October 23rd, 2007
12:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Bush deploys homeland secretary, FEMA chief

President Bush

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush sent Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and FEMA Director David Paulison to southern California Tuesday, as the federal government moved to help the fire-ravaged state.

“All of us across this nation are concerned for the families who have lost their homes and the many families who have been evacuated from their homes," Bush said at the beginning of an address to the National Defense University. "We send our prayers and thoughts for those who have been affected and we send the help of the federal government as well.”

The president spoke late Monday with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and early Tuesday morning Bush declared an emergency for seven counties in the state. He said the order “opens up the opportunity for us to send federal assets to help the governor and those who are fighting these fires."

Bush also said he is sending Chertoff and Paulison to "listen, develop an inventory of supplies and help we can provide."

The Pentagon has set up a plan to help provide shelter for evacuees, and offered a battalion of 800 Marines from Camp Pendleton to help fight fires. The Navy has offered an Aegis cruiser, a guided missile destroyer, and two fast frigates to support evacuation efforts. The federal government has also sent 6 C-130's specially set up to drop water and suppressant on the fires.

The White House was heavily criticized for its response to Hurricane Katrina, but spokesperson Dana Perino said in the wake of the fallout, “Integration, additional communication and cooperation amongst the state, local and federal governments has improved since Katrina. It's one of the things that I think everyone recognized needed to happen after Katrina."

- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk

Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Cable King Pittsburgh PA

    Ryan in Indy,

    A colonoscopy might be good for you too! Heh,heh, heh!!

    October 23, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    >Let me guess you liberal lunatics, GW set the fires and burnt these peoples houses down???? You people really are lost lost souls that will meet your firey eternal death very soon.

    >Posted By Ryan Indianapolis

    Ryan, I think we should keep personal attacks out of the Ticker, but your comments (all of 'em) are so asinine and blindly partisan that you need to be called out.

    Do you really believe there's a group called "liberals" who all believe in exactly the same thing and all hate America? Do you? You need to get out of the house more often, son. There's a beautiful world out there.

    Oh, and what's the eternal hellfire business? You think your hateful diatribes are those that would be approved by Christ? Like most so-called Christians in this country, you are a foolish hypocrite and a simplistic hate monger. Try to add comments without demonizing "all liberals" each and every time. Think you can handle that?

    October 23, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. Steve, Portland, OR

    Agree with above. Chertoff and Paulison better get this right. After all you have a bunch of well to do white celebrities from Malibu having to check into places like the 4 seasons hotel. My god what a disaster. Can you imagine the backlash from the liberal movie group if they screw this up.Better send in Arnold, since many of the real heroes are in Iraq.

    October 23, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. A Viewer

    CNN Why are you changing everything?

    October 23, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    He's doing the right thing. Good for him. Yes, he screwed up in New Orleans, but I'm not going to jump on the guy for no reason with every issue. That would only put me in the same category of the partisan sheep I can't stand.
    Let's hope they get those fires out soon!! Best of luck to you all down in Southern California.

    October 23, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. straighttalker

    Most of the burnt homes on TV are in rich affluent neighborhoods up in the hills. Don't these people have insurance? Why must I have to continue to bail out stupid people??

    October 23, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. Rob, San Diego CA

    Congrats Ryan Indianapolis – you continue to prove that you are as intelligent as our nincompoop President...I think you need a colonoscopy too (I know colonoscopy is a big word but there are dictionaries online to help you).

    October 23, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. PSK, Lakeside, AZ

    Hey Ryan– I thought that God reserved the right to pick who burns in hell. Did you get a promotion? Try a little compassion- it might suit you.

    October 23, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. Panicked By Bush in CA



    October 23, 2007 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    To Ryan in Indy:

    You're giving Bush a lot of credit for being even that smart!

    October 23, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. joseph, san marcos,tx

    why does everyone need to sit around and wait on the gobment. when did this happen, believe me I feel for the people in san diego, and I feel for the people still suffering from katrina, but come on do something for yourself. I live in san marcos,texas and it floods here often. nobody here waits for the gubment to take care of them, we didnt get federal funding or FEMA. Im not trying to sound like a cold hearted S.O.B, but new orleans new it would flood for a long time and the people and gubment didnt do anything about it. If you live in dry areas dont be surprised when a fire breaks out. If you wait for someone to take care of you, dont be surprised if you find yourself waiting. God bless everyone.

    October 23, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. Karen,nj

    Second most hated man in the country with Cheney coming in third!!

    October 23, 2007 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  13. Brian, Orlando, Florida

    Yellow tie, the color of cowards

    October 23, 2007 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Of course he's sending FEMA. These are wealthier, white people we're talking about. Not poor black people stranded on rooftops.

    October 23, 2007 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  15. Inferno So California

    Ann, these are statements made back in May by Gov Schwarznegger and Lt Col Siepmann of the California National Guard:
    In California, half of the equipment the National Guard needs is not in the state, either because it is deployed in Iraq or other parts of the world or because it hasn't been funded, according to Lt. Col. John Siepmann. While the Guard is in good shape to handle small-scale incidents, "our concern is a catastrophic event," he said.

    "You would see a less effective response (to a major incident)," he said.

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also acknowledged the National Guard's equipment woes and attributed them to the war. National Guard policy has required that much of the equipment that goes with units to Iraq stays there."
    Some of the equipment is in Iraq, Afghanistan or other parts of the world - 209 vehicles, including 110 humvees and 63 military trucks that could be used to transport troops or supplies, are out of the state. The Guard has only 62 percent of the vehicles it believes it needs in California
    I supposed they are lying through their ugly teeth as well? You really should seek medical help for that cranial rectal inversion.

    October 23, 2007 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  16. Ryan Indianapolis

    Hey Ryan– I thought that God reserved the right to pick who burns in hell. Did you get a promotion? Try a little compassion- it might suit you.

    Posted By PSK, Lakeside, AZ : October 23, 2007 4:38 pm

    SOrry you people are so full of hate for this man and for your fellow americans it is amazing. I just speak the truth you people are LOST SOULS.

    October 24, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  17. Karen,nj

    Do you realize that a long time ago the government actually worked. I was told that in the war dep't the government use to come right in and arrest Nazi spies while they were working. Now they just follow terrorist around.

    October 24, 2007 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  18. Moe, NY

    While Chertoff and Paulison sit on their butts to "listen, develop an inventory of supplies" California burns and people are displaced. Where is the help the courageous firefighters are so desparte to receive?

    October 24, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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