Fresh off a big win at the Florida straw poll over the weekend, businessman and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain sits down with Carol Costello on American Morning today to discuss his candidacy and the current showdown in Congress over emergency funding.
Cain attributes his win to his ability to connect with his constituents and the fact that his "message" is "more powerful than money."
"The thing that differs me from a lot of other people running for the President of the United States is that I focus on the problem first. Then I focus on what the solution is," he says.
Cain also comments on the budget debate over disaster funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers that may result in a federal government shutdown if differences aren't resolved by this weekend.
"There's plenty of money in Washington, D.C. to offset anything that we need to spend on FEMA. I would make sure that FEMA got the money that it needed, and if I have to go find the offsets later, find it later."
Cain blasts the behavior of Congress saying, "Stop playing with people's tragedies."
The water is finally receding this morning in Paterson, New Jersey where the Passaic River crested late last night after Hurricane Irene brought massive flooding to the area.
However, thousands of people are still in temporary housing after being evacuated from their flooded homes, including more than three thousand because who were forced out of their high-rise apartments.
Paterson's Mayor, Jeffery Jones, discusses the city's evacuations with Carol Costello today, explaining when people can expect to return to their homes.
As floodwaters surge in areas of several states hard-hit by Hurricane Irene, authorities are struggling to assess damage and rebuild roads and bridges in the aftermath of the storm.
Local recovery and response efforts come amid concerns over FEMA funding. The agency's disaster relief fund has less than $800 million remaining and could run out before the end of the current fiscal year on September 30.
Ali Velshi speaks with FEMA administrator Craig Fugate about the agency's finances and relief efforts today on American Morning.
"We want to make sure we have enough money to go to the fiscal year and we're doing our job to get ready for this and other disasters but we are focused on the immediate response," Fugate says.
"In the country I grew up in, Americans come to Americans' help in crisis. We've always done it. We'll continue to do it," Fugate continued. "We're working hard as a team. The president and everybody else is working hard to support these states and the local communities impacted."
Three days after Hurricane Irene ripped through Connecticut, reports say that about 400,000 people are still without power. Water has just crested this morning from massive flooding that rendered about one thousand roads impassable.
Today on American Morning, Governor Dannel Malloy discusses the damage within the state and the government's relief efforts with Christine Romans. He also responds the political debate over the federal role of disaster response, commenting about Ron Paul's remark that FEMA gets in the way and wastes money.
"I think he's an idiot," Malloys says. "We are spending $900 million a week in wars and he is arguing about whether we should spend some amount of money? FEMA now has currently $900 million budget available to it. This is a ridiculous conversation. I really don't understand what he is talking about and I'm not sure he does."
"Without this system of response, we would not be standing here with as few people who have died in this massive storm," Malloy adds. "For someone in Texas to be talking about FEMA being defunded really does rise to idiocy and hypocrisy. This is pure politics playing out across individuals' misery."