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McCain, in Lower Ninth Ward, Blasts Bush Katrina Response

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) speaks at St. David's Catholic Church after making a tour of the Lower Ninth Ward with Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on April 24, 2008 in New Orleans. (Getty Images)

By Juliet Eilperin
NEW ORLEANS --Touring the Lower Ninth Ward this morning, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) blasted the Bush administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina and vowed to respond differently if elected president.

"Never again, never again will a disaster of this nature be handled in the terrible and disgraceful way that it was handled," McCain told reporters after walking a few blocks through the still-devastated area.

McCain, flanked by his wife Cindy, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), local pastors, community activists and a coterie of National Guardsmen, spent 20 minutes touring houses that were in several different stages of rehabilitation. While some, such as the home of music legend Fats Domino, had been refurbished, others remained dilapidated and abandoned.

In one of his clearest breaks with the current administration, McCain 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. In an interview with reporters before his walking tour, McCain said he was confident voters would be able to able to distinguish between him and President Bush, saying, "People will judge me by my own actions, my own vision and my own record." When asked to describe, during his press conference, how the administration had failed to respond to Katrina, he replied, "I think everybody is aware of how it was a failure."

In the course of his walk, McCain stopped by a house that roughly a dozen volunteers from DeutscheBank's New York branch were helping rebuild. "I'm proud to be in your company," he told them. "You're what America's all about."

Jindal emphasized in an interview with reporters that the area was coming back, but still faced challenges. "We are still recovering down here, but we're open for business," he said.

Making their way down Caffin Street, McCain and his group had to step around trash that littered the sidewalks. The presumptive GOP nominee took photos with three volunteers from Wisconsin, and he mentioned in the course of the tour that his own daughter, Bridget, had spent her spring break repairing homes in New Orleans.

Arriving at Fats Domino's home, Lieutenant Col. Daniel Bordelon -- who is with the Louisiana National Guard's 225th engineering brigade and served as the McCains' guide -- explained the musician had become somewhat reclusive. McCain said he was "an old fan" and would have liked to have met him. At that point, Jindal suggested the McCains stay for the upcoming Jazzfest. "Don't tempt us," Cindy McCain replied.

McCain visited the home of one current local resident, Luella Pinkney, and spoke about the need for affordable housing with members of the Lower Ninth Ward Neighborhood Empowerment Association. Several Katrina survivors watched as the senator walked through the neighborhood and one of them, Mary Croom, said his visit had convinced her to support him as president.

"I'm just happy to see him coming here," said Croom, who plans to move back to the Ninth Ward in the near future. "He's interested in what's happening here."

McCain did not commit to a specific amount of money he would spend as president to help rebuild New Orleans or southern Louisiana, which Jindal estimated would cost "tens of billions of dollars." But he said "I would do whatever I could to see that happens," adding later, "To protect the lives of American citizens, we can always find the money."

During a ride on his Straight Talk Express this morning, McCain spoke at length about the need to restore the area's wetlands and barrier islands in order to mitigate the impact of another hurricane.

"If we set priorities, obviously that would be one of our top priorities," McCain said, adding the federal government has spent massive amounts of money on pork barrel projects that have harmed the landscape in Louisiana and elsewhere, and lawmakers should conduct a cost-benefit analysis to set priorities in public works initiatives. "I don't know of an American who would say, 'I don't want to spend my tax dollars to protect New Orleans and Louisiana.'"

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 24, 2008; 12:04 PM ET
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Next: McCain Opposes Equal Pay Law


McCain is just kissing some ass for a few vote's you really can't blame him he's to Left for the Reps, and Right for the Dems, he's like a man without a country why not go to New Orleans and lie to the poor Katrina victmins he's not going to do anything else from them McBush what a joke.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 28, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe Sen McCain mentioned Pres Bush in his criticism. Is there a quote missing?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 28, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Gee, isn't that sweet - McCain, a card carrying Republican trying to act like he's a friend of the poor. Give me a break. And I'm in agreement with chikaRex....I formerly considered myself an Independent, and have vowed to never vote for another Republican as long as I live. And I honestly don't think that will be too difficult since they've become such a morally degraded Party with a value system I can't relate to.

Posted by: spicegal | April 28, 2008 2:10 AM | Report abuse

Typical White Male it is you and people like you that make me ashamed to be an American. When will you little boys grow up, get rid of your white hoods, and join the new world. What makes you and the color of your skin so superior - we can govern the blacks but they can't govern whites. You're nothing but a chicken sh_t bigot and a disgrace to America.

Posted by: White Female | April 27, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Typical White Male is anything but. Why not take your comments to the Aryian Supremecy web site. You embarrass my race.

Posted by: lharris_wax | April 26, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I realize it takes a republican to make a democrat look good. But at some point in W's first term, I made a promise to myself to never vote republican again. I don't even remember now what the thugs did to make come to that determination. But since I made it, I have kept faith with it. No matter what, even if the republicans run the reincarnation of Jesus Christ, I will never again vote for a republican candidate for any office until the day I die.

Posted by: chikaRex | April 26, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

How is John McBush going to be prepared for a natural disaster or spend money to rebuild NO when to keep Bush's tax cuts and reduce the defici as he claims, he'll have to cut 30% out of all budgets except defense? Wacky Republicans!

Posted by: lharris_wax | April 26, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

As a PA resident I can assure you that it would not have mattered what Osama said or did- working class whites would not drink his kool aid. Everyone knows that blacks are lazy and unable to manage executive positions. Therefore, it would be a mistake to elect a black to the Presidency.

