.

“TV pool asked Romney at least five times whether he would eliminate FEMA as president/what he would do with FEMA,” according to a pool report released Tuesday. “He ignored the [questions] but they are audible on cam. The music stopped at points and the [questions] would have been audible to him.”

Headlines such as “Mitt Romney Refuses To Talk About FEMA After Hurricane Sandy Event” (Huffington Post) and “Romney ignores questions about eliminating FEMA” (Washington Post) followed.

Romney’s campaign, however, had already clarified the candidate’s position.

BuzzFeed reporter McKay Coppins was captured on a Politico livestream predicting a “40 percent chance that [Romney] says something stupid” before the relief event had started.

Romney’s campaign was in Ohio collecting food and other items for storm victims. The Republican nominee urged supporters to donate money to the American Red Cross.

However, Salon blogger Alex Pareene was not impressed.

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