April 24th, 2008
03:20 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain criticizes Bush administration on Katrina response


McCain toured the lower 9th ward Thursday, and criticized the Bush administration for its response to Hurricane Katrina. (Getty Images)

(CNN) - John McCain, speaking to supporters at Xavier University Thursday afternoon, blasted all levels of government - including the Bush administration - for the failed response to Hurricane Katrina.

“We know we didn’t have the right kind of leadership … where government agencies were getting information from watching cable television rather than have a flow of information,” McCain said.

“It was not only a perfect storm as far as its physical impact … it was a perfect storm as far as the federal, state and local governments’ inability.”

In a strong tone, McCain said “never again will there be a mismanaged natural disaster,” later assuring the crowd that “it will never happen again in this country, you have my commitment and my promise.”

McCain is currently on a week-long tour of economically struggling areas of the country, which included stops in Alabama, Ohio, Kentucky and Louisiana.

Earlier Thursday he toured New Orleans’ lower 9th ward, - among the areas hardest hit by Katrina - with his wife Cindy and Lousiana’s GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal. The three walked about 20 minutes through the lower ninth, stopping at a house being rebuilt by about a dozen volunteers from DeutscheBank in New York City.

"I'm proud to be in your company. You're what America's all about," McCain told them.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. Chris, Middletown, CT


    April 24, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. Uncle Sam

    Republicans are not the enemy. We can set aside our egos and realize that we are all Americans. Until we recognize that, any talk of healing and unity is just that – talk.

    April 24, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  3. Beebe

    Interesting, people saying the fault of Katrina lies with the state of Louisiana and not the Fed. What about Iraq, shouldn't that like with the people of Iraq and not our fed, or Afghanistan, or the tsunamis. I think if we as a country and our executive branch think we can and should fix the problems of every other country, we definitely owe it to our citizens to help them, first and foremost.

    April 24, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. Rich

    Simple – If Hillary gets the nomination, the black vote is on the market. Planning ahead!!!!

    April 24, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |

    How much time has gone by, with not an ounce of acknowlegement from McBush on this devasting disaster????? Way too late to weigh in, buddy. Why the heck didn't you speak up & take action long ago, when people need you???!!!! YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 24, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. Jim Shimmer

    Please McSame spare us your fake crap...

    LIAR.... ! FLIP FLOPPER!!!

    DEMOCRAT IN DISGUISE!!................!!

    April 24, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  7. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Why is McCain seeking out the endorsement of the right wing reverend John Hagee, who said Katrina was God's punishment for the people of New Orleans after his self righteous puffery about Obama's minister's "hateful" comments? And only today he discovers the extended suffering of those people 3 years later? What next, a token brief dance with some elderly black women, with him looking supremely uncomfortable? Oh wait, scratch that last one.....

    April 24, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. An Agnostic Democrat

    Geez, Grandpa McSame, I think your response is little late here, don't you? Probably not. Not sayin' too much for you when your criticism comes this many years after the fact. Can't wait to see how rapidly you'd react to other disasters. Yep! Your're a real maverick alright ... Kind of like the Maverick model car that went out of style decades ago.
    Give it some gas, ol' boy! Your response was years slower than Bush's.

    April 24, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. @americans

    one word for you mcsame: pandering!

    April 24, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. frustrated in PA

    News flash, John McCain is not President Bush. You liberals are so overcome by group politics you're too quick to lump people into the same category. Not every republican is like George Bush, just like not every Democrat is a raving liberal.

    April 24, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |


    April 24, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. Tanya K

    Mike in Virginia: Well said

    April 24, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. Shalom

    I believe these Obamaniacs don't have anything better to do, so all they do is sit on their butts all day and write Obama 08 under their posts and dream of the day when Obama will come and give them food, clothes and homes. Well, dream on !!

    If you really want to discuss something, discuss about the topic in question. Do no shamelessly indulge in cheap tricks and free publicity. Ever heard of negative publicity?

    Is this just a coincidence that though the Obama and Clinton are almost neck to neck in the votes, 99.99% of the hate mongers that lurk on CNN comments are Obamaniacs?

    April 24, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. Independent-woman-voter-for-Obama

    Really???? NOW he criticizes Bush? The Republicans failed the people of New Orleans and Mississippi!

    I can't imagine how anyone could vote Republican ever again!


    April 24, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  15. EBC

    Wow... now McCain wants to talk about Katrina, WHERE was he when it first happened, WHERE the hell was all the other candidates when it happened?

    Give us a break!!!

    April 24, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  16. M.S. Indiana

    Fast reactions from the old man.... where have you been since all this happened ???

    April 24, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. Jack Wilson

    Keep up the good work, John.

    April 24, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. MaryJo Bruce Surprise, Ariz

    Theres lots of blame with the Katrina ordeal. But, their governor and mayer had alot more notice than the whitehouse did. Lets be fair about
    some of this. Play the blame game, learn from it and move on. Was it mississippi or Tennisee that had it worse in the first place and their
    state government got right in there to begin with, then called upon Bush. Be fair..

    April 24, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. Mike from Syracuse NY

    McCain isn't an idiot. He knows he's not going to get the black vote. He's trying to send the message that he's not the typical Republican. Given the integrity he's displayed as a POW, and since he deserves the benefit of the doubt. Neither Clinton or Obama have done even remotely as much for their country as McCain. Tthey're not even in the same league.

    April 24, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. Me

    Pandering. Sad really.

    All three disgust me. I'd vote in a second for someone who was honest, straight up and had some common sense.

    April 24, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. john williams san diego, ca.

    two things we know about McCain...he was a leader in hurricane relief from day one and he will personally build that border fence to protect us from an ongoing invasion. sounds like sniper fire to me.

    April 24, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. Matthew

    I think it is comical that he is telling us that this will never happen again, and the response to a natural disaster such as this will never be this bad, or mis-informed.

    John McCain was on the administration when the huriicane hit. He did nothing. He did nothing for 3 years. He is still doing nothing, according to his policies he will always do nothing.

    Does anyone remember in the one debate where McCain mentioned his policy of getting rid of Disaster relief agencies, and things like that? How does he expect to address a disaster if he does not have disaster relief agencies? He is making the very thing he is advocating impossible by his other policies. He is a liar and a cheat. Don't forget the Keating Five. He was one of them. He participated. He is a liar.

    Ron Paul 2008. If something happens to John McCain, Ron Paul will be the Republican Nominee. He is still running, still caring, still willing to change this country.

    April 24, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. Mike Jones

    I hope the "straight talk express" gets stuck in the lower 9th ward after dark. Mcsame is a fraud.

    April 24, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. Ranger7

    So why can't we get the government to work for the people???? ......ALL WE GET IS ...TALK,TALK,TALK!!
    Our Democracy is FAILING!!!!!

    April 24, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. Mike - Texas

    I lay you odds that the moderator excludes my remarks, because I stated the facts as they really happened, and not as most of you people are stating.

    Let's see if they posted my other statement. Look for Mike – Texas

    April 24, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9