If Osama gets the nomination through affirmative action, rest assured, many whites in the democratic party will vote for McCain. The DNC ought to think twice before giving him the nomination over an experienced, intelligent woman like Hillary Clinton.

I dont have anything personal against blacks but I just dont want to be governed by them. Look at how they create filthy ghettos.

Posted by: Typical White Male | April 25, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

McSame and Bush were too busy eating cake (unfortunately not the yellow cake available in Niger) when Katrina hit and couldn't be bothered to even utter a word of advice or help for New Orleans. So do you really want to give him your VOTE for pandering to you now? NO, NOT NOW; NOT EVER!!!!!!

Posted by: ObamasLady | April 25, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

To all of you complaining about Bush you've had a Democrat congress for 2 years. That's where appropriations are made and budgets set and they've done what? About as much as the incompetent leadership in Louisiana, nothing.

Posted by: Mike | April 25, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Where was Sen. McCain when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005? Why did he not step forward to criticize the Bush Administration right after all the fiasco on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? There are people who have not been able to return to their homes in New Orleans. Sen. McCain has a lot of catching up to do. Like, he is almost three years too late to do his critizing. Come on, get real. Thus far you have not spoken about why and how you will lead other than to say that you will continue the policies of the current Bush Administration. Speaking out against the administration now, is just for show.

Posted by: richardcolonel | April 25, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: ARSLAN CH. | April 25, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

McCain the Transformational Leader

A transformational leader knows when to transform
How to tell a lie, when to lie
And how to calm a storm
Way to go McCain!
Let's hope no more will die
Tell them what they want to hear
Americans have nothing to fear
Until you're in the white house
As the commander in chief
Working on Bush's brief

By Allen Gauntlett

Posted by: Allen Gauntlett | April 25, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Is he an American hero? Yes! NO, NO, NO, NO! He is NOT really an American HERO. He was a POW, but that does NOT make him a hero! Sorry, no it doesn't. He told the Viet Cong exactly what they wanted to hear so that he could "come home". A true HERO would not have done that - a true HERO is a person with morals and takes the high ground. John McSame does NOT qualify to be called HERO. Save that label for one of the TRUE HEROS of our nation. McSame is just an appendage of Bushco. And the Clintons are right up his a** as well!

Posted by: Disparaged | April 25, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

If anyone alive thinks McCain is any different than Bushco then they are sadly mistaken. Bushco have RAPED AND PILLAGED their way through out country and other nations as well. Do you think they cared enough to even begin to help New Orleans recover. HELL NO! They did NOT care then and they do NOT care NOW. Do NOT listen to any lame BS that McCain is throwing at you - they ONLY reason he is there is to GET YOUR VOTE. He's a geezer with all his "McCain moments" and he could care less if you live or die just so you give him your vote. Bushco and McSame are both Republicans and if McSame is "acting" like he is concerned and saying Bushco did not do enough, please New Orleaneians do NOT be fooled or buy into it because it is only PROPOGANDA. Where was he when Katrina pushed through New Orleans? Was he sitting his fat a** in Congress voting on some BS bill for his personal enrichment just like the rest of the Thugs in charge? McCain and the Clintons are exactly alike - they are powerful and power hungry and will stop at nothing to get your vote. Things will not change unless we elect Obama and if people are so ASSINE and IGNORANT to vote otherwise, they will DESERVE everything they get! Thanks 'Let's be Honest!!', you said it all above. The MSM has put out ILLUSION, PROPOGANDA AND PERSONAL OPINION so that the citizens will do as they suggest and vote their way. Well, I for one American, will have none of it - our household refuses to turn the tv on to any MSM or political pundit and the sooner all Americans stop paying their salaries by watching them or purchasing their newspapers, the sooner they will learn that journalism means reporting Truth and Fact! Revolt citizens - don't continue to buy into this garbage and sleaze reporting!

Posted by: ObamasLady | April 25, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The big mistake that President Bush made was ignoring that the state of Louisiana was governed by ultra liberals who were incapable of handling such emergency situations with misappropriation of funds and not having or executing a plan in a very potentially dangerous area. The people of Louisiana did make some changes in leadership which was step in the right direction. Since help was not ask for in a timely fashion, the President should have taken over Louisiana by fiat to save lives.

Posted by: Mike | April 25, 2008 1:59 AM | Report abuse

our dive boat ended up missing and we ended up salvaging it amongst other things that were detached during Hurricane Hugo.

no one i know ever became a prisoner of war: we either survived, died, or probably ain't normal. tm2, now a retired BMC, god bless you bobby abrahms.

Posted by: egalitaire | April 24, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina wreaks havoc upon the United States Gulf Coast. On April 24, 2008, Senator John McCain proclaims the Hurricane Katrina response was inadequate, without naming the current Administration responsible.
Hurricane Katrina happened on my birthday, which happens to be the same as Senator John McCain's.

