August 31st, 2009
11:35 AM ET
4 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. Landry

    Sad to say he is not politically correct enough to be a sorry squirming senator. His language and words are colorful and loved by men especially those that have served but it would not go over well with the general public. He would be a refreshing change to the maggots we have ruining the country now.

    August 31, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Generals are born for wars and politicians are born to tell lies.

    August 31, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. don

    no honourable public figure wants to tarnish their reputation by running for the fear and hate mongering gop.
    the gop will be annilated in the next election.their behaviour now is suicidal and they are in a fantasy world believeing obama poll numbers are low.yes, they are but he will bump right back during the 2010 election because the gop has no solutions to america's problems just fear and hate from ignorant folks used by big corperations.

    August 31, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. Billy J Texas

    This is the kind of guy that could help fix what's wrong with Washington and with the Republicans. IF the Republicans don't treat him the way the Democrats treated the guy from Ohio, Paul Hackett. He was a decorated Iraq veteran, with a clear head and straight talk. An ex-mayor before he went to Iraq, but they decided they wanted him to sit out the senator election in favor of someone who had more 'experience'. (i.e. They had the seat and lost it, or had run for it before and not got it). But the main reason is so they could control his agenda from the top of the party. Which of course is bad for the citizen and good for the coporations and professional politics people.

    August 31, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. Billy J Texas

    We need more John Wayne kinda' dudes, in both parties.

    August 31, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. Bayouguy

    Sen. Vitter is doing a great job. why would we want to replace him?

    August 31, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. Hugo

    Let's send them some more of our tax money to rebuild in the flood zone! This could never happen again.... duh, uhhhh, where's the leak ma'am?

    August 31, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  8. Carole

    Anybody other than Landrieu, the Republican in Democrat's clothing, who is in the health care and pharmaceutical pockets!

    August 31, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  9. MD

    I think it would be really interesting if the General did run but I understand why he wouldn't want to in this political climate and the way the 24/7 media picks everyone completely apart. Who needs it.

    One other thing. How dare James Carville take issue with President Obama for not making it down to New Orleans yet. He has been handed every crisis including HOW TO FIX THE KITCHEN SINK in the past 6 months. Could someone, anyone, give him a break...

    By the way, I have been contributing to the American Red Cross, New Orleans relief fund since 2005. I definately want to see the Gulf Coast recover but he simply can't be everywhere all the time. Getting the economy back on track and passing a health care plan will help us all, including the citizen of New Orleans...

    August 31, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. Nateer

    It's true! You get what you vote for and Louisiana deserves to be in the position they are in, afterall, they voted for David Vitter. Enough said!!!!

    August 31, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. ge

    a mover and a shaker

    August 31, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  12. Jackie

    Louisana could use help...they need Honore NOT Vitter.

    August 31, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  13. Farrell in Houston

    They need to replace Senator Landieu, she's not worth a darn.

    August 31, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. Deuce

    And what about Hurricane USA. After Obama has finished with you?

    Now Japan swiches leaders. All the investments are going East into Europe. You cant understand how bad the market has become since he took office. Japan was one of your biggest traders. You have lost them because of Obama..

    August 31, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. John

    Lt. Gen. Russel Honore is a Cool guy.

    He did a Great job in Rescue and Relief.

    Goergie delayed in sending help in Time.

    Georgie did not act in Time.

    Georgie was more focused in IRAQ OIL.

    N'Orleans does not Have Oil. Therefore Georgie has no interest.

    GEORGIE SHOULD BE IN JAIL.

    August 31, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  16. Keith in Austin

    A rightous and noble man! He would be a refreshing change in the U.S. Senate vs the majority of left-wing socialistic porkeaters only concerned with their political self-interests.

    August 31, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  17. Fed UP

    To all you who think your getting a shining star, are you in for a rude awakening. The joke will be on you and the Democratic Party. Gotta love it!

    August 31, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Four years later and New Orleans is still a dump, meanwhile money was quickly allocated to rebuild Iraq. These are just some of the Republican "eccentricities" that flip me the h*ll out. There is NEVER a problem with us spending money ABROAD, but heaven forbid that we try to spend it right here in the good ole' USA and people start screaming that they 'want their country back'. Beyond belief and comprehension. Truly.

    August 31, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. Greg in MO

    I doubt liberals would elect a military leader instead of a lawer. They love the double-sided talk from lawers – it makes them feel good. People had an opportunity to elect a miltary leader with experience last year for the executive branch and they blew by instead electing a good speaker and lousy executive. People wouldn't elect this guy – he is a straight talker and no-nonsense guy.

    August 31, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  20. GALVESTON, TX

    GALVESTON was completely wiped out by IKE......so we don't want to hear about katrina.......RITA wiped out Port Arthur, TX and had coffins floating down the street......i am sure they don't want to hear about katrina......New Orleans is it's own enemy. The local govt. raised real estate value so certain locals could'nt come back home. Imagine renting for 400.00 a month and then after the storm the rent is 900.00 a month. Their local govt. to the Houston city counsel we want certain people to come back and the Houston C.C. informed them we accepted everyone who came so why can't you?

    August 31, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. Ron

    A man like this needs to stay away from politics.....He is a soldier. We need him on our (the People) side.....

    August 31, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. PALIN/BACHMANN 2012!!!

    How was Vitter elected to the senate after going to jail for dog fighting?!!! The libs probably sent Acorn thugs to the poles to scare the voters. Sad.

    August 31, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  23. makesUwonder

    Thank you for your service Lt. Gen. Russel Honore. It's people like you that make me darn pound to be an American!!!! God Bless you and our military men and women from the past, present, and future!

    August 31, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. martraco

    Just ask U.S.Grant how easy it is for a military hero to achieve the same level of success in politics. The Lt. Gen. should stay in the military- they need all the help they can get.

    August 31, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. James

    New Orleans was a dump and cesspool before Katrina. You could sens a trillion bucks there and it would still be a dump...

    August 31, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
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