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. Patman

    Obama being criticized by Republicans is news? That's as predictable as the sun coming up in the morning! Look CNN, why don't you just allow yourselves to be bought out by Fox News and be done with it!

    October 15, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  2. midwest liberal

    If President Obama could walk on water, I guarantee there would be someone from the right screaming that he can't swim.

    October 15, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  3. Another Home is Forclosed on Every 7.5 Seconds

    Oh BIG surprise! The Republican'ts are being critical of the President again! It doesn't matter what he does . . . if he had gone to New Orleans earlier they would have been yammering that "he never stays in his office and does his job! All he wants to do is get in front of the cameras and campaign!" It does not matter WHAT the man does, the Republican'ts only response to the issues this country is facing is to yell at and about every single thing this man does! And as for what David Vitter thinks, I would think that he is "deeply disappointing to most citizens." He REALLY should just shut his pie hole!

    October 15, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. Melissa

    How about we give him just a little bit of slack instead of expecting him to be a god?

    October 15, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. Duck Fallas

    Well, which is it, young fella? You want I should stay in Washington or stay in New Orleans? Mean to say, if'n I stay in Washington, I can't rightly stay in new Orleans. And if'n I stay in New Orleans, I'm a gonna be away from Washington. Ya see....

    October 15, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. dj

    you do know that Bush made a meager flight over the area and did nothing right? I wouldn't be surprised if Bush was counting windows on his plane during the flight

    October 15, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. Chad

    As I'm watching the "town hall", I'm noticing it is 100% Democratic audience. It would be nice if Obama took questions from EVERYONE. This guy is a joke.

    October 15, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. Joe In Vegas

    Let's pretend that Obama ends up spending the entire day. Republican's will STILL find something to piss and moan about his visit.

    Bush flushed the GOP down the toilet and with all the tea bagging and town hall screaming, the right-wing hate radio, Fox News, the GOP is new bobbing around at the bottom of the political septic tank.

    October 15, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  9. Tim

    He deserves some sort of award.

    October 15, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. munchmom

    What does everyone expect-it is just another photo op and then it is back to campaigning again, just like in 2008! When will everyone wake up!??

    October 15, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. Rob Johnson

    I used to live in New Orleans and love it dearly. Nobody wants it to recover, thrive and succeed more than I do.

    However, in case you haven't noticed, Obama has been very busy with everything from health care to repairing our relationships with other countries around the world. In other words, NOLA/Katrina isn't the only mess from the Bush years that Obama has had to clean up.

    On a more positive note, I'm very encouraged by the rebuilding I've seen the last few times I've been to New Orleans. Go there, spend money, have a good time. It's the closest you can come to going to a foreign country without leaving the US, and they have the best food in the entire world, bar none!

    October 15, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. phoenix86

    One more muli-million boondoggle trip for the Teleprompter in Chief.

    October 15, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. Ron

    Stay in Washington and do the job you were elected to do. How much is all of this travel costing a nation with no money?

    October 15, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. Gilbert

    It doesn't matter what Pres. Obama does he is not doing enough or it is to late. Take a look at what gwb did or didn't do!! Go OBAMA/BIDEN

    October 15, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. JDM

    A stupid statement from the State Goverment.
    1. You don't want the Fed Goverment in you state
    2 You want the Fed. governmnet to stop in your state
    3. Then you don't want the Fed goverment to do a drive by
    4. Then your mad because the Fed goverment left your state
    Stupid just Stupid!

    October 15, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. Fernando F

    criticism because he went to New Orleans?
    amazing. If he goes is bad. If he doesn't go 'he is ignoring N.O.".
    you can't win if all your opposition are just angry that they lost against the smart guy.

    October 15, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  17. Ray

    Oh come on. If it had been longer than that, he would've been criticized anyway. . . The opposition is so bent on destroying this president that they will not allow logic or reasoning to get in their way.

    October 15, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  18. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    What an awesome speech.

    "I'm just getting started!" – President Barack H. Obama

    October 15, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. Michael MacDonald

    Republican politicians' complaints that President Obama's visit to New Orleans is a "drive-through" are pretty rich. President Bush's first visit after Katrina was a fly-over photo op. Their criticisms do not merit the coverage CNN is giving them.

    October 15, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana was booed by the crowd and cheered for President Obama. And guess what, President Obama cleaned it up so Bobby Jindal wouldn't look so bad, I bet Jindal would never do the same in return.

    October 15, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. Dixon

    At least he landed...

    October 15, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. Roger in CA

    Oh, for Pete's sake! This is so typical of the lazy 24-hour cable news networks: take a standing trope from the right and plug it in without question.

    Take the headline for this post: "Obama's visit to New Orleans drawing some criticism"

    Might as well just use it as a template for your reporting, CNN:

    "Obama's ____ to ________ drawing some criticism"

    Just goes to show that no matter what the man does, he will get sniped at by the right.

    October 15, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. S M R

    You Republicans are PATHETIC. PERIOD!!!

    October 15, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. 2010 can't get here fast enough

    Many areas in the tornado/hurricane belt have to rebuild cities and towns all the time, but yet THEY GET IT DONE ALL THE TIME.

    No sitting around complaining and expecting another cycle of checks, nope, they WORK together and rebuild, no whining or complaining.

    To the good folks of Nawlins who have gotten off their butts, THANK YOU for your hard work, the "others", Obambi is coming to tell you how bad Bush was and everything was his fault and oh goody, he will have a big bag of checks.

    Ya, I am so off base here..............................

    October 15, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  25. Lynda

    Don't tell me let me guess "Who is doing the Criticizing" ? The Republicans..........par for the course........

    October 15, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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