In the waning days of a presidential campaign that promises to go down to the wire, Mitt Romney found himself in the familiar but uncomfortable position of playing damage control after comments from members of his own party surfaced in the news media.
First was the comment by Representative Todd Akin, a senatorial candidate from Missouri, who said the victims of Hurricane Sandy “must have wanted it” or else they wouldn’t have been hit by the superstorm.
“People who don’t want to get hit by a hurricane have a way of shutting it down,” Akin remarked.[pullquote]Representative Todd Akin … said the victims of Hurricane Sandy “must have wanted it” or else they wouldn’t have been hit by the superstorm.[/pullquote]
And if that wasn’t bad enough, Richard Mourdock, Republican senatorial candidate in Indiana, followed with a statement that Sandy was something “God intended to happen. After all, as we all know, the state of New York legalized gay marriage, and as far as the Jersey Shore, well, as bad as that reality TV series is, it surely must have brought on God’s wrath.”
Romney, caught in the difficult position of having to capture undecided moderate votes to win the election, but still unwilling to repudiate the conservative, right-wing, fringe crazies who got him this far, was forced to walk a political tightrope.
“Although I do not personally share all of the views of all of the elements of my party, I fully support their constitutional right to have their own nutjob opinions,” the Republican challenger said.
While news of the devastation wrought by the storm continued to spread, the only beneficial effects of the storm ended suddenly Wednesday morning when the New York Stock Exchange, powered by emergency generators, reopened after being closed for two days.