October 15th, 2009
01:27 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama's visit to New Orleans drawing some criticism

(CNN) – President Barack Obama, who as a candidate lambasted the federal government for its response to Hurricane Katrina, is visiting New Orleans, Louisiana, as president for the first time Thursday, and is attracting some criticism of his own.

Four years after Hurricane Katrina, evidence of the storm's devastation still linger. Some 60,000 properties in New Orleans are still abandoned, and there are still 1,500 people in Louisiana living in temporary housing, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Army Corps of Engineers is only a third of the way through a $15 billion system to provide 100-year flood protection for the city.

However, the agency says 76 disputed projects in Louisiana have been resolved since Obama took office, and more than $1.4 billion in aid has been sent to Louisiana, along with more than $160 million to Mississippi. Still, the length and nature of Obama's visit Thursday is drawing some ire.


Obama will spend less than four hours in New Orleans - visiting a charter school and holding a town hall meeting - before flying to a fundraiser in California. He will not be visiting other areas of the Gulf Coast that suffered damage from Katrina in 2005, such as the Mississippi coast.

"The people of New Orleans deserve more than a 'drive-through daiquiri' summit with the president," Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, said in a news conference Monday.

And Sen. David Vitter, R-Louisiana, wrote in a letter to Obama saying, "if the town hall is the only major event of the visit, I truly think it will be deeply disappointing to most citizens."


Filed under: David Vitter • New Orleans • President Obama
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. IndyVoter

    News Flash: "Obama's Trip To The Toilet Causes Criticsm"

    Republicans all over the country are outraged that the President has taken 5 minutes out of his day to "do his duty". They are also arguing amongst themselves as to whether the toilet paper should face front or roll from the back. The Potty Express bus carring thousands of Republican protestors will we leaving Seattle and will arrive in Washington DC to protest the President's excessive number of flushes. Stay tuned for more details.

    October 15, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  2. Mississippi Country Boy

    So what if Obama doesn't want to stay long or not come at yall. Do I really care? Not at all. It's not like he is about to give out any blank checks today. He has a television. He has people on the ground everyday. Trust me, he knows the full extent of our problems. In the meantime, me and my dog just gone sit on my porch and watch the sun go down this evening. That will be the highlight of my day. Folks need to acting like Obama is God Almighty or something. Barack uses the bathroom just like me. He is just the President and that to shall pass. In the meantime, keep sending that money down this a way. We sure do need it in these parts.

    October 15, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. GOPer

    Wait a minute. GOPers are criticizing again? "Shocking"

    October 15, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. mark

    guess lining his own pockets is more important...

    October 15, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. Angus McDugan

    Doesn't everyone understand that Bush cannot be reelected again. Stop obsessing on him unless Bush is what you have built your life on. How sad to still see people bashing Bush. He is gone and not comming back. I promise... Focus on getting things done now with the person in office now, and stop distracting from moving forward.

    Every time I see a post with Bush in it I assume that a Dem is trying to make everyone not focus on the Obama failures. Let Obama be the man.

    October 15, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. Terry from West Texas

    Isn't Louisiana one of our most Conservative states? Do they not vote time after time to keep the federal government out of the state. Do they not believe in local control, local responsibility, and local solutions to local problems? Didn't their governor refuse federal aid?

    I would say no federal aid to Louisiana, but my home state is pretty much as foolish as Louisiana and pretty much votes for the same type of Conservative do-nothings that Louisiana does.

    October 15, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. harvey

    the fact that there are still 60,000 abandoned properties and people living in temporary housing speaks volumes about the abilities of these Republican Congressmen to help their constituents. perhaps Mr. Vitter should spend more time helping the poor voters in his district instead of calling high-priced hookers. and Governor Jiddal refused stimulus money that could have been used to help these people?

    October 15, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. AntiRush

    Scalise and Vitter are Republicans. Are we supposed to believe that they actually want the President to spend more time in Louisiana. If the President had said that he is going to spend 2 days there, these two would probably be criicizing him for spending too much time there.

    Here's tomorrows headline:
    President Obama looked outside today and described the weather as partly sunny. Republicans criticized him saying that in fact, it was partly cloudy.

