Amid the devastating floods that ravaged Louisiana last week, the White House announced Friday that President Obama would make a trip to the Bayou State Tuesday to address the historic flooding.
The president has faced mounting criticism over the past few days, as he remained on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard rather than rushing down to Louisiana to help those affected by the torrential downpours.
According to Atlanta Black Star, a State of Emergency was declared after the floods claimed the lives of at least six people, while over 20,000 more had to be rescued from their homes. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said roughly 10,000 people were still in shelters due to the widespread flooding.
The Democratic governor has since urged the president and other prominent political figures to stay away from the storm ravaged area until the emergency subsides, Mediaite reports. However, his request didn’t stop GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump from rolling through for a “photo op.”
“Donald Trump hasn’t called the governor to inform him of his visit,” a spokesman for Edwards’ office said in a statement. “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.”
The statement went on to emphasize that it wouldn’t be a great time for Obama to visit either.
Still, heavy criticism of the president’s delayed response came from all over. While touring Louisiana’s flood ravaged parishes with vice presidential running mate Mike Pence, Trump reportedly told volunteers at the Greenwell Springs Baptist Church, “The president says he doesn’t want to go. He is trying to get out of a golf game.”
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and an avid Trump supporter, also took a jab at Obama’s decision to play golf instead of assessing the extensive damage caused by the tragic floods.
“I heard he wants to stay under par while we are under water,” Perkins said.
Ex-director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Michael Brown added to the growing list of Obama critics. According to Mediaite, Brown, along with then President George W. Bush, were slammed for their delayed response to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina back in 2005. Now the former FEMA director is unleashing a similar wave of criticism at the president, asserting that he should’ve cut his vacation short and headed down South.
“He could have gone to Lilly Armstrong Airport in New Orleans and made a statement there, or at the very least, what he should have done,” Brown told the Washington Examiner. “The president needs to make sure that the entire Cabinet, that all of the departments and agencies of the federal government, know that if the FEMA director asks for anything, by damn, give it to him.”
Brown also added that Obama had “botched” his opportunity for a strong first response by not making a public appearance.
Former Republican governor Mike Huckabee also ripped into the president for continuing his vacation amid the record flooding in Louisiana. Huckabee even went so far as to call Obama’s actions (or inaction) “disgraceful.”
“It’s a dereliction of duty,” the former governor of Arkansas said on Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria.”
But the Obama bashing wasn’t just reserved for prominent conservative figures; actress Kirstie Alley put her two cents in as well. In a series of tweets Friday, Alley criticized the president for being on a lush, green golf course rather than in Louisiana.
I thought Bush waited too long also! I was in Katrina on day 5 & I'm just a gorgeous actress :)THEY needed HELP! I didn't need an invitation
— Kirstie Alley (@kirstiealley) August 19, 2016
According to Mediaite, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson worked on the Louisiana flooding disaster on Obama’s behalf while he vacationed in Martha’s Vineyard. The president has seemingly ignored the harsh criticism as he prepares for his visit to the Bayou State.