August 29, 2005 was a very special day for me. i had been in unalaska dutch harbor ten days working on America's Fishing fleet as a "commercial diver". this was also the day when my girlfriend flew into dutch harbor. the day before, i told my disguistingly republican roommate and landlord that Hurricane Katrina, a Category Five, was going wreak havoc -- his response was....
my concern stemmed from the personal experince of Hurricane Hugo, where i volunteered to take our navy dive boat from the Charleston Naval Station to the Charleston Naval Weapon's Station.

me, the Master Diver, HTC, TM2 (god bless him, and another BM2, took our LCM4 up to the Naval Weapon's Station for safe-harbor.

we fished during daylight, while waiting for Hurricane Hugo. fish were not biting and it was ugly. things got a little rough in the cooper river at the Weapon's Station. the sun set. the weather got uglier. the two BM2(dv)'s went down below.
me and BM2 janella were sea sick from the wave action in the cooper river. i remember bracing my feet against our generator -- i'm cool.....master diver gets on the intercomm and says, "rudy, janella, get up here (to the pilot house). i'm puking and cussing the master diver....gezus f kkkrist.....
me and J-Y-gelly get up to the pilot house and see everyone freaking out.....MDV, HTC, TM2 have their life preservers on, holly chit we are all navy divers.....

we abandoned our dive boat. i saw big trees snapped in half. submarines on the bottom of the cooper river (after busting loose from their moorings. we heard wooden mine sweepers call mayday while they busted loose from their moorings. i witnessed navy anchor chains swinging with the wind (eighty pounds a link). us Naval Station Charleston divers imagined the mine sweepers were busted into toothpicks...

storms over.
we're heading back down the cooper river from the weapon's station to the naval station. every tree is snapped in half.

every tree is snapped in half.
HTC lives close to me. i call my X wife and ask her to pick me & HTC up. she says, i can't pick you up! You BEE EYE OH TEE SEA H
, you can't pick us up after all we went through? oops, i hung up.

me and HTC hitch-hike back to our homes. we can't go all the way. we stop where we have to stop, get out....walk, hitch hike, get out, walk hitch hike.....

so, hurrican hugo was at least one category below katrina...

why. why is john mcinsane saying today, three years after katrina, that things happened too slooooooooooooooooooowly.

i think john mcinsane always responds tooooooooooooooooooooooooo slooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowly

Posted by: egalitaire | April 24, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you should have said something to Dubya senator, after you blew out your birthday candles. Your criticism was needed then, not now.

Posted by: Jimbo | April 24, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I agree with pmorian.

Where's the context of what McCain was saying and doing at the time of Katrina? Or Iraq?

Mr. McCain: your recent comments are disgusting and inept. Contrary to your 'restrained' comments: "...terrible, and disgraceful..."

We all knew that, and yet you watched and didn't say anything.

Meanwhile, the Post and others just 'report' what Mr. McCain says - today.

The question is what he said then.

When you are ready to be a journalist, CONTEXT THAT.

And then write an article.

Disgusting, and disgraceful. The msm, that is.


Posted by: Captain John | April 24, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I didn't read anything in this piece about what McCain actually said & did at the time of Katrina. Why does the Post only give us "campaign commercial" reporting for McCain? The assumption in the press is that whatever McCain says is true. There is no critical journalism whatsoever. Pitiful.

Posted by: pmorlan | April 24, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

To all African-American
Remember, first black Secretary of State: Republican.
First African-American female Secretary of State: Republican.
The Dems will take the nomination away from Obama. They will sell you out once again.
Donate to the GOP, donate to John McCain.
We have your best interest at heart.
McCain '08

Posted by: GOP+Black | April 24, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty apparent in lieu of John McCain's Katrina's comments and the recent North Carolina GOP commercial on Rev Wright's 2 degrees of separation to liberal extremism, that the GOP strategy is one of good-cop/bad cop. I wouldn't be surprised if the Bush administration pre-approved a list of issues list McSame to blast Bush on. It's a small price to pay for this fiasco of an administration to retain some neocon influence in the executive office.

Posted by: mlkrn | April 24, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

2 years 2 late.

Posted by: Whys | April 24, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Brilliant John McCain, Brilliant.
An African-American will NEVER be President, unless he represents Lincoln's party. We all know this. The Dems will take this nomination away from Obama. Watch. And the once loyal voting block for the Dems, will switch back to their original party, the Grand Old Party. The Party that freed them. The party that shares the same Christian values. Brilliant McCain, Brilliant. The Dems will show the world, that a Black man has no chance of being President!

Posted by: AB68 | April 24, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Right. So who was that eating cake with Dubya that day?

Oh yeah -- McCain.


Posted by: donna | April 24, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

"Terrible and disgraceful..."


How about "disgusting and inept.'

Step up to the plate, Senator, as your 'statement' is disgusting, and renounceable.

and I denounce it.

Disgusting, and inept.

Use the words, Mr. McCain, or tie yourself to the Bush administration.


Posted by: Captain John | April 24, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm tired of my intelligence being insulted by politicians like Mr. McCcain. Stories like this just continue to insult us all. McCain should be a shamed of him self. He should have blasted Bush's policies and inaction when it counted, not now that he wants our vote. This is just rediculous! What a joke!

Posted by: Let's be Honest!! | April 24, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Silly Seaon continues... Where was McCain in 2005, 2006, and 2007, etc. on this issue. Good grief! If it takes him this long to respond to Katrina, Heaven helps us all on everything else! Good Grief!!

Posted by: SillySeason! | April 24, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

for those more curious than ms eilpern re ... hmmm, just what was john mccain doing the day katrina hit; while the rest of the country was transfixed by the growing horror? st john was standing on an airport tarmac awaiting his princeling's descent from af1 -- with a cake.

Posted by: linda | April 24, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

To Mr. Anonymous, the "Real Katrina Survivor", posting at 4:35.

