Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey who was criticized for embracing President Obama when he visited that state in the wake of 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, blasted Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards for attacking Donald Trump’s motives for his visit to flood ravaged Louisiana on Friday.
“Mr. Trump and Governor Pence have shown true leadership by visiting those devastated by the flooding in Louisiana. By bringing attention and aid to those affected, Mr. Trump has led by example and shown what we have come to expect from our nation’s leaders,” Christie said in a statement released late Friday.
“The criticism by Louisiana’s Governor is injecting partisan politics into a tragic national disaster. I refused to do that during Hurricane Sandy and I put the people of New Jersey first. Governor Edwards should do the same thing because the people of Louisiana deserve better,” Christie said.
In a statement released by his office late Thursday, a spokesperson for Gov. Edwards said, “Donald Trump hasn’t called the governor to inform him of his visit. We welcome him to LA but not for a photo-op. Instead we hope he’ll consider volunteering or making a sizable donation to the LA Flood Relief Fund to help the victims of the storm.”
Christie also had some advice for President Obama, who remains in Martha’s Vineyard for the remainder of his two week vacation. Friday afternoon, the White House announced that Obama will visit Louisiana next Tuesday.
“President Obama should do what we did in New Jersey; put politics aside and put the victims first,” Christie said.
“The President could do so by finally getting to Louisiana personally, aiding the victims and telling Governor Edwards that partisan politics has no role in disaster relief. The people of Louisiana deserve nothing less from the President,” Christie concluded.
Trump was praised by former Senator Mary Landrieu, a Democrat, and Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeffrey Wiley for his visit to Louisiana.
Landrieu credited Trump for bringing national attention to the disaster.
“Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeffrey Wiley, who said he was in the briefing, told CNN that the candidate’s visit helped bring much-needed national attention to the disaster,” AFP reported.
“I will tell you he was very gracious and a good listener,” he added.