Want a photo-op with Mitt Romney just after Sandy made landfall in New Jersey? Just grab a pre-purchased jar of WalMart peanut butter and hand it to him at his
“Victory Rally” “Relief Rally”. Heck, “Just grab something.” It’s not as if it matters what it is, because this is all just a Big Show.
Today we discover that those supplies at the Romney “Relief Rally” were not all random donations but rather buttressed with $5,000 worth of goods purchased by a desperate campaign as props. The campaign planned to photo op Romney accepting food from supporters and loading a truck with food after the event, but what if no food showed up? Buzzfeed is reporting:
But the last-minute nature of the call for donations left some in the campaign concerned that they would end up with an empty truck. So the night before the event, campaign aides went to a local Wal-Mart and spent $5,000 on granola bars, canned food, and diapers to put on display while they waited for donations to come in, according to one staffer. (The campaign confirmed that it “did donate supplies to the relief effort,” but would not specify how much it spent.)
What makes this so outrageous is that the Red Cross did not want the items the Romney campaign collected in the first place. The Red Cross would have been better served with a $5,000 cash donation from the campaign. But that wouldn’t have allowed Romney to pose with canned goods and water as the Caring But Refusing to Answer Questions Republican Who May or May Not Want to Privatize FEMA.
Mitt Romney’s “relief rally” yesterday rang more like a typical campaign rally, except for the oddly similar stacks of food and water he photo-oped himself loading into a truck after the event. It was odd to see, for example, what appeared to be multiple bags of uncooked rice going to people without power, but whatever, right? No one ever claimed Romney or his followers were practical sorts.
The press was not impressed with Romney’s transparent attempts to keep campaigning through a disaster even before they knew it was staged with props, and they called him out on his “Victory Rally” (as their press passes read) repeatedly:
Lots of Qs in the press corps today on how Romney’s OH “storm relief event” is diff from a “campaign event.” Same venue, same celeb guests.
— Ari Shapiro (@Ari_Shapiro) October 30, 2012
Romney’s event it in Kettering Ohio:This photo says it all — “Obama: You’re Fired an here’s some canned goods” twitter.com/jonkarl/status…