Hurricane Sandy hadn’t even made landfall yet when President Obama’s political allies began trying to use the tragedy for political gain.

The Huffington Post‘s Ryan Grim, formerly a marijuana legalization activist, wrote an article Sunday claiming that Mitt Romney wanted to “shutter” the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The New York Times followed suit later Monday writing an editorial claiming Romney once called FEMA “immoral.”

This is all pure partisan nonsense. Here is what Romney did say at the 2011 Republican debate in Manchester, New Hampshire:

Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. … Instead of thinking in the federal budget, what we should cut — we should ask ourselves the opposite question. What should we keep? We should take all of what we’re doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we’re doing that we don’t have to do? … We cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off.

At no point did Romney ever say FEMA was “immoral” or that he wanted to abolish it. What he did say is that we should ask ourselves what FEMA should and shouldn’t be doing, and then only pay for what’s needed.

So for example, FEMA should operate the National Response Coordination Center. But FEMA should stop wasting money on ineffective grants to local fire departments. This is common-sense, good government decision making. But Obama and his allies want to score political points instead.

From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: If Obama wins, brace for a suicide dive off fiscal cliff
Charlie Spiering: The real photo of the guard watching the Tomb of the Unknown Solider during Hurricane Sandy
Joel Gehrke: Axelrod says Romney camp won’t be saved by a bad jobs report
Byron York: With week to go, Team Romney is upbeat about Ohio
Tim Carney: Romney employs Obama tactics on autos
Paul Bedard: Obama dispatches election lawyers ‘all across the country’

Campaign 2012
Polls: According to Gallup, 15 percent of registered voters nationwide have already cast their ballots and Romney currently leads Obama 52% to 45% among voters who say they have already cast their ballots.
A new NPR poll has Romney up 48 percent to 47 percent over Obama. Romney leads Obama on every issue among independents except “foreign policy and diplomacy.”
A new Pew poll has the race tied at 47 percent but 76 percent of Republicans say they are likely to vote compared to just 62 percent of Democrats.
Obama: In an interview with MSNBC, Obama said he would like to establish a “secretary of Business” if he wins a second term.

In Other News
The Wall Street Journal, Labor Department ‘Working Hard’ to Ensure Jobs Report Released on Time: The U.S. Labor Department on Monday said it is “working hard to ensure the timely release” of the October jobs report, saying it intends to released the report on schedule Friday despite Hurricane Sandy.
The Wall Street Journal, Losses May Exceed Those of 2011 Storm: Hurricane Sandy caused massive disruptions to U.S. businesses and threatened billions of dollars in damage to a region packed with corporate headquarters, retail stores and transportation hubs.
The Wall Street Journal, Behind Decision to Close Markets: Superstorm Sandy forced regulators and exchange operators to keep U.S. stock markets closed Tuesday, in the first weather-related shutdown to last more than one day since the Blizzard of 1888.
The New York Times, Libya Warnings Were Plentiful, but Unspecific: In the months leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the Obama administration received intelligence reports that Islamic extremist groups were operating training camps in the mountains near the Libyan city and that some of the fighters were “Al Qaeda-leaning,” according to American and European officials.

Righty Playbook
Hugh Hewitt interviews Iraq war veteran and House candidate Tom Cotton about Benghazi.
The Weekly Standard‘s Jeffrey Anderson notes that Obamacare is even more unpopular now than it was in 2010.
Jonah Goldberg asks, “Where is the feeding frenzy on the Libya story?”

Lefty Playbook
The Atlantic‘s Elspeth Reeve attacks anyone who would doubt Nate Silver’s poll weighting as “people who can’t do math.”
Democracy Corps says Obama will win because pollsters are failing to reach people with cell phones.
Think Progress attacks Romney for defending traditional marriage while he was governor of Massachusetts.