President Barack Obama is facing mounting criticism over his failure to visit flood-ravaged Louisiana. The Red Cross has said that the current flooding is the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy some four years ago.
"Thousands of people in Louisiana have lost everything they own and need our help now. This disaster is the worst to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy, and we anticipate it will cost at least $30 million – a number which may grow as we learn more about the scope and magnitude of the devastation." — Brad Kisserman – American Red Cross
Memories of President Bush not visiting after Katrina
Some were comparing President Obama’s lack of a personal response to that of President George W. Bush who received widespread criticism in 2005 when he did not personally visit Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina. President Bush later acknowledged his failure to visit the state as a significant error in judgment.
The state’s largest daily newspaper was critical of President Obama for not interrupting his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard and visiting the flood areas:
"A disaster this big begs for the personal presence of the President at ground zero. The President's presence is already late to this crisis, but it's better later than never… We've seen this story before in Louisiana, and we don't deserve a sequel. In 2005, a fly-over by a vacationing President George W. Bush became a symbol of official neglect for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The current president was among those making political hay out of Bush's aloofness. "— The Advocate
Trump and Pence visited the area on Friday
President Obama, who interrupted his vacation to attend a campaign event for Hillary Clinton earlier in the week, announced late on Friday that he would visit the flooded state next Tuesday following his return to the White House.
"The president is mindful of the impact that his travel has on first responders and wants to ensure that his presence does not interfere with ongoing recovery efforts." — Josh Earnest – White House Press Secretary
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, along with his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence was in the state on Friday. Former Sen. Mary Landrieu (D.La) personally thanked Trump for visiting the state, citing the positive attention that Trump’s visit created for the state.