October 24th, 2007
08:45 PM ET
11 years ago

In response to wildfires, Bush trying to avoid another Katrina

President Bush was criticized for his detached response to Hurricane Katrina.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina became a defining moment in President Bush's administration.  The wildfires blazing in Southern California may give Bush another opportunity to demonstrate that his administration can respond appropriately to a major disaster.   Watch Ed Henry's report.

Click here to see CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com

Filed under: Katrina • President Bush
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    Comparing a natural disaster like Katrina with these wildfires is like comparing apples to oranges. I wish people would stop comparing the two.

    October 24, 2007 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  2. charlene

    Oh PLEASE, give us a break.
    If this bumbling fool wants to see fire, he should stay home and light a few matches.
    Let Arnold handle California, he's doing OK.

    October 24, 2007 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  3. PollM, Dallas Tx

    Here we go again, lots of BS by BUSH and FEMA. The truth is, FEMA response is too late and in-adequate.

    Air Resource by the Federal Government insufficient Orange County Fire Chief Says, Is the Federal Government faltering again?
    --> http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=784

    October 24, 2007 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  4. Bryan, Detroit MI

    They can save all the white, liberal, super-rich media stars they want in California right now. Every poor helpless soul lost in New Orleans because of Bush's slow response is still dead, however. You think about that for a moment. The stain and stink of Katrina will rot with George Bush and his cabinet for as long as time.

    October 24, 2007 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  5. spritopias

    It's a sad situation when it is impossible for us to believe that the President of the United States is completely incapable of doing anything right or for the right reasons. It's hate that is bringing us down, hate like that. Not any actions by our leaders and candidates.

    October 24, 2007 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  6. Susie

    Can hardly wait to see the "help" from FEMA this time around. And if we don't have money for poor children, where are these billions going to come from? Oh, wait, from China, just like the Iraq money. Never fear, a bugdet deficit doesn't mean anything when you're leaving office in 15 months and you and yours are already set for life.

    October 24, 2007 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  7. Laura Tulsa OK

    California is showing us how states and city government SHOULD handle local emergencies. They SHOULDN't have to ring up the President; what do they want him to do? Come put out the fires? THIS is how leadership should proceed. Delegate to the states.

    October 25, 2007 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  8. Mark, B'ham, Al.

    You know what the big difference between California (even though it is a state full of nuts and fruits like Senator Boxer and the Hollywood/San Francisco Elites) and New Orleans. The Southern Californians do not have their hands out for free government help, evacuated like they were told, and are not lotting in massive numbers. New Orleans was a different story. The Californians are more like those in Mississippi, Alabama, and the other Louisanna Parishes, taking care of themselves and each other. It is not about race either, San Diego is full of Hispanics.

    October 25, 2007 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  9. Mark R. Fort Lauderdale FL

    I've been watching this president's action for far too long to be fooled into thinking that he cares. He should've saved the photo-op and the plane fuel.

    October 25, 2007 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  10. Mrs. America

    Bush ran out of opportunities a long time ago. There's nothing he can do to change his legacy as the worst and most destructive president in recent history, probably all of history.

    October 25, 2007 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  11. Amber, Los Angeles CA

    No, no, no...

    Trust me, as someone who lives here:

    The reason why Bush is flying out here is because there is the faint possibility that he may look good.

    Arnie already did all the work before Bush even booked his flight.

    I'm smack dab int he middle of a burning ring of fire, my eyes and lungs are stinging and heavy beacuse of the smoke, and I get Chertoff from Fatherland Homeland Security, on local television, telling me that the fires are helped along by high winds. No plans, no procedure, only that wind make fire BAD.

    Oh really, Chertoff? You don't say. Lousy press junket junkie...

    Please everyone, trust me:

    The only reason why the wildfires didn't burn Southern California into the ocean is because of a fast acting and well prepared state standing vigilant to deal with almost everything that comes our way.

    California has earthquakes, riots, floods, fires, winds, drought, etc, etc, and we pretty much just suck it up and get through it.

    That's right: we did it without the federal government and now they come a runnin' when it looks like everything's going to turn out OK.

    If we had relied on FEMA, they would have let San Diego char to the Naval Base and let Malibu be the pilot light that sets off the entire Santa Monica mountain range.

    Thank GOD that FEMA wasn't here to take care of us.

    October 25, 2007 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  12. Terry, El Paso, TX

    We see how much better served by their state government are the people of liberal California versus the people of Louisiana and Mississippi. The southern states, including my native Texas, have always been the worst run and most corrupt.

    October 25, 2007 03:58 am at 3:58 am |

    george w bush is just trying to pull the wool over the peoples eyes with this little propaganda shoot. katrina victims are still living in fema trailers,trying to process claims for government help and fighting insurance companies. what's he done for them? we can't pat him on the back for this disaster because his hand is in the way. arnold has it under control so the king of the cow pies can go back to crawford.

