Herman Cain Joins Conservatives Criticizing Cantor Over Joplin Relief Funding

June 6, 2011 11:10 a.m.
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Herman Cain told TPM this weekend that he supports the idea of using offset spending to pay for disaster relief funds, but says that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s approach of only allowing that option strikes him as playing political games.

“Human suffering isn’t something we should negotiate over a bill,” Cain said. “Find the money. That’s the difference between a business attitude and a business approach and maybe a political approach.”Cain told TPM that he’d vote for a bill that paid for disaster relief with deficit spending “if we can’t get the Democrats to agree to offset it.”

Cantor has said that any government relief for the victims of the tornado in Joplin, Missouri — which devastated the town and is among the deadliest on record — would need to be paid for with cuts from somewhere else in the budget.

Cain said the issue was too important to turn into a political football.

“It’s one thing to say we’re not going to approve raising the debt limit unless we find a dollar for dollar offset in cuts. [That’s] fine,” Cain said. “But when it comes to, ‘We need to help people get their lives back on track after a natural disaster,’ the statement isn’t ‘if we find the money.’ We will find the money.”

Cain’s view was catching among prominent Republicans who appeared at the Faith and Family Conference in Washington this weekend. Mississippi Gov. Hale Barbour took Cantor to task for the offset pledge, as did Donald Trump.

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