Louisiana newspaper slams Obama for vacationing amid deadly flooding in the state – Business Insider
The Advocate, a Louisiana newspaper,
harshly criticized President Barack Obama in an editorial for
not interrupting his vacation to visit the state after it was
devastated by floods last week.
Louisiana is no stranger to natural disaster, having suffered
through Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Now severe flooding in the
state has left at least
13 dead and
40,000 homes damaged, displacing thousands of residents.
Despite the situation, the White House has not yet announced
plans for a visit to Louisiana by the president, who is currently
vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard.
The Advocate was swift in calling out Obama for his lack of
action during the floods, especially given that he once
criticized former President George W. Bush for his apparent
apathy toward the victims of Hurricane Katrina a decade earlier.
“In 2005, a fly-over by a vacationing President George W. Bush
became a symbol of official neglect for the victims of Hurricane
Katrina. The current president was among those making political
hay out of Bush’s aloofness,” the paper’s editorial noted.
Calling Louisiana “the most anguished state in the union,” the
paper also lambasted Obama for not visiting the state despite
finding time to cut his vacation short to attend a “swanky
fundraiser for fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton” on Monday.
While the paper commended Obama for his swift federal disaster
declaration after the floods hit, enabling the state to receive
federal aid, it condemned the “optics of Obama golfing while
Louisiana residents languished in flood waters,” because it
“evoked the precedent of the passive federal response to the
state’s agony in 2005, a chapter of history no one should ever
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate visited the state on Wednesday,
while Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson went on
Thursday; The Advocate noted that it was “heartened” by the
Regardless, the paper was clear in its call for the president
himself to come down, stating that “a disaster this big begs for
the personal presence of the president at ground zero,” and that
it is imperative for him to show Louisiana residents and others
affected that the nation stands in solidarity with them.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump
flew to Louisiana on Friday with his running mate,
Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, to survey damages and speak to
local officials and residents.
After slamming Obama for not visiting the state — as well as
taking a few shots at the president’s golfing skills – Trump
assured volunteers and officials that he stood with them.
“Our prayers are with the families who have lost loved ones, and
we send them our deepest condolences,”
Trump said. “Though words cannot express the sadness one
feels at times like this, I hope everyone in Louisiana knows that
our country is praying for them and standing with them to help
them in these difficult hours.”