The PJ Tatler

Obama Campaign Co-Chair: Hurricane Reminds Us How Important Federal Government Is

A co-chairman of President Obama’s national campaign said on MSNBC today that Hurricane Sandy’s devastation should serve as a reminder of the usefulness of federal government.

“I think both campaigns are trying to deal with this situation in a sensitive way, knowing that so many of our fellow countrymen and -women are — are suffering,” said former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D). “But this circumstance demonstrates as clearly as anything I can think of the importance of having a strong federal government.”

“FEMA is doing a wonderful job, and they’re going to be called upon. And these times remind us, in a very clear way, that we are a big, national family, and that we can do things collectively that we can never accomplish as individuals,” he continued. “And part of that is to provide the kind of protection and relief and recovery that we’re going to need during this storm situation.”

Mitt Romney held an event in Ohio today at which hurricane relief was collected. “We’ve got people right now that are — that are having some hard times because of this terrible hurricane and the storm that followed it, and your generosity will make a difference,” Romney told the crowd.

The White House announced today that Obama will skip a campaign event tomorrow in Ohio to “monitor the response to Hurricane Sandy and ensure that all available federal resources continue to be provided to support ongoing state and local recovery efforts.”

“You know, without trying to politicize this thing, I believe that this event reminds us once again that there is a proper role for government, and that we need government as a — as a partner with our state and our local communities, and the federal government is essential to that,” Strickland said. “And you know, I remind people, I think appropriately so, that during during the primary season Mitt Romney was talking about the advantages of privatizing FEMA or — or turning these responsibilities over to the states.”

“We are all in this together, and I think this storm is going to remind people that there are some things government must do, and can do, and should do, and we need to support it. And our firefighters, our nurses, our police officers putting themselves in harm’s way during these terrible times also reminds us of the value of our public employees and how we should honor them as the heroes that they are.”

Both campaigns have been accusing the other of politicizing the hurricane.