Skip to comments.Bush on third visit to hurricane hit Gulf cities
Posted on 09/11/2005 9:12:21 PM PDT by alessandrofiaschi
NEW ORLEANS - President Bush visited New Orleans today in his third trip to the hurricane devastated region and met with firefighters, including a group from New York on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Bush, on a two-day visit to the Gulf Coast area, was scheduled to do his most extensive tour so far of the interior of the city since it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina two weeks ago.
His arrival coincided with the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack, the other major disaster on U.S. soil that his administration has had to face.
Bush visited a base camp for hundreds of firefighters from around the country, shaking hands and putting his arm around shoulders. He met with a group from New York standing in front of a fire truck donated to their city from New Orleans after the Sept. 11 attack.
As he walked through a meal tent, he petted a Dalmatian dog named Louis for Louisiana that was rescued by some of the firefighters and has now been adopted by the camp.
Bush's motorcade drove past the convention center, where many residents initially had fled for refuge but now empty except for litter and folding chairs. He rode on the highway where few other moving vehicles were spotted and past a house where part of a wall was missing so passersby could look into a second-floor room and its furnishings.
"Television doesn't do it justice, I mean the magnitude of the challenge is almost indescribable," said White House chief of staff Andrew Card, who accompanied Bush.
Bush has faced harsh criticism over his administration's response to Katrina, which displaced hundreds of thousands of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama residents. Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, said on CBS's Face the Nation program that the Bush administration was trying to blame local officials.
"While the president is saying that he wants to work together as a team, I think the White House operatives have a full-court press on to blame state, local officials, whether Republican or Democratic," she said.
White House officials rejected that accusation.
"This is a team effort right now, everyone's pulling their oars in the same direction and the ship is moving forward," Card said.
Michael Brown, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency who was sharply criticized for the federal government's response, was sent back to Washington and Vice Adm. Thad Allen of the Coast Guard was put in charge of the relief effort on the ground.
"I think that the entire country felt shame about what had happened," Sen. Barack Obama, an Illinois Democrat, said on ABC's This Week program.
Regarding criticism that the administration had been uncaring about a population that was largely black and poor, Obama said that he believed the incompetence was "colorblind" and rather officials were detached from the realities of inner-city life.
"I would like to see him (Bush) reach out to a broader circle of leadership in the African-American community and indicate that what he saw woke him up," Obama said.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the president met last week with faith-based and community leaders including blacks and that the administration was making an effort to expand contacts in that community.
Recent public opinion polls show Bush's approval ratings sinking to new lows. A Newsweek magazine survey found that 38 percent of Americans approved of Bush's performance, and a Time magazine poll showed 42 percent were satisfied with the job he was doing.
Bush was greeted at the airport by New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin and then they took a helicopter to the USS Iwo Jima, where they met Allen and Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, the military commander in New Orleans.
Bush was spending the night on the war ship, which has been offering medical support and sending out helicopters in search and rescue efforts.
On Monday, Bush will receive a Katrina briefing on board the Iwo Jima, after which he was scheduled to tour New Orleans in military vehicles. He will then take an aerial tour of one of the parishes and meet with parish officials. He make two stops in Gulfport, Miss., before returning to Washington.
Kevin Fujii/ChronicleA Coast Guard crew from the ship Harriet Lane from Portsmouth, Va., listens to Pastor George Yarger during a Katrina memorial service in New Orleans today.
According to the libs, if he doesn't go, he's insensitive and if he goes, then he's grandstanding.
So, in all the musical montages on all the news stations, how come nobody's used "When the Levee Breaks" by Led Zeppelin?
I've been waiting to hear that song by Leon Everette,something about "I was born in the rain by the Pontchartrain,'neath that Louisiana moon,don't mind the strain of a hurricane..."
They have been asking for help from fellow citizens. So, a friend of my fathers offers a $100 worth of bullets for the police and or militray/national guard to shoot looters. No, they would not accept the donation but is it not the thought that counts? :)
Yes,it does show that his heart's in the right place,and that he understands the situation:)I saw the cutest sign on a business here-"God Bless,and looters will be shot on sight"- and a big "Amen" to that sentiment!
I think Bush is giving this the proper amount of attention.
After he gets back to the White House, I'd like him to address the country about what he's seen and what is going to be done now.
I don't want second hand reporting from the msm.
Charles Krathammer (sp?) criticized GWB's first trip such that GWB had to go back to the Gulf three days later to make amends. I usually agree with Charles, but he missed the boat on that criticism. I wonder how Charles squares this visit by GWB with his criticsm.