Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin slams Bush, federal government in radio interview

Saturday, September 3, 2005

The mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, castigated the federal government for lack of response to Hurricane Katrina in a radio interview Friday. During a climatic point in the interview, Nagin stated,

We authorized $8 billion to go to Iraq, lickity split. After 9/11, we gave the President unlimited powers, lickity split, to take care of New York and other places.
You mean to tell me that a place where most of your oil is coming through, a place so unique that when you mention "New Orleans" anywhere around the world, everybody's eyes light up. You mean to tell me that a place where you probably have thousands of people who have died and thousands more are dying every day, we can't get figure out a way to authorize the resources that we need.
I mean, I'm not one of those drug addicts. I am thinking very clearly. And I don't know whose problem it is; I don't know if it's the governor's problem or if it's the President's problem, but somebody needs to get their ass on a plane and sit down the two of them and figure this thing out right now.

The mayor also called for a "moratorium on press conferences" and criticized the slow federal action. "There is nothing happening. And they're feeding the public a line of bull and they're spinning, and people are dying down here."

Mayor Nagin is being called a hero by some for ordering the evacuation as early as he did, though many commentators and experts suggested possible improvements to city policies prior to the disaster. The mayor allegedly failed to follow the city's evacuation plan which called for using school and municipal busses for evacuating individuals without transportation.