You said: "As for the "Katrina" ravaged areas that truly needed federal help, for which the FEMA organization was set up, the system worked fine".

I ask:

Why did the Federal Emergency Management Agency...

- not accept Amtrak's help in evacuations?

- turn away experienced firefighters?

- turn back Wal-Mart supply trucks?

- prevent the Coast Guard from delivering diesel fuel?

- ban the Red Cross from delivering food?

- bar morticians from entering New Orleans?

- block a 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid?

- fail to utilize a Navy ship with 600-bed hospital on board?

- allow the city of Chicago to send just one truck?

- turn away generators?

- state "First Responders Urged Not To Respond"?

(WaPo doesn't let me post all the relevant links. Find them here:

Posted by: jay walker | April 24, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Remember Bush's momma commenting on all those poor, underprivileged refugees from the Katrina disaster, spending their days in a sports arena, and LOVING IT!, according to her, because it was a step up for them from their usual homes. Oh! The stories the wealthy tell themselves about the poor out of guilt and ignorance. If Katrina had hit, say, The Hamptons, FEMA's response would have been much different. Bloated black Democratic corpses afloat in flood waters don't elicit much sympathy from Bush/Cheney.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | April 24, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

There goes he again, bashing his political base while refusing to run "tough" against Obama(or, probably, Hillary). No wonder he's being called "Magoo!" If he wins, let's hope his considerable hot air can divert the hurricanes.

Posted by: Sylvestre P. d'Orleans | April 24, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

So McCain just discovered that Bush and his administration suck at helping Katrina victims? Where's he been? It takes a campaign to make him speak up?

Posted by: Tim | April 24, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

amffma-If you liked that, your gonna love this:

Item 1, Syria. Holds the Leader of Hamas, as a Diplomatic Guest. Duplicitous actions with N.Koreans and nuclear Activities.

Item 2, Iran. Holds Moqtada al Sadr as a Diplomatic Guest, while equipping and training Mahdi Fighters(Along with Brain-Dead Bushie), and offers al-Sadr a Base to operate from, while al-Sadr is threatening Maliki's Government, and US Forces.

Item 3, Lebanon. Iran and Syria using BOTH Palestinians and Hizbollah to try to undermine the US Backed Secular Regime.

Item 4, Palestinian Territories. Hamas, Syria, and Iran try to sponsor terrorist activities against Israel in attempts to de-stabilize The ENTIRE Region.

Item 5, John McCain taking over for Chimpy!

As Hamas and al-Sadr have already began showing, THEY would prefer to be dealing with a Lame Duck!

I think it is all about to be Over before the Election! :-)

Best news, al-Sadr is operating FROM Iran! ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | April 24, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Can't you hear the rightwing nuts already?
"McCain is a liberal in disguise. Promising big government solutions instead of telling those people in New Orleans to pick themselves up and get back to work instead of waiting around for a government handout!"

Republicans have brainwashed themselves into an ideological corner that requires them either destroy government (which they're doing) or admit that the might be some useful role for government (by the people) in solving problems. They're history.

Posted by: thebob.bob | April 24, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Now, if Juliet Eilperin were a journalist worth her salt, she would have done some research and told us what John McCain's statements and actions were during the Katrina crisis. I don't know what they were. I'm asking. Wouldn't it be logical to see if he was criticizing the Bush administration's non-response at the time??

Posted by: Lucky Lakeshore | April 24, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Since when in the name of ....does he start caring about what the American people want to spend their money? How much are we spending on Iraq. Hey, John, We want out! If only the American people will take the Ipods out of their ears and do something about this mess!

Strange how George Will writes an article on how the schools are a mess while all this is going on. I am sure it is only a coincidence!

Posted by: Charles | April 24, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

too bad he was eating cake with his buddy Georgie when the good people of New Orleons, started drowning. Please, save your "I wouldas..." for someone who cares.

Posted by: Cesca | April 24, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

His 1st visit to NOLA?....after multiple visits to Iraq?
When it was important for people to step up in 2005...where was McCain? MIA.

Posted by: Doc | April 24, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Where have we heard this before?


Posted by: Chicago1 | April 24, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

"McCain is the disaster. He an his trophy wife need to retire to the desert.
Posted by: The Flea | April 24, 2008 5:51 PM"

Shouldn't be too hard with their eight homes to choose from.

Posted by: napperfat | April 24, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Why aren't we reading about McCain's third bill (prior legislation was introduced in 1991 and in 1994) which will assist his millionaire friend Donald Diamond make millions more off of government land deals. The same wealthy longtime friend who has raised a quarter of a million dollars for him so far.

The senator's efforts led to multi million-dollar profits and the acquisition of thousands of acres in Arizona. McCain has sponsored a third similar bill that currently sits before the U.S. Senate.

In 1999 McCain helped Diamond purchase highly-sought yet forbidden California land owned by the Army, which he immediately sold for a $20 million profit. Then McCain got his buddy a lucrative contract to develop a resort hotel and luxury housing in 2005. These efforts certainly contradict McCain's vows not to intercede with the government on behalf of a donor or take any action on their behalf that doesn't serve the public's interest.

Posted by: hotezzy | April 24, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

McCain is the disaster. He an his trophy wife need to retire to the desert.