    October 15, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. Flake is a Flake

    Drawing criticism from whom? The rigties who fed up NO because they are racist cronies of W? This is it, last time I watch or read CNN

    October 15, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. Meh

    Republicans will criticize President Obama no matter *what* he does. It's what they do.
    Apparently, the failed to take this into account: "However, the agency says 76 disputed projects in Louisiana have been resolved since Obama took office, and more than $1.4 billion in aid has been sent to Louisiana, along with more than $160 million to Mississippi."

    October 15, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. EBJ

    Big question,,,what does President Obama do that does NOT draw criticism? The Republicans are very short on solutions but very large on criticism no matter what this president does. Keep going Mr. President it comes with the job.

    October 15, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. tjaman

    "The people of New Orleans deserve more than a 'drive-through daiquiri' summit with the president," Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, said in a news conference Monday.

    Do they? Why?

    October 15, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  13. Ted

    Wait a minute, Katrina happened on Bush's watch and Bush was the one that basically ignored it, had that buffoon Michael 'heckuva job Brownie' Brown mismanaging it and after a few months, forgot it was even there and as everything else with Bush, it is easier to start something and not finish – witness IRaq and Afghanistan – than to finish it.

    Why should Obama take any heat? Typical GOP rightwing neocon baloney.

    GOP – stop the stupidity. Take responsibility for the things Bush and Cheney screwed up whcih includes two stupid wars, tanking economy, TARP, and burgeoning deficit. Stop foisting your failures on Obama.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 15, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. klow

    Republicans criticizing President Obama. What a surprise! They actually think that these constant attacks help the Party. No wonder the GOP is headed towards extinction.

    October 15, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. Ben

    You can trick all people some of the time, you can trick some people all of the time, but you can never please a Republican if you are a Democrat.

    October 15, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. mjm

    Obama's just going to pop in, indoctrinate a few kids, stage a town hall meeting, then get on with the important stuff...like campaigning.

    I hear the teleprompter went to Mississippi.

    Where's Kanye West when you need him?

    October 15, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. Blair

    Oh give me a break. Katrina was 4 years ago, and you have your financial aid. What more could you want? Whine whine whine whine whine... The Man is busy, fix the problems yourself!

    October 15, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. Rob

    He shouldn't have to worry about getting wet, since according to all you libs, one of his abilities is walking on water.

    October 15, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. SM

    You can't blame the current President for someone's else's deliberate mistakes. If anyone should be the blame than it's the Bush administration who failed to respond; even after they were told just days before the storm hit New Orleans.

    There are those who point the finger at President Obama instead of placing the blame where it should be- former President Bush!

    Just remember when your pointing a finger at someone else, five more fingers are being pointed back at you!

    October 15, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  20. Stephen

    And how many trips and hours did the GOPs from the last administration spend? The sad part is that President Obama has to visit to see what was ignored by the Bush years. Like the Bush wars, this is just another mess the Presdent has to clean up for Bush.

    October 15, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  21. Demo-Brat

    It figures the Louisiana Republicans would have something negative to say. If they were on top of THEIR game, they wouldn't be as worried about how long the POTUS was there, but what THEY could be doing to expedite the healing of that situation.

    What a mess....if people concentrated on what's really important and left all the bs and drama where it belongs, this country wouldn't be in the sad state it's in.

    October 15, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  22. Matthew in Wisconsin

    No matter what President Obama does, or doesn’t do; no matter how long or how short a period of time; it will always be wrong to republicans. I wish we could abolish all political parties. Because no matter what the topic, party affiliation is the only measure of whether some action, any action, is right or wrong, good or bad. And yes, I am being naive. But political parties are bring our country to its collective knees.

    October 15, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  23. Felonious Monk

    I have never seen a president get so much flak, not even W when he destroyed America.

    October 15, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  24. LIP

    It is always revealing how two faced politicians really are. All politicians are the first to cast the first stone at the other party and Obama didn't miss his opportunity, back when President Bush had no control over events that took place. Events such as the mayor of New Orleans not doing his job to the governor not doing her job and still somehow the feds and Bush got to shoulder the blame. Don't figure.

    October 15, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  25. Felonious Monk

    I believe W flew over and did not visit. He had some pretty speech, but not much else. At least Obama is doing something, rather than nothing. W did nothing, nothing at all.

    October 15, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
1 2 3 4