During a CNN/New Hampshire GOP debate last summer, the candidates were asked whether or not the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) should be shut down and states should take responsibility in disaster relief following following the Joplin tornado and FEMA’s financial problems.

“Absolutely,” Mitt Romney reponded. “Every time you have an occasion to take something 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. Instead of thinking, in the federal budget, what we should cut, we should ask the opposite question, what should we keep?”

“Including disaster relief, though?” debate moderator John King asked Romney.

“We cannot — we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids,” Romney replied. “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.”

As Hurricane Sandy approaches the east coast, the Romney camp was asked on Sunday whether or not Mitt Romney stood by his statement during the debates in 2011.

A Romney official told the Huffington Post, “Gov. Romney wants to ensure states, who are the first responders and are in the best position to aid impacted individuals and communities, have the resources and assistance they need to cope with natural disasters,” the Romney official said.

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