Posted by: The Flea | April 24, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

So, now John McCain is starting to distance himself from the worst president in our nation's history ...
This, just months after he gets on his kneepads to embrace the man, all to satisfy a base of ideologically obsessed (and delusional) people who have the gall to describe themselves as Americans -- when it reality they basically spit on the values that made this country great.

It's so sad to see McCain debase himself in that way, but I suppose he gets some credit for being one of the few Republicans to actually criticize Bush and his corrupt administration for its criminally negligent handling of the hurricane.

McCain is going to figure out, pretty quickly, that he can't have it both ways.
There's a reason that Bush's approval rating is so low, and many voters won't forget that come November.

Posted by: vegasgirl | April 24, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Where was McCain after Katrina laid waste to that fine city?
Why didn't he open up his trap then?

Did grandpa forget?

Posted by: Another Citizen | April 24, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't the former New Orleans Levee Board in prison?

Posted by: Ed | April 24, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

McSame has no shame. How dare he speak against the man whom he embraced and whose policies he is embracing. I shake my head at the audacity of hypocrisy. McShame was not in another planet when Katrina hit and thousands were rendered homeless. I shake my head and really marvel at his shamelessness. He is acting clueless as if this is the first time he's heard about the hardships of the people in New Orleans. Grandstanding too late now.

Posted by: M. Stratas | April 24, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised McCain didn't bring his good buddy John Hagee to survey the N.O. reconstruction and have yet another opportunity to claim it was God's punishment for their sinful ways.

If God were to punish cities for their sinful ways, don't you think He would have taken out D.C. a long time ago?

Posted by: elmerg | April 24, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Those who say McCain was indifferent to Katrina at the time are exactly right. Those who say he remained indifferent as he voted against proposal after proposal to fund recovery on the Gulf Coast. Guess ha must be another of those "born-againers". He's developed religion just in time for the election. Is he an American hero? Yes! Has he always acted as one? No!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Straight-talk John...what a McCain's eyes really lit up when he saw all the potential in NOLA for his pork-sniffing buddies to line up at the trough...he saw right away this would be even more lucrative than the S&L that he, along with his corrupt buddies, looted back there in the 80s...opportunity knocks again, right, John?

Posted by: nighthawksoars | April 24, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Where was this man when NOTHING helpful was being done for LA... did he lose his voice? OH, I forgot he had not announced for president, but now has to score points.. This disaster did not happen yesterday or even last year.

Posted by: RosaCA | April 24, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Hindsight is 20-20..Where was Mr. McCains dismay and outrage in the days after the disaster.What if any help did the senior senator from Az. provide??

Posted by: Alan | April 24, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

f the mcaainiacs get elected, Gas will be 11 bux per gallon by 2012.

Mccain= the indochunese candidate

Posted by: pvogel88 | April 24, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Why is McCain blasting Bush when he has been in Congress the entire time and has done very little to make Katrina victims a priority over getting money to defense contractors and anyone else he feels should get priority monetary treatment. It is only now that he is campaigning for President that he has even spoken out about the worst disaster in recent history. How different the treatment of the World Trade Center victims and the Katrina victims, but then again most of the Katrina victims are African Americans so no one in Congress has made a significant effort to rebuild their lives. Instead Bush, McCain, Congress and Republican operatives in Louisiana have used it to divert government money into their friends, relatives, associates and benefactors pockets and remove all public housing from the city to the advantage of the money grubbing developers (the well connected Republican politicos and bought off local and state politicians). Katrina is an example of what happens in America to those without significant political and economic power (as elsewhere). It is sick, sad and disgustingly true.

Posted by: Jim McLaughlin | April 24, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

"When is McCain going to tour Baghdad with a group of photo-op press to apologize to THEM for incompetence by the Bush administration?
If he is consistent, it will be in about 20 years."
Posted by: steve boyington | April 24, 2008 5:02 PM

Took the words right out of my mouth.

Posted by: napperfat | April 24, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

reporter; "tell us about the hurricane, senator mccain."

mccain; "what hurricane?"

reporter; "katrina. you said bush failed new orleans."

mccain; "he did?"

reporter; "that's why you called this press briefing."

mccain; "i did?"

reporter; "yes. what about bush?"

mccain; "what about him? he's the president."

reporter; "yes, we know that senator. but aren't you running for president to correct his mistakes?"

mccain; "i don't think so."

reporter; "don't think so, what? aren't you running for president?"

mccain; "i don't think so, but maybe i better ask cindy. cindy? am i running for president?"

cindy; "yes dear, you are."

mccain; "but we already have a president."

cindy; "of course we do dear, but you will be the next one."

mccain; "next one, what?"

cindy; "our next president."

mccain; "i will?"

reporter; "senator mccain, are you saying you are not running for president?"

mccain; "didn't cindy just say i was?"

reporter; "we want to hear it from you."

mccain; "hear what?"

reporter; "that you are running for president."

mccain; "i am?"

reporter; "senator, do you know what day it is?"

mccain; "i think it's easter. that's when that little bunny hops around with all his easter eggs.. he's pretty funny!"

reporter; "no senator, it's thursday."

mccain; "easter comes on a thursday now?"

reporter; "senator, do you know how old you are?"

mccain; "of course i do. i'm 12."

reporter; "i don't think so."

mccain; "13?"

reporter; "i don't think you should be running..."

mccain; "of course not! my knees are bad.. you shouldn't run if you have bad knees.. my doctor told me that."

reporter; "i meant for president."

mccain; "we already have a president."

cindy; "dear, i think we better go..."

mccain; "i already went, dangit cindy! before we left the house! quit embarrassing me!"

reporter; "and that concludes the conference. senator mccain running for president."

mccain; "i am?"

cindy; "john?"

mccain; "who's john?"

