For the rest of the country, this is not a surprise. But some in the Republican party are shocked at the apparent coördinated effort by their Republican presidential candidates to avoid the Flint Water Crisis at all costs.
A number of Republican operatives and allies Friday lamented that the GOP has largely been ignoring the water crisis in Flint and warned that it sends a terrible message to the nation.
“This is an amoral display of political apathy by Republican leaders. Their failure to run to the crisis, roll up their sleeves and pitch in tells the world that we are still the same old Republicans who only care about those who would vote for or contribute to them,” said Alex Castellanos, a political operative who is not working for any of the Republican presidential contenders.
Castellanos said he agreed with an op-ed in the New York Times Thursday written by former White House speechwriter Matt Latimer, who worked for President George W. Bush.
Latimer, a Flint native, wrote that the water crisis was “the Republicans’ chance to show their worth,” and to demonstrate that party leaders who have tried to refocus the GOP on poverty, like House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, mean what they say.
Why aren’t Republican presidential candidates, he asked, “shipping in water bottles and holding fund-raisers for kids now condemned to lowered expectations because their brains were poisoned by lead?”