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. Danny

    It is too late Mr. McCain.........can you just bring something else. We don't
    need this no more John. What's we want to hear from you is how we going to have relationship with China, how we going to talk to Iran, North
    Korea, Syria and Cuba. Other thing how we going to handle gas, oil price
    and rice price. John please prepare this so we going to vote for you if
    Liberal Democratic nominee Obama. So, we know that if Obama get President he going to fever Muslim or Islamic country and he going to let Osama go free that's why we don't need him for President.

    April 24, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. OHMom

    Hmmm...as I remember, McCain didn't seem too worried when TWO DAYS after Katrina, he was having his photo taken w/ Bush for McCain's birthday celebration. After all, it's more important for a rich old man to celebrate his birthday than for the President to deal with drowing poor people, right?

    Then, of course, we had Condoleeza out shopping for $900 boots, at the time...

    April 24, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. Noble


    April 24, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. christi

    This guy is against equal pay for women, against corporate tax cuts for the rich, against ending the war...and yet he said in an interview he is "against anti-anything"???

    He's a flip-flopper. And a war supporter.

    April 24, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. NickNas

    This guy is as bad as Hillary, and that is saying somethin' " My friend"

    April 24, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. PATEL

    just lot my vote too

    April 24, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. John in Lincoln

    Reading these posts reminds me of just how doomed we are. Are there really so many of you who have decided to allow individual opinion to trump every printed fact, timeline and chan of events?

    We had a very severe natural disaster combined with extremely poor judgement of local government and absolute failure of local citizens to evacuate when told to do so plus a gang presence trying to take advantage of the situation for theri own benefit plus human error that is bound to happen in extreme cases.

    But ya'll sleep well tonight knowing that a bunch of white, male Republicans in Washington D.C. are the at the center of all that ills ya'.

    April 24, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. Jay from CA

    I don't know, I think the Dems may hav elost my vote this year. I was an Obama supporter But this election is insane. Clinton's "dark side" politics and obama's inabilty to get the job done, Has me thinking that maybe john might be my guy this fall. I don't know but this black man may be going republican.

    April 24, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. Marilyn, TX

    VOTE FOR RON PAUL, the only trustworthy candidate running.

    April 24, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. norb

    Suprised not to see tag along Joe Lieberman with John. Maybe Joe was riding around giving out some coupons for some beer samples?

    April 24, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. DEE in fla

    i am willing to bet money that he doesnt win in nov...

    Obama 08

    April 24, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. Marshall in Nebraska

    Too Little Too Late!

    April 24, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. Dave

    Way to show you're not just another running dog of the Republican establishment, McCain. Trash the president on something even he's admitted he screwed up. When you stop sugar-coating our "progress" in Iraq I'll actually spend a few nanoseconds considering voting for you.

    April 24, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Foreign observer

    Where are the nationally funded dams (f.e. like in the Netherlands) so New Orleans will never experience this again ?

    April 24, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. wwf

    One question I have is,"Where were you after it happened. I don't remember you pushing for more help. In fact, this is the first time I have heard you speak about it at length. Must be running for office. Just think. People consider Obama out of touch. Wow.

    April 24, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. Marleen

    CCN John McCain has his picture...Hillary has her picture...why doesn't Obama have a picture....

    April 24, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. Alonzo Demetrius

    To Sue, Corning, OH: To those of you who don't realize it, a senator is not part of the administration, is a separate branch of our government. Also, the Senate has committees that deal with disaster oversight, and John McCain was not on any such committee.

    April 24, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. Mary

    In foreign policy he needs voices over his shoulder to keep straight Sunnis and shi'ites. Domesticly on Katrina he has a clear grasp of the OBVIOUS. I'm still wondering when he will introduce us to his kids. Is it because he has a child that is other than white that he keeps them out of the photo shots?

    April 24, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  19. L

    follow up to Baptism plans,

    Can you tell Sen. McCain that the Church age is over ?


    April 24, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. Rather Biased

    The headline is also very biased. McCain directly criticized the federal government, the state government, and local governments!

    Instead of:

    "McCain criticizes Bush administration on Katrina response"

    ho about:

    "McCain criticizes Fed, State, and Locals on Katrina response"

    April 24, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. mcscott

    What whining!!! Katrina cleaned up New Orleans and gave it a chance to clean up its act. The disaster could have been mitigated by proper engineering of the levee's. Money spent of Casino's instead. Typical liberal reaction blame someone else for your problems and look for habdouts.

    April 24, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  22. Alan Boyer

    This is a smart move by McCain. If he is sincere, he could be acceptable to a lot of democrats.

    April 24, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  23. mcollins56

    When did he get into office? What was he doing in 2005? Now he wants to speak up. I guess he decided to get on the bandwagon now just in case Hillary gets the nomination he can try and get some of the black vote. He has never cared for black people or poor people before. It would be funny if it was not so sickening.

    April 24, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. Steve Klein

    Why didn't he do it then? Because he didn't care. And our National Guards were in his favorite Iraq...he is a bad man trying to find ways to make himself look better. He should shut up, and try to be honest for once. He is one of the most corrupt people in government, and it will come out when the Democrats pick a candidate. He only got the nomination because of the comparison to the other slimeballs running against him. And now he is hoping he can skip down the yellow brick lane with Hillary, his only chance to get elected. Obama will pulverize him. He doesn't even have any power in his own political power. Bob Dole...here he comes.

    April 24, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. Born in the USA

    Regardless of who the president will be., there is no person on this earth who can straighten this mess up

    April 24, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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