Posted by: BOB | April 24, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have put the US on the verge of a near collapse with a troubled economy, over seas imperiliasm, corruption, cronism and incompetence. Anyone foolish enough to vote for another one in the near future needs their head checked. McCain is not much different than the rest of this corrupt party. We need someone to restore faith in corporations, church, Gov't and even sports...the US is in the state of turmoil and McCain is not the answer.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

If some of the digusting people blogging on this site are Obama and Clinton supporters then the Democratic Party is truly in trouble.

Posted by: BruceMcDougall | April 24, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

When people were drowning and dying in New Orleans, Bush the Coward and McCain Attoinette were eating cake. And the Post doesn't report this. Shameful.

Posted by: John McSameasBush | April 24, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

When is McCain going to tour Baghdad with a group of photo-op press to apologize to THEM for incompetence by the Bush administration?

If he is consistent, it will be in about 20 years.

Posted by: steve boyington | April 24, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't recall Senator McCain's sympathy for Katrina victims at the time. As a matter of fact, I don't recall any since then.

Posted by: FirstMouse | April 24, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

It is really too bad that McCain wasn't a ranking Senator in Congress to exercise needed oversight of this awful Bush.

Had he been a Senator he would have demanded the facts, and it would have been obvious to him that the administration was mismanaging FEMA and the response to Katrina.

A man of his heartfelt caring, unquestioned integrity and noble leadership would would have made sure that Congress acted to do the right thing in Louisiana and Mississippi!

McBush needs to be in public office... one of those offices you sometimes see at the Interstate rest stop.

Posted by: carl craig | April 24, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Say anything to get the votes of some poor folks, McCain, Nixon did it after the 68 riots in DC. Lies go round and round and round.

Posted by: snitchonmurder | April 24, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

McCentury McCain lacks knowledge on every subject and is unqualified to be the president. He will need a dictionary on stage to debate Harvard Scholar Senator Barack Obama. Romney (the compulsive liar) is absolute bad news and should not be considered for vice president. The world respect neither of these rejects.

Posted by: Christopheur | April 24, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

McCain held a closed door meeting with Mayor Nagin, who agreed, in principle, that he would stay in the city and would not allow city officials to run away, leaving hundred of buses to be destroyed which would have saved thousands of lives. Nagin also agreed to act sort of like a Mayor and to not blame federal officials for his own shortcomings next time there was an emergency.

Afterwards, he had a private meeting with Louisiana Governor Blanco who agreed that if McCain were elected and another storm hit, she would not again needlessly delay her request for federal assistance.

With both of these assurances under his belt, McCain felt emboldened enough to chastise Bush for not having the foresight to hold the same meetings prior to Katrina.

"I have been in the government long enough to recognize that few in government take their jobs seriously and I understand that in any natural disaster there are going to be serious issues when high ranking officials run away to a safe place to begin the blame game. I am planning similar meetings with every high ranking elected official in America to ensure there is agreement as to who gets blamed for what when the shi* hits the fan," stated McCain.

"One of my first cabinet appointments will be the office of the secretary of Delegation of Blame. The creation of this office will be of a non-partisan nature. Preferably a democrat mayor of one of our large cities, since they are the most adept at dodging responsibility," McCain went on to say.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

You people making your ugly statements about McCain are degrading a American Hero. I'm ashamed that you people live in this country, where my family & thousands of others, lost young men in wars defending your right to spiel such garbage. You have a right to believe what you want, you don't have to believe all of what others believe. But if you cannot honor your own country and those that have dedicated their life to serving it, you should either leave or keep your thoughts to yourself. You are stating for all the world to see, there are Americans that do not honor this countries public servants & darn sure don't appreciate the freedoms they have here.

Posted by: Deloris | April 24, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

McCain is just trying to be sympathetic and chase down a few votes with his carefully thought out speech in the 9th Ward. Can't blame him for that. As for anyone who thinks that anyone in the federal government is to blame for what went on after Katrina in New Orleans, you need your head checked. The 9th Ward was originally constructed to be a flood bowl to protect the city but the local political corruption and general disregard by money hungry businesses developed that area anyway. The 9th Ward or any other part of New Orleans for that matter wasn't the worst part of the Katrina disaster and the destruction in that area was just a means by which the ugly face of corruption in that city was exposed. As for the "Katrina" ravaged areas that truly needed federal help, for which the FEMA organization was set up, the system worked fine. I have a feeling that McCain knows these things, but during an election year he can't afford to ruffle feathers by telling the truth. The truth being, New Orleans is looking for a handout after having brought this on themselves. Yes the federal government should help, but we should realize up front that no matter what we do our efforts will never be satisfactory and at some point we have to say when. So yes, he is telling the public what he thinks it wants to hear, he's a politician.
What astounds me most is how the names Katrina and New Orleans have become synomous when heard on the news even today. The big question is how can the areas that were actually impacted the worst by the storm be pushed aside and the tragedy in those areas be nearly forgotten. The answer, the people in those areas continue to rebuild themselves the best they can on what they have been given. Their hands aren't out asking for more, their hands are busy nailing and cutting and scraping away the devastation to rebuild their lives. So I say to New Orleans shut up and get to work FEMA has done all it should.

