WashPost's Milbank: GOPers 'Slashing the Tires' and 'Then Complaining'

On Tuesday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank joined host Al Sharpton in lambasting Republican Senators Mitch McConnell and Tom Coburn for attending a fund-raiser in New York City the day before the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. Sharpton griped:

One year later, how's this for shame? Senators Mitch McConnell and Tom Coburn both opposed Sandy relief. So where were they last night on the eve of the Sandy anniversary? They were fund-raising, raising money in the New York area. Amazing. Senator McConnell was at a Greenwich, Connecticut, beach club, a building that flooded during Sandy. And Senator Coburn, he was the headliner for the New York Young Republican Club's gala last night.

He added:

So they refused to give money when these states needed it most, but they have no problem taking it on the eve of the anniversary. That takes some nerve. In the words of Governor Christie, shame on you.

He posed to Milbank a bit later:

You still have people out of houses in New Jersey and far areas of New York. And it's not over. And what they did in many ways was something that people that have had the rest of their lives altered and the families who lost lives, Dana, cannot just act like it's just something that can be forgotten that easily while they're running around saying, "Bygones be bygones, give me a check."

The Washington Post columnist responded:

No, it's a bit rich to be raising money on this anniversary. And it's worse than that about ignoring the anniversary or raising money on it. You have Tom Coburn out there complaining that the aid hasn't been distributed fast enough. Well, that's the aid that he opposed in the first place and that if people Washington put in all these rules to avoid the sort of fraud that occurred after Katrina.

He added:

So you have this situation of them, you know, slashing the tires on the car, then complaining that the thing isn't driving faster. So opposing the aid in the first place, complaining that the aid isn't getting out there, and then raising money in that same location on the anniversary of the storm.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, October 29, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:

AL SHARPTON: It was one year ago today, Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast. These were the scenes of destruction. The storm killed an estimated 160 people in the U.S., damaged hundreds of thousands of homes, and cost billions of dollars. Out of the storm came this iconic image. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and President Obama embracing. It was less than a week before the presidential election, a true symbol of bipartisanship. Later Christie slammed the Republicans in Congress who dragged their feet on storm aid.

(GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ))

SHARPTON: Shame on you, Congress. One year later, how's this for shame? Senators Mitch McConnell and Tom Coburn both opposed Sandy relief. So where were they last night on the eve of the Sandy anniversary? They were fund-raising, raising money in the New York area. Amazing. Senator McConnell was at a Greenwich, Connecticut, beach club, a building that flooded during Sandy. And Senator Coburn, he was the headliner for the New York Young Republican Club's gala last night.

So they refused to give money when these states needed it most, but they have no problem taking it on the eve of the anniversary. That takes some nerve. In the words of Governor Christie, shame on you.

(...)

SHARPTON: Well, bygones are not bygones. You still have people out of houses in New Jersey and far areas of New York. And it's not over. And what they did in many ways was something that people that have had the rest of their lives altered and the families who lost lives, Dana, cannot just act like it's just something that can be forgotten that easily while they're running around saying, "Bygones be bygones, give me a check."

MILBANK: No, it's a bit rich to be raising money on this anniversary. And it's worse than that about ignoring the anniversary or raising money on it. You have Tom Coburn out there complaining that the aid hasn't been distributed fast enough. Well, that's the aid that he opposed in the first place-

SHARPTON: Right.

MILANK: -and that if people Washington put in all these rules to avoid the sort of fraud that occurred after Katrina. So you have this situation of them, you know, slashing the tires on the car, then complaining that the thing isn't driving faster. So opposing the aid in the first place, complaining that the aid isn't getting out there, and then raising money in that same location on the anniversary of the storm.

--Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Brad Wilmouth on Twitter.