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)

    Poor little McBush. Forget it, African Americans will not vote for you. We will not vote for Hillary if she steals the election, but we will never forget your term in Arizona. You were then and still are anti-king which means your are anti-black.

    Obama 08

    April 24, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. David, Silver Spring, MD

    We have John McCain's "commitment" and his "promise"? Is that anything like GW Bush's "promise" to "stay as long as it takes, do whatever it takes," to restore New Orleans?

    April 24, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. William in Oklahoma

    Isn't he a few years late in getting to new orleans. I think thye could have used his "maverick" approach a little earlier.

    April 24, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. redwoodcoast

    I am so curious. Really! John McCain has been a PART of the current administration. Able to vote on and speak out about legislation and governmental practices. How can he so boldly speak out against things in which he also played a part?

    April 24, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. Montana is Obama Country

    Sorry John,

    ACTION speaks louder than words.. You should have stepped up to the plate and helped the survivors of Katrina back in the day..

    You sound like the other day when you went to MLK Day and stood on the balcony and made an "I'm Sorry speech" for your vote against National Day of Rememberence..

    This is "No Countyr for Old Men" at a time it's convenient for them.

    (convenient means "suited for ones need".)

    April 24, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. GG, Dallas, TX

    I have to laugh at the blacks' smirking because they think McCain will not get the black votes. Do they honestly think they already run this country even though Obamma isn't even in? What a laugh. Get a grip, people. Change my "you know what"! Do all you bubble gummers think one black man as president can CHANGE everything? I laugh everytime I read some of this crap. Of course, since CNN is so biased, no one will probably read this but at least I felt better typing it.

    April 24, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. robert, new york

    AT least McCain is talking about something substantial at the moment. Just like Hillary has been laying out an extremely coherent, intellectual and articulate path for the future of the country. It is somewhat refreshing after hearing Obama speak in soundbytes, whine about losing debates, spin and cry about every legitimate criticism that comes his way. He is such a tool. Count this democrat in with the "if not Hillary then McCain" demographic.

    April 24, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. David, Silver Spring, MD

    I just saw the video:

    1) At least he pronounces the city name correctly.

    2) That wiry guy hanging around in the background is the new La. governor, Republican Bobby Jindal. He's an ambitious one.

    3) Conspicuous in his absence is none other than Mayor Ray Nagin. Also, Nagin's "Recovery Czar," Ed Blakely.

    4) He's right about the contracts. There was a lot of money wasted in those huge no-bid contracts that went to Halliburton and other Bush cronies. Of course, when McCain talks about getting businesses involved in recovery efforts–WalMart, Home Depot, UPS–he's not talking Mom and Pop operations, either. It's just a different kind of cronyism.

    April 24, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. Bayou Joe

    McCain has gone soft in his later years. Sounds like a Democrat to me. The fault lies with the City government and the State of La, not with Washington. it is not the responsibility of the Federal Government to come hellp stupid people that were warned to leave and refused to do so even after the storm.

    5 years and they are still trying to rebuild? Get off your arse and do your own rebuilding everyone else does. Outsiders come in and the locals just watch them work. How Stupid.

    Ready for your next welfare check so you can buy booze and drugs.

    April 24, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. Michelle D. Atlanta, GA

    Why is this the first time he's visited the Lower 9th Ward?

    Talk is cheap.

    Guess he needs the press. McCain who?

    April 24, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Jerrod

    All he's trying to do is get the Socialist American vote. He should realize that they already have 2, count them 2, perfectly good Socialists to choose from.

    We are in deep, people. Wake-up! There is no super candidate that can save us.

    I just pray for God's mercy on us all.

    April 24, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. Len

    The next president.

    I love you Hillary thanks for splitting the DNC.

    McCain 08

    April 24, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. Concerned Voter

    Every politician in this campaign, including Obama, panders. Again, Obama will not get my vote because his supporters have shown themselves to be quite hateful and cruel. If Obama was the one making such a tour, I think their supporters would be singing very different tunes. That goes for Hillary supporters, too.

    April 24, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. american

    well well well was he not telling the world not to point fingers when the crisis was occurring? why didnt you point the finger then you tool?

    April 24, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. Bruce McClay

    McCain's comments about the administrations response to Katrina were scary from the standpoint of being late and generally worthless, but what is much scarier are the comments of most of these responders – little basis in fact or logical thinking. Plato once suggested that a democracy would not succeed over the long run because people tend to be guided by unreliable emotions more than by careful analysis (a much abbreviate summary of his complicated thoughts). Most of the 60+ comments above demonstrate that Plato was right.

    April 24, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. jimmy

    wow, the liberal crazies broke out of the psyche ward and are infesting this cnn message board!! ROTFL

    April 24, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. Dems be dopes

    Just another Liberal wanna be...........

    April 24, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. Richard, FL

    McCain would have SOME credibility if he had said this 969 DAYS AGO. Where was he when Bush said "Helluva job, Brownie"?

    Very noticeably missing was Rev. Hagee, the man who McCain praised and requested the support of. Did McCain mention that this man that he respects so much blamed the hurricane on the people there?

    April 24, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. Kemic - Houston, Texas

    I guess he'll be knocking down a few Hurricanes tonight at Pat O's.

    April 24, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  20. R.O.B.

    WOW, a hole 3 years later huh. Way to go McCain.

    OBAMA '08

    April 24, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. Maxine

    Funny how until now he just thought of Katrina, where has he been the last two years and why hasn't he been fighting for these people and NO then.

    What a phony.

    April 24, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. Dal

    Like Gore did in his bid for President in 2000, McCain is trying to distance himself from BUSH.
    If OBAMA is not his opponent then he will certainly try to win the African American Votes by playing this card. Hillary and Bill are driving a wedge between them and the African American voters by playing the race card at every primary.

    April 24, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |

    I believe that God will choose the president and itbetter not be Hillary!!!1

    April 24, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  24. Albo58

    So John McCain is pandering? So the Republicans don't like black people? Oh yeah, unlike that fine Democratic leadership that was in the La. governor's office or the current New Orleans Mayor's office during Katrina? Face it folks, inept leadership in La., not federal government apathy, is the main reason for the slow rescue and recovery inside the state. Though the Democrats talk a good game, their actions don't back their grandstanding. Over the last 50 years, exactly how many city/state improvements were made in 9th ward? Maybe it's time to give the opposite political party a chance to improve your life?

    April 24, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  25. Rich

    II cannot believe people are not talking about the cross over by Republicans to vote for Hillary because they think Hillary is the one can be beaten easily. There will be no Republican cross over during the general election so some of the voting number Hillary is getting is hoax it will not be there for her incase she is the nominee. I am not just saying this is true, even the Repulican Radio talk shows have been promoting this idea. Hillary started getting more voting support when Rush Limbo the pupolar radio talk-show started promoting this idea just before Texas and Ohio primary.

    April 24, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
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