A Real Katrina Survivor

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Yo, McCain, how about we take one month's cost of the war in Iraq (a nifty $10 billion) and rebuild the Ninth Ward and much of the rest of the eastern Louisana that is still remains devastated?

What a poseur! Like he had no idea that nearly three years after Katrina so much still needs to be done...

Photo-opping A-hole.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I guess because the article is about McCain everyone is pointing out the fact he's saying things to get elected. Hello? Obama and Hillary are doing the same thing! This is America, after all. What did you twits expect?

Posted by: Domino | April 24, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Didn't McCain seek the support of Rev. John Hagee who claimed that God ravaged New Orleans because of their decadent behavior? So what would McCain have done differently than Bush in response to the disaster? Pray and ask God's forgiveness for New Orleans actions?

Posted by: MikeMcNally | April 24, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Interestingly enough, McCain was enjoying his birthday cake with the president while New Orleans drowned.

In 2005, McCain voted against granting access to Medicaid for Hurricane Katrina victims for up to five months.

Later that year, he voted against establishing a congressional commission to examine the Federal, State And Local response to Hurricane Katrina.

In 2006, he voted against appropriating $109 Billion (including $74 Billion for Iraq), $28 Billion of which for Hurricane Relief.

Also in 2006: McCain voted against establishing a commission to study the response to Hurricane Katrina. Again.


So, what's it gonna be, Mr. Would-be president?!

Posted by: jay walker | April 24, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Everybody knows that John McCain hates black people. His support for the KKK is well known. It's disgusting to see him in New Orleans. He's a vile racist. Obama is our only hope!

Posted by: Denise | April 24, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Blah blah blah. What was he going to say to New Orleans residents; "Heck of a job Bushie"?!?! Talk is cheap. If he really rejected Bush's handling of Katrina, he would have rejected Bush. He would have rejected the GOP. He embraced both. That's all one needs to know.

Posted by: kurthunt | April 24, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey, didn't McCain vote to confirm "Heck of a job, Brownie?"

Posted by: Gasmonkey | April 24, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't recall McCain making any negative comments about Bush at the time of the hurricane disasters.

Posted by: truth1 | April 24, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

As a Bush supporter (Gore & Kerry NOT), McCain is right! Bush and federal government responded to slowly to that disaster. You gotta like McCain's style, he tells it like it is. Now that's CHANGE Obama!

Posted by: theaz | April 24, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Look every one McCain is doing very good!!! compaired to MLK It took all of 25 years for him to accept the fact that MLK had the largest impact on Civil Rights today!!! Truly he is trying to get the Black vote just look where he has been in the last two weeks. He knows that he can't win with out them!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Gee John...I didn't know you cared so much albeit a few years late!! But us black folk show thank ya for yo concern NOW! We thought ya forgotten about us.

Posted by: SteelWheel1 | April 24, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

McCain is so fake. Why didn't he speak up earlier about the devastation of Katrina when he was accepting the birthday cake from his good buddie, Pres. Bush? He will say anthing to get elected and then do what serves him and his wealthy friends. He will allow illegal immigration, which is killing our country. He will spend billions on a war when we could use that for Social Security. He is just like Bush.

Posted by: ROSE | April 24, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I've never received such a harsh response for one of my comments before. What's this? I think I...kind of like it.

So which one are you? A blind American being led about by a blind Republican party? Or a beneficiary of the billions of dollars being spent on this illegal war. Yes, it is illegal. It's being paid for by people who have always opposed it and by the lives of thousands of innocent men and women, who are also of my "KIND".

Posted by: amffma | April 24, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

You've got to admire this maverick on his straight-talk express! He needs those Republican votes but he's going to tell the truth anyway!
Before the Pennsylvania primary all the tv pundits told Clinton that she had to win by double digits, now they're telling her that wasn't enough!
Meanwhile, Sen. Obama, is apparently now afraid to debate Hillary. I guess he's nervous about getting whipped again like he did in the last debate. Doesn't this feed into Hillary's claim that he's not tough enough for the job? He just doesn't want to face her. Maybe he'll show up if Hillary ties one hand behind her back!
Clinton should organise a debate anyway and if Obama is too afraid to show she could debate an empty chair?! Or better yet, debate John McCain! I'm pretty sure he won't be afraid to show up.

Posted by: BruceMcDougall | April 24, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Its amazing how McCain is doing his "black folks" tour when he did absolutely nothing but sit back and deny the legislation that was designed to help people in need. He did NOTHING. Now he is promising the world. Riiiight. I was born at night and it was last night.

Posted by: Discouraged | April 24, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

McPain critizing president pinhead - now that is really funny. Katrina happened almost 3 years ago. Why didn't he speak up then? What and a-hole!

Posted by: Yuri Lipitzmeov | April 24, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh My Fcuking God!!! When was Katrina?

It took McCain this long to respond?

I know he is senile. But.

Oh My Fcuking God!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

As usual, the Post fails to provide any cogent analysis of McCain's self-serving remarks concerning the botched Katrina response.

As people were drowning in New Orleans on August 29, 2005, the Worst President Ever and John McCain were eating birthday cake together. McCain truly has no shame.

Posted by: Peter | April 24, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

He and Hillary are twins thay both say and do anything to get elected!!! Last nite Hillary says she is ahead of Obama in the popular vote, she is counting votes that have not been approved and wont be approved. I thank we should draft my 7 year old to be president she would be just as good as any one else!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Rat, Maybe you should do a tour or two, Here is some food for thought my little starry eyed hero, 18 vets kill themselves everyday, the reasons are simple, The Commander and Chief and the Joint Chiefs don't care, nor did they plan for the cost in lives and dollars, The guys in charge don't care.

