August 31st, 2009
11:35 AM ET
3 years ago

Honore dismisses talk of Senate run

Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore denied a Senate bid.
Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore denied a Senate bid.

(CNN) – The general who led military relief efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina is denying a report that he may challenge Louisiana Sen. David Vitter in 2010, calling it "speculation and rumors" Sunday.

Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, now a CNN emergency preparedness analyst, said he is moving back to his home state. But "No one's talking to me about running for Senate," Honore said.

"That is a serious rumor that's got started that's created a lot of buzz," said Honore, who left the Army in 2008. But he said he has never declared a party affiliation, and any talk of a Senate run is "all about speculation and rumors."

Honore is best known for taking over a widely criticized relief effort after Katrina flooded most of New Orleans in August 2005. The city's mayor, Ray Nagin, famously described the cigar-chomping three-star general as a "John Wayne dude" who could "get some stuff done."


A Louisiana political Web site reported last week that he was "seriously considering" a Republican primary challenge to Vitter, a first-term Republican who was ensnared in a Washington sex scandal in 2007. Honore said he had received more than 100 e-mails in response to that report, but no news outlet asked him whether it was true before CNN contacted him Sunday.

"That ought to scare the hell out of people in this country," said Honore, who once called a reporter "stuck on stupid" during a nationally televised news conference.

Honore said he plans to continue working as a disaster preparedness consultant, raise money for the Red Cross and teach once he returns to his home state. But he said he also will keep a "close watch" on efforts to rebuild the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast "as a private citizen."

"As of this time, I'm not running for any political office," he said.


Filed under: David Vitter • Louisiana
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I distinctly remember Honore during the first days after the Katrina disaster. He was indeed very efficient, and had a no-nonsense deameanor about him. I remember thinking, that he should've run for at least mayor of the city as I felt a heightened level of confidence just by watching him.

    On a related issue, Carville's dissappointment in the president having not yet personally visited New Orleans, should be tempered by the knowledge that this presidency has been fraught with extraordinary challenges I am quite satisfied witht the fact that Obama has sent 11 cabinet members to assess the situation in N'Orleans, and has promised to visit before the year is out.

    August 31, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  2. Aaron

    I admire and respect General Honore for his heroic efforts to coordinate and facilitate disaster relief in New Orleans. It took the military to do this in the midst of civilian failure to deliver relief to millions of victims of Katrina. I think that General Honore should reconsider running against Mr. Vitter for Senate as a democrat or independent. Mr. Vitter is unfit for public office and has not and will not do anythng to help rebuild New Orleans. If he reconsiders and runs, General Honore can shake things up in Washington and finally get leaders to pay attention to New Orleans and start to undertake rebuilding efforts.

    August 31, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  3. munchmom

    He would be a good one, and might even kick some butt while he was in Washington!

    August 31, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  4. ronvan

    This is the "Ragin Cajun's" choice. I would support him totally. During Katrina it was HE that took charge and got things done and did not worry about political results, just what was important to the people!
    Listening to him during interviews on TV, you get the sense of a man that, tells it like it is, doesn't pull any punches, and puts blame on whoever needs it. Probably the best reason for him to stay out of politics!

    August 31, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  5. Republicans are the American Taliban

    So CNN is reporting a story in their National Political Ticker that isn't true nor relevant .....

    August 31, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  6. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Too bad, he'd make a great kick-butt senator.

    August 31, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Given the problems that Vitter has, I have a feeling that most will do well against him. A porn star would do well because they are open about what they have done. Vitter hasn't been.

    August 31, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  8. Roger

    A John Wayne dude!!!!! Lets run him!!!! He will be cooler than Dutch/Gipper, the Terminator & the Body all put together!!!! He will more than likey run the state into the ground the same way those three ran theirs into the ground but he will have a cool & tough image thats all that matters..........but wait Louisana is already ran into the ground.

    August 31, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  9. yuri

    We think a ranked military or paramiliyary man may be an appropriate answer for a senatorial question, since this man has indeed had his hands dirty during the Katrina disaster, whuile he was efficiently coordinating efforts for the clean-up. In our hearts, he is the benevolent bloke to bulldoze his way into the power house of politics.

    August 31, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  10. bobs

    I thought they didn't have party primaries in Lousianna?

    August 31, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. big papa

    As much as we need strong, straight talking, straight shooters like General Honore in Congress...

    ...the low brow inbred murderous racists in places like Algiers in New Orleans...

    ...permeate the swampy backwater that is Louisiana...

    ...Those who would have voted for him have been relegated to REFUGEE status, and spread all over the country...

    August 31, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Brad Pitt for Louisiana U.S. Senate .

    August 31, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  13. southerncousin

    It is a shame he is dismissing the rumor. There is a man of pragmatic leadership not a politician with feet of clay.

    August 31, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. Randi L.

    Buh Bye Vitter. You'll have plenty of free time to spend with call girls after 2010.

    August 31, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  15. "Victim" - Often Used, Rarely True

    In the news today...no news to speak of. Nothing happened today everywhere. However, Republicans are still upset about Pelosi, Health Care Reform, Clinton, Woodstock, the internet, paying ANY taxes, not having enough guns, Obama's first presidential order to ban all guns, their definition of Socialism being at odds with the actual definition and that that dern rap Music.

    Democrats, of course, are upset that Republicans don't agree with them and like a bullied kid, just want Republicans to respect them.

    Stay tuned as the headline for this ticker story will change every hour on the hour with a new pun ordecieving half-truth to make this non-story seem interesting.

    This story has been brought to you by that company with the dancing people on a loop who want to lower your interest rate.

    August 31, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  16. aCorNN watchdog

    Trying to avoid covering town halls?

    August 31, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  17. Jackie in Dallas

    I think that one of our Founding Fathers once said that the only people who are suitable for public office are the ones who don't want the job. I remember Honore's work post-Katrina - and his candor is refreshing. I don't know if he is right for public office, but he seems to be a bright man.

    August 31, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  18. Jerry

    Why all the ews on New orleans when more people were killed and displaced in the mid west floods this year. where are the protests and celebrities bashing Obama for not sending any aid?

    August 31, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  19. lace wigs

    he would not be a good choice for government. stick to the military, mister.

    August 31, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. Mississippi Mike

    Before the Democrats get their panties in a wad over finding someone to replace Vitter, they need to think about how much trouble they are goin gto have trying to marginalize a man who was a General and who is very familiar wth DHS. Honore will be a bigger thorn in their collective sides than Vitter could possibly be.

    August 31, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  21. In search of real people

    General Sir,
    If you run I will vote for you! We need real Americans in our legislative branch of Government, more so now than ever.

    August 31, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. Steve (the real one)

    I remember watching this guy. Kinda like a modern Patton. We could use him in Congress to shake things up! Just imagine this guy in Congress! He would make the libs would wet their pants!

    August 31, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. Sandra

    why is CNN not blaming the California fires on President Bush? Obama just said that he inherited bad climate.

    August 31, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  24. Randolph Carter

    Too bad most of the poor original residents haven't been able to move back to New Orleans. Keep an eye on the socioeconomic class of the people who are moving in. Too bad they aren't replacing the public housing but are putting up spiffy new mixed-use developments. How many of the original residents will be allowed into the new developments? New Orleans will make a comeback, but it will be a Disneyfied parody of its former self. That's progress, folks. Katrina was the best thing that ever happened to developers. As usual, poor folks are on their own. Have a nice day!

    August 31, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  25. Peter

    The General is a leader and one who is not stuck on stupid as our present elected officals are.
    He would have my vote for President.

    August 31, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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