Andy Card Claims Obama Hasn't Visited Gulf Since Oil Spill Began; Makes Excuses For Bush Not Going After Katrina
Andy Card appeared on Morning Joe and suggested that President Obama had not visited the Gulf coast since the oil spill began. As Media Matters has documented, he's sounding a lot like his buddies over at Fox & Friends.
On Fox & Friends, guest host Dave Briggs falsely claimed that President Obama "has not been down to the Gulf...[h]e has not had that moment to get down there in the Gulf and tell those people he cares, that he's doing something." In fact, Obama visited the Gulf Coast on May 2. Read on...
And just for good measure Card manages to get a little turd polishing in for his old boss as well by making excuses for him not actually going down to the Gulf sooner after Katrina hit. He would have gotten in the way of the recovery effort. I guess Card has selective amnesia since he doesn't seem to remember this.
It's a standing joke among the president's top aides: who gets to deliver the bad news? Warm and hearty in public, Bush can be cold and snappish in private, and aides sometimes cringe before the displeasure of the President of the United States, or, as he is known in West Wing jargon, POTUS. The bad news on this early morning, Tuesday, Aug. 30, some 24 hours after Hurricane Katrina had ripped through New Orleans, was that the president would have to cut short his five-week vacation by a couple of days and return to Washington. The president's chief of staff, Andrew Card; his deputy chief of staff, Joe Hagin; his counselor, Dan Bartlett, and his spokesman, Scott McClellan, held a conference call to discuss the question of the president's early return and the delicate task of telling him. Hagin, it was decided, as senior aide on the ground, would do the deed.
The president did not growl this time. He had already decided to return to Washington and hold a meeting of his top advisers on the following day, Wednesday. This would give them a day to get back from their vacations and their staffs to work up some ideas about what to do in the aftermath of the storm. President Bush knew the storm and its consequences had been bad; but he didn't quite realize how bad.
The reality, say several aides who did not wish to be quoted because it might displease the president, did not really sink in until Thursday night. Some White House staffers were watching the evening news and thought the president needed to see the horrific reports coming out of New Orleans. Counselor Bartlett made up a DVD of the newscasts so Bush could see them in their entirety as he flew down to the Gulf Coast the next morning on Air Force One.
How this could be--how the president of the United States could have even less "situational awareness," as they say in the military, than the average American about the worst natural disaster in a century--is one of the more perplexing and troubling chapters in a story that, despite moments of heroism and acts of great generosity, ranks as a national disgrace.
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