    October 25, 2007 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  14. mark wilkes barre PA

    You cant fly air resources in 80 mile per hour winds, pollm from dallas,,,,the people of cali are a perfect example of how to react in the face of disaster,,orderly ,calmly doing what needed to be done to avoid neddless death and injury without waiting for someone to tell them how to react. katrina and these wildfires have one thing in common , there both natural disasters. no matter who is sitting in the big chair natural disasters happen. we havn't seen anything like katrina in a long time, and yes mistakes were made, but at every level. Let's learn from these mistakes instead of bashing and pointing fingers so we can be better the next time. we should be the best nation in the world at this sort of thing and in my opinion we are !!!

    October 25, 2007 05:58 am at 5:58 am |
  15. Ginger Lee, Northern Utah

    Like the veto on SCHIP it shows who Bush/GOP's are looking out for- people who have $$$.

    October 25, 2007 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  16. American Patriot, Maryland

    For Pete's sake Bush can't win with you hate mongering libs.

    You'd be the first ones pitching a hissy fit if he DIDN'T go to California.

    What a bunch of fools.

    October 25, 2007 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  17. Elizabeth, Atlanta, GA

    If Bush were actually trying to avoid another Katrina, he should turn his eye on Georgia. Most of the state only has around 3 months worth of water left, including metropolitan Atlanta. Georgia has asked the President and FEMA for help reducing the outflow of the resevoirs (regulated by the Army Corp of Engineers like the levees in Katrina)before this hazard culminates into a catastrophe. However, help is being denied because the disaster hasn't actually occured yet. So much for planning and preparation... One difference between Georgia's historic drought and disasters like Katrina and the California wildfires is that Georgians cannot evacuate from the impending threat of no potable water.

    October 25, 2007 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  18. David, Tulsa OK

    Hmmm, think about this. Hurrican Katrina response was horrible in New Orleans, but better in Mississippi. Responses to recent storms in Kansas, Florida and Alabama has been much better. Response to the evacuations in California have bordered on the incredible.

    What's the common link here? Just a guess, but it looks like corruption and incompetence in New Orleans and Louisiana.

    Remember, first and second responders are local and state agencies.

    October 25, 2007 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  19. spinstopper

    Like Katrina, wild fires are a NATURAL DIASATER. And it is not the federal governments responsibility to force citizens to evacuate from their homes during natural disasters. ITS THE STATES!!

    California seems to be doing a good job at taking care of their rich.
    To bad Louisiana and New Orleans didn't do the same for their rich or poor.

    October 25, 2007 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  20. George Chicago

    Katrina was over-blown by the media, that was a state-issue in the first place and Liberals and media-type tried to make it something it wasnt. People down there were so use to government assistance they did not know how to react when they actually needed to do something for themselves. Katrina was a huge disaster nobody could have diverted. Help came down there but people have to learn they got to help themselves

    October 25, 2007 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  21. Joe Clarke, Lincoln NE

    You truly are clueless! Anyone who knows anything about hurricanes will tell you that the officials in Louisiana had plenty of warning that the storm was coming and what did they do? Absolutely nothing to help these people. For you and others to Blame Bush is plain wrong and stupid!
    Take it from someone who has been in a few hurricanes. The people are given about two to three weeks of notice that a storm like a hurricane is coming, now common sense tells you, that you get the hell out of there. The Feds offered assistance BEFORE the storm had hit and you don't know this because you were not there, but Louisiana's governor and Mayor Nagin REFUSED the aid BEFORE THE STORM! Bush told them both "Declare disaster now before the storm hits, and I'll have all the aid you need!" That's a fact! Some of my reporter friends that were there heard the same thing, but because of politics, Neither Louisiana Official would heed the warning and declare disaster! All of you that want to Blame Bush for Katrina need to apologize to Bush, and look at all of the facts!

    October 25, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. therealist

    A picture is worth a thousand words.

    The one above is a good representation of what the federal government should be doing during natural disasters. Watching over the masses below, ready to OFFER assistance when and where needed..

    An oppisite view of this would be a liberalized federal government. One that would be forever grounded and swamped by the masses, unable to OFFER help, anywhere..

    October 25, 2007 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. Jon Sacramento ~ Ca

    I'm surprised we haven't heard from the wacko conspiracy theorists howling that Bush set the fires himself!!

    A great comment I read from another article:

    Katrina failure = blame the President
    California wildfires = praise the Govenor

    Could it be that liberals just are looking to blame the President for EVERY failure in the country?? Nahhh!

    October 25, 2007 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. Mac, Severn, Md

    There is no way people from Washington, DC can go out to ANY community (San Diego, LA, NOLA, in Kansas, Michigan, Ohio or anywhere) and start running disaster operations. NO community would want that.

    The State and Local people – the first responders – know the area; they know the people; they know where the resources are located. THEY are the ones with the PLAN, based on their knowledge of the area in which they live.

    The Governors have the ability to order up their National Guard to help when needed.

    The Federal government can only be there to provide additional resources, when asked to do so by the State or Local government.

    California has done it right, because of good local plans and strong state and local leadership.

    October 25, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. Ann ME

    CNN, Bush and the Governor did a fantastic job. Grow up and act like an adult and print it.

    October 25, 2007 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
1 2