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. RJ- GA.

    Is it not interesting how race and politics take over during these feedback discussions ? What does Katrina, Glaveston, and Rita have in common, people who we have elected who care more for other countries, especially Iraq(Who never attacked us !) and Afghanistan than for the American people ! We need people like the General, who care more about the people( the real mission) than the politics.

    August 31, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Gary

    To all you anti-American idiots who have turned your backs on the city and people of New Orleans, how about we don't help any of the people in the midwest (ya know, our countrymen too) each and every time a tornado destroys a town or our people in Florida each and every time a hurricane destroys a city there? I mean why continue to build in tornado alley or in the path of hurricanes, right? New Orleans wouldn't have sustained 90% of the damage had some idiotic administration not failed to fully fund the building of the levees!

    August 31, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. Steve in CT

    NOLA was ill conceived from the start. Building a metropilis below sea level was stupid the first time and even lots more stupid to do it yet again. If a New Orleans is wanted that much move it up river to higher land. Those making the decision are spending the money of people who'll never be in a position to visit and frr-sur can't afford to buy a mean in the french Quarter. Also they're gambling peoples lives. The federal government should have cut and run after ehe emergency was over. This shouldn't be a federal issue but a state one. I resent being forced to pay for someone else's stupidity.

    August 31, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. JonDie

    Given that Senator Vitter has NO accomplishments in the Senate at all (other than to be an adulterer caught with prostitutes), Lt. Gen. Russel Honore *should* be a better candidate.

    However, the white majority of Louisiana has shown time and time again that they prefer hypocritical, adulterous, Bible-thumping, poor, white trash over more qualified candidates.

    August 31, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. Kevin in Ohio

    Wow, he's a Republican....and he's a hero. Imagine that! Must be tough for the left-wingers to swallow.

    August 31, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. Gary

    Um, Palin/Bachmann 2012 (couldn't think of a dumber, more idiotic, and dangerous ticket by the way, great job!), Vitter is a Republican so you better check yourself. Good question though- how could Republikaaners elect a man convicted in a dog fighting scheme to the Senate? Oh, and why is he still there after cheating on his wife with a prostitute? You should change your party's name to the Hipocritters.

    August 31, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Lets give this job to Joe "the faux plummer".he says hes good at fixing cesspools.

    August 31, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  8. TheFabOne

    An honorable man like Honore should easily be able to beat a guy who slept around on his wife with prostitutes any day.

    August 31, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  9. JDW

    The General says he's an independent. But, considering he is a man who takes personal responsibility for himself, would prefer others take responsibility for themselves, and is also the sort of man who will take responsibility for those who don't or can't get off their butts to take care of themselves, I suspect the man leans Republican. Now, if the General were, say, an impressionable 18 year old, a brainwashed college kid, or an admirer of deadbeats, crooks, race-hustlers, thieves and power-hungry politicians who would like to control everyone else’s behavior, perhaps he would lean Democrat. As of yet, he hasn’t admitted to any latent contempt for the military, so that would also seem to disqualify him as a potential democrat.

    August 31, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  10. LaBetaille

    The General has stated that he's moving back to Louisiana because he's missed his home and that's where he wants to live. If that's the case, why would he want to be back and forth to D.C. all the time?

    Instead, let's hope he runs for governor of Louisiana. Maybe if we have a real stand-up guy in Baton Rouge, we can fix some of our problems, and we won't be such a national laughingstock anymore.

    And BTW, I am one of those "liberals" you all keep disparaging, and I'd vote for him in a heartbeat. I think most of my progressive friends in New Orleans would not hesitate to vote for him either. Liberals DO NOT hate the military, no matter what Rush tells you. Stop being ignorant.

    August 31, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  11. cedgar

    Stop whining about Katrina.
    They were told to leave and did not!
    That storm wreck other states and you do not hear them whining!
    The citizens choose to live below sea level and stayed.
    This is a state problem not a federal problem.
    I have been to NOLA once before the storm I would not go back on
    a bet.

    August 31, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. george in alaska

    tea party smarty foo pa dey a spell socialist as socialst what a bunch of dumb donkey rear end idiots!

    August 31, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. george in alaska

    ps. and ifin we had palin as our comandeer in chef we wud be glory to god almoghty in the highest!

    August 31, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. Annie, Atlanta

    The senate might be able to use someone like him, someone who can kick butt and take names. Maybe then we could see something get done other than obstructionism and sniveling.

    August 31, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. Mark

    Get him in there to clean out the democrat scum that has been polluting Louisiana for decades.

    August 31, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  16. DJ

    "[F]rom the start" places like New Orleans and Houston were "conceived from the start" as major ports of call for this country, and hugely contributed to the economic expansion that depended on waterway shipping (before airlines, etc.). Because of that proximity to the water, Houston is also in a flood plain. Should Houston have been forsaken after Tropical Storm Allison flooded downtown – and I mean underwater! – because it is in a flood plain?
    Regarding Honore, I truly appreciated his realization of the humanitarian catastrophe post- Katrina. He recognized that the stricken victims were destitute and had been forsaken when they were most vulnerable. His core humanity struck me the most.

    August 31, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  17. Terri

    The "John Wayne dude" for Senate! He would have my vote.

    August 31, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  18. Fire Fighter

    As a Captain in a Fire Department, I spent a week at the Houston Astrodome volunteering during Hurricane Katrina. I was there when they were handing out $2,000 ATM pre-paid FEMA credit cards. There were local news stories about the money being spent at stripclubs, liquor stores, gun stores, and on expensive name brand purses. FEMA gave these evacuees free rent for more than a year. Employment consultants were there to provide job assistance. Houston Independent School District buses took the children to our area schools. There was more clothes donated than were able to be distributed. We opened our hearts, our homes, and our wallets to our sister city New Orleans. The majority loved their new lives and would never go back. The previous Govenor of Louisiana wouldn't allow the Red Cross into the Superdome or Convention Center. she said: "If we feed them, they will stay." She also wouldn't allow the Federal Government to take over the state's duty, therefore the delay blamed on Bush. Call him names, call me a racist; but the truth is the truth. What kind of a racist am I while I lifted disabled senior citizens out of their wheelchairs and put them on the toilet? Or doing preliminary medical evaluations when they arrived. Or searched for lost children in the Astrodome.

    August 31, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. Emmanuel Goldstein

    Indeed he did get a lot done.

    Lord knows Nagin didn't get anything done. And when the Mayor and Governor botched relief efforts, they successfully fobbed all the blame on the Feds for not sending in the troops when (a) the governor said No to troops, and (b) federal law prohibited the feds from sending them in uninvited. Who woulda thought there'd be that much snow in New Orleans?

    August 31, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  20. Wise Latina

    The headline on the home page is clearly propaganda. It should be labeled "Katrina General Will NOT Run for Senate".

    August 31, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. Longhorn who speaks the truth.

    Thank gosh. This man is a complete idiot!!!

    August 31, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. Tim

    Never heard of him, good thing he decided not to run.

    August 31, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. d1120

    Yeah, 'cuz Nagin sure couldn't get anything done...all he wanted to do was TALK.

    August 31, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. Gary

    We need more people in office who have had successful careers in business, medicine, technology and the military.....I'm fed up with career politicians whose lifetime acheivements amount to taking bribes from special interest groups.....We need term limits on the Senate and the House. I hope Honore runs for office.

    August 31, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  25. a progressive liberal and proud of it

    I think a man like this could do as much good in political service to his country as he has in military service to his country.

    August 31, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
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