Bush Faces Criticism For Response To Katrina

By: Summer Knowles
By: Summer Knowles

September 9, 2005

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, President Bush is facing some harsh criticism from the Democratic party.

"We've seen a lot of partisan fighting, some name-calling, some accusations," said Matt Smyth, of the UVA Center for Politics.

It's been about two weeks since the onset of Hurricane Katrina, and the blame game has already begun. Democrats and others are saying the federal government, and the president himself should have responded faster.

"The President of the United States is responsible for leading in times of crisis," says Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards. "In fairness to this president, he responded very quickly after September 11th. He didn't do that [in the case of Hurricane Katrina]."

According to the UVA Center For Politics, the public seems to agree with Edwards.

"In polls that have been taken recently, a majority of Americans do feel state and local government as well as federal government and the president himself could've done something more," Smyth continued.

"The people over there are really starving and they need medical care, they need homes," said local resident Veronica Smith. "I just think they're just moving too slow with the process."

The American Red Cross, which is not a government agency, was able to coordinate disaster relief efforts in the hurricane disaster area, and they says it's something that takes a lot of pre-planning, planning that allows them to respond 24 hours a day seven days a week.

"In the case of Katrina, there were Red Cross disaster workers from central Virginia in place before the Gulf Coast landfall of Hurricane Katrina," said American Red Cross Spokesperson Lonnie Kirby.

According to statistics from the UVA Center For Politics, President Bush currently has the second sharpest disapproval rating of all the post WWII chief executives. Only Richard Nixon's second term produced a sharper growth in disapproval than President Bush's.

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