BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – After taking heat for not visiting Louisiana flood victims earlier, President Obama immediately began defending himself once off Air Force One.
“Sometimes once the flood waters pass, people’s attention spans pass,” said Obama. “This is not a one-off; this is not a photo op issue. This is how to make sure that [months from now], people still are getting the help they need. I need all Americans to stay focused on this.”
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 23, 2016
Residents and local media in the state, though, say it is Obama who has not been focused on Louisiana after he refused to cut his Martha’s Vineyard vacation short to travel to the state.
“The prayers of the entire nation are with everybody who lost loved ones. We are heartbroken by the loss of life,” Obama said. “People’s lives have been upended by this flood.”
“You’re not alone on this, even after the TV cameras leave,” Obama continued. “The whole country is going to continue to support you and help you until we get people back in their homes and lives are rebuilt.”
Obama’s visit to the region comes after GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump visited the state to meet with law enforcement officials, emergency officials and flood victims.
Trump also donated a truck-load of supplies and necessities to flood victims in a trip that put pressure on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Obama.
White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said yesterday that Obama’s visit today was not in response to Trump’s visit last week, which was widely praised, as Breitbart News reported.
“I can tell you what the president has been focused on the response on the ground and the people whose lives in Louisiana have been turned upside down by this terrible flooding event,” said Earnest. “And the response you have seen the federal government has been effective.”
Trump was heralded by flood victims in the state, with many shouting “We love you Mr. Trump” as he visited their flooded homes and schools, as Breitbart Texas reported.
Clinton has yet to set a date to visit the area, saying she did not want to “disrupt” flood victims.
“I am committed to visiting communities affected by these floods, at a time when the presence of a political campaign will not disrupt the response, to discuss how we can and will rebuild,” Clinton said.
John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.