TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH: Rick Snyder’s Recent Remarks on Flint’s Lead Poisoning Crisis

Rick Snyder Flint MichiganRead
(credit: Getty)

Michigan governor Rick Snyder testified in front of Congress on Thursday about the lead poisoning crisis in the city of Flint.

Following is an excerpt of his testimony (in italics), accompanied by what he actually means:

Chairman Chaffetz, Ranking Member Cummings, and Members of the Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today about the crisis in Flint and the actions we are taking to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.

TRANSLATION: You assholes. I can’t believe I’m here right now talking to you.

Let me be blunt. This was a failure of government at all levels. Local, state, and federal officials – we all failed the families of Flint.

TRANSLATION: See? Government fails. Always. Shrinking government is the cause of my life. Which is why I’m probably announcing my re-election campaign next month.

This is not about politics or partisanship. I am not going to point fingers or shift blame; there is plenty of that to share, and neither will help the people of Flint.

TRANSLATION: I’m not going to point fingers or shift blame because that was my strategy this entire time and look where it got me—here in front of you idiots.

Not a day or night goes by that this tragedy doesn’t weigh on my mind…the questions I should have asked… the answers I should have demanded… how I could have prevented this. 

TRANSLATION: I originally gave this issue no thought — until I was forced to by my television.


But before going through the facts, I want to express my profound gratitude for the help and heroism of Professor Marc Edwards, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, and Flint resident LeeAnne Walters. They were among the first to sound the alarm about the failures of government and the crisis afflicting the Flint community.

TRANSLATION: Here’s hoping the people I mentioned don’t sue me for criminal negligence.

Here are the facts.

TRANSLATION: As edited by my staff to make sure I don’t look like I almost poisoned an entire city.

First, we quickly reconnected to the Detroit water supply to begin sealing the damaged pipes.

TRANSLATION: We hired a plumber.

Second, I ordered the immediate distribution of water filters and extensive blood-level testing in schools and homes to identify those at the highest risk so they received healthcare, nutrition and additional support.

TRANSLATION: AND YOU GET A BRITA AND YOU GET A BRITA. How are these people still upset?

We are also holding those who failed accountable. 

TRANSLATION: If you think I’m resigning you’re out of your f**king mind.

And we are being open with the public about how these failures came about – including releasing my emails and my staff’s emails relating to this water crisis.

TRANSLATION: Um, this is the first I’m hearing about this terrible idea.

And we are in the process of publicly releasing relevant documents from the state agencies involved, so that the people have an open, honest assessment of what happened and what we’re doing to fix it.

TRANSLATION: Um… Did I mention the plumber?