Posted: April 24, 2008 4:33 PM
McCain Admonishes Bush Administration's Response to Katrina
On the fourth day of his It’s Time for Action campaign tour, Sen. John McCain visited New Orleans’ ninth ward, an area devastated by 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, and called President Bush’s handling of the disaster “disgraceful.”
“Never again will a disaster of this nature be handled in the terrible and disgraceful way it’s been handled,” the Arizona senator said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “History will judge this president,” he added, “but it will never, ever happen again.”
McCain was joined by his wife, Cindy, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal as he visited a Christian charity house and made his way to Xavier University of Louisiana, where he held a town-hall meeting.
The senator blamed with Bush administration for failing to respond adequately to the Katrina disaster, and “said he would handle natural disasters differently by putting qualified people in charge of the nation’s emergency response team and enlisting the aid of private businesses,” the Washington Post reported.
“People will judge me by my own actions, my own vision and my own record,” he said.
Democrats were quick to object to McCain’s attention on New Orleans, pointing out the senator has voted against a spending bill that would have provided $28 billion in relief efforts in Katrina’s aftermath. A statement from Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean also addressed McCain’s vote against an extension of unemployment and medical aid to hurricane victims and a commission to examine the federal government’s response.
“Touring the 9th ward with reporters can’t hide the fact that John McCain voted against billions of dollars in Katrina recovery efforts, emergency healthcare for survivors, unemployment assistance for displaced workers, and even the creation of a commission to find out what went wrong,” Dean’s statement said.
McCain responded quickly, defending his votes by saying he feared the legislation could have been “wasteful” and “mismanaged.”
“I will not vote for projects and programs and bills that are laden with pork-barrel projects that waste taxpayers’ dollars … They were full of pork-barrel, wasteful, unnecessary projects and earmarks,” he said, according to the Los Angeles Times.