Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went after Mitt Romney today, following the Republican presidential nominee’s decision to travel to Louisiana to tour the damage caused by Hurricane Issac. In a statement, Reid said it is hypocritical for Romney and his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) to show sympathy for victims of Hurricane Issac because a House Republican plan would have gutted disaster relief.
“It is the height of hypocrisy for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to make a pretense of showing sympathy for the victims of Hurricane Isaac when their policies would leave those affected by this disaster stranded and on their own,” Reid said.
“If Paul Ryan and his fellow House Republicans had succeeded in blocking disaster relief last fall, there would have been no aid for the victims of Isaac today. And Paul Ryan’s budget would gut disaster funding, making it much harder to get aid to our fellow Americans in their time of need,” he added.
Ryan campaign spokesman Brendan Buck responded: “Paul Ryan believes providing aid to victims of natural disasters is a critical obligation and should be treated as a high priority within a fiscally responsible budget. It’s sad that some see these heartbreaking events as opportunities to distort his record and play politics.”
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) later added to the criticism of the Republican ticket, saying, “Mitt Romney needs to say whether or not he supports his running mate’s plan to keep emergency disaster aid out of the federal budget.”
President Obama is headed to Louisiana on Monday. On Friday, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters the trip was planned before Romney announced that he was going to the New Orleans area. Asked what Romney could accomplish on his visit, Carney said: “It’s always important to draw attention to the fact that individuals and families and business owners are profoundly affected by storms like Isaac.”
Updated at 3:33 p.m.