Posted by: RaferJanders | April 24, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Politicians who didn't speak out against the failure of this administration as it occured and are only finding the courage to do so NOW when they are running for office are NOT the kind of people I want leading this country. Leaders speak up when the event occurs, not 3 years afterwards.

Posted by: Kurtis | April 24, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Hurricane Katrina devestates the United States Gulf Coast. On April 24, 2008, Senator John McCain responds to the Administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath......ehm, OK. does this mean mcinsane is deedadee or just slooooooooooow toooooooooooooo reeessssspoooooond?

Posted by: August 29, 2005 | April 24, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Just a dog and pony show, He could care less, Cindy wants to stay and party for Jazz fest, Great, AS for the people of the Gulf Coast, sorry about that, John's pastor Haggee said it was god's will.

Posted by: RaferJanders | April 24, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

amffma-Pathetic Cheap Shot.

McCain is absolutely RIGHT about the efforts in Iraq, and he has adequately answered the questions imposed.

Before you or your "Kind", mouth off any more of your Garbage about pulling Peace-Keeping Troops out of a Place they are actually NEEDED, How about lets start with Germany, then Japan, Maybe Korea...

As the Senator already said, we have troops in Sa'udi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait....

What's up with the complaints about THEM?

Posted by: RAT-The | April 24, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

this old coot will say anything to get elected- it all depends on his location at the time his mouth is running. he has no principles. he was kissing bush's butt 2 months ago.

Posted by: billy b | April 24, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

continue to distance yourself from bush.

Posted by: ron | April 24, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Strange that the article fails to mention that McCain was with Bush during the failed Katrina response. They were eating cake. Just search with googele if you don't believe me.

How can we judge McCain by his actions when the WaPo fails to report them?

Posted by: John G. | April 24, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

McCain said "I don't know of an American who would say, 'I don't want to spend my tax dollars to protect New Orleans and Louisiana.'"

Even if he did know one or a million, would he really do anything about it. Millions of Americans are saying we don't want to spend $10 billion a month on an illegal war in Iraq, and he acts deaf.

Posted by: amffma | April 24, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

All the democrats need is the picture of Bush with arms over McCain's shoulders and the priceless expression on McCain's face on Air Force One during the 2004 election campaign (?) to demonstrate just how much McCain is his own man and how much he would handle things differently.

Posted by: butimdifferent | April 24, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse


AFTER he stood by his man?
Party loyalty came before America for this formerly respectable man.

All his hard-earned integrity has been peeeed away. He traded it all for Party Loyalty to the Republican Party.

it's really sad and sickening.

Posted by: PV | April 24, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah. Can't take you seriously John. What are you saying now that 1,000 other politicians haven't?

Posted by: superdooper | April 24, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

It's a fair criticism of the media that they don't send reporters to these things who are familiar with the subject matter, as opposed to being familiar with the candidate. They have a responsibility to ask the right questions, and that applies no matter who the candidate is.

Having said that, a pledge to step away from cronyism at FEMA particularly is not a small thing, given what we've seen from Bush's administration or from that agency during most of its history. The headline of this story and McCain's quotes in it will probably make some of the most enthusiastic Bush Republicans wonder anew if McCain is really with them after all.

Posted by: Zathras | April 24, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

"McCain 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."

Translation: McCain will fill cabinet posts with his buddies and give sweetheart, no-bid contracts to corporate cronies when it's time to rebuild.

Posted by: Skeptic | April 24, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Juliet Eilperin: thanks for asking the tough questions that would allow us to better understand what McCain means.

I really appreciate how you pointed out that what McCain supports isn't really that different from what Bush supported, in that Bush also "enlist[ed] the aid of private businesses", as described here:

And, considering McCain's strong support for illegal immigration there's a great chance that he would do the same thing as Bush did: allowing connected contractors to use illegal labor instead of employing U.S. citizens to clean up their own city.

Simply saying you aren't going to engage in cronyism isn't enough to call this a "clear break". It's just hot air, and it's too bad the WaPo doesn't have any real reporters to point that out.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | April 24, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Hola Senator!

Want to try some of the delicious food representing the Working Class Culture?

We have Carne Guisada, Echilladas, Tacos, Carnitas, Frijolles, y Totstadas y Salsa!

Comido Muy Bueno!

Beinividos y "Welcome" to Nuevo Orleans!

Mas Tabajo para mi Amigos!-No para Mullatos!


Posted by: La Invasora! ;-) | April 24, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Well Senator, I don't know if I would be inclined to make that a General "NO", BUT, I would have to say there are MILLIONS of Gulf Coast Residents who ACTUALLY realize, living on the Gulf Coast carries the risk of a Hurricane, and WE are Realistic about who is responsible for said Risk!

And BELIEVE me when I say, the Farmer in Kansas did NOT chose to build HIS House in a place where it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of When!

Then you POSER!, The Ninth is in a Flood Plain, BELOW Levies STILL Being Re-Built!

It was DAMNED Stupid to build there in the First Place, Stupider STILL, to have REMAINED THERE when a Category 5 Was Imminent, And STUPIDEST YET, to Re-Build before the Levies are Fixed!

But then, You have never met ME! ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | April 24, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

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