I honestly believed Romney holding a sham “relief event” in Ohio yesterday was the height of shamelessness, but it turns out the event was even worse than you thought.
It’s the soup kitchen sequel.
[T]he 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.) [...]
As supporters lined up to greet the candidate, a young volunteer in a Romney/Ryan t-shirt stood near the tables, his hands cupped around his mouth, shouting, “You need a donation to get in line!”
Empty-handed supporters pled for entrance, with one woman asking, “What if we dropped off our donations up front?”
The volunteer gestured toward a pile of groceries conveniently stacked near the candidate. “Just grab something,” he said.
We want you to have something in your hand to donate for a photo-op, so if you didn’t bring something, just grab whatever Romney’s campaign aides purchased at Wal Mart and make it appear as if you’re donating.
Judging by this photo, which does not depict the Gatorade, paper towels, and toilet paper behind the table, it doesn’t appear that very much more than $5,000 worth of goods was donated. And as we’ve already pointed out, the Red Cross would rather have $5,000 in cash than creamed corn and peas.
This story wouldn’t be as bad if the campaign hadn’t pretended that it was a serious event or if Romney had simply cut a check and made it public knowledge. As it is this is an insult to Ohio voters, victims of Hurricane Sandy, and the people who attended the event who probably felt pretty good about themselves going home not knowing it was staged.
(photo via Getty Images)