Sherman, set the Way-Back Machine to 2005! Here are some doozies uttered by the people that brought us the Katrina disaster (Mother Nature exempted). They range from the blithely idiotic to the utterly clueless to the maliciously racist.
1) “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.” — President Bush, on “Good Morning America,” Sept. 1, 2005, six days after repeated warnings from experts about the scope of damage expected from Hurricane Katrina
2) “What I’m hearing which is sort of scary is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this (chuckle) – this is working very well for them.” — Former First Lady Barbara Bush, on the hurricane evacuees at the Astrodome in Houston, Sept. 5, 2005
3) “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” — President Bush, to FEMA director Michael Brown, while touring hurricane-ravaged Mississippi, Sept. 2, 2005
4) “Considering the dire circumstances that we have in New Orleans, virtually a city that has been destroyed, things are going relatively well.” — FEMA Director Michael Brown, Sept. 1, 2005
5) “Now tell me the truth boys, is this kind of fun?” – House Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-Texas), to three young hurricane evacuees from New Orleans at the Astrodome in Houston, Sept. 9, 2005
6) “We’ve got a lot of rebuilding to do … The good news is — and it’s hard for some to see it now — that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott’s house — he’s lost his entire house — there’s going to be a fantastic house. And I’m looking forward to sitting on the porch.” (Laughter) — President Bush, touring hurricane damage, Mobile, Ala., Sept. 2, 2005
7) “Well, I think if you look at what actually happened, I remember on Tuesday morning picking up newspapers and I saw headlines, ‘New Orleans Dodged the Bullet.’ Because if you recall, the storm moved to the east and then continued on and appeared to pass with considerable damage but nothing worse.” – Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, blaming media coverage for the government’s failings, “Meet the Press,” Sept. 4, 2005
8) “What didn’t go right?'” –President Bush, as quoted by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), after she urged him to fire FEMA Director Michael Brown “because of all that went wrong, of all that didn’t go right” in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort
9) “I mean, you have people who don’t heed those warnings and then put people at risk as a result of not heeding those warnings. There may be a need to look at tougher penalties on those who decide to ride it out and understand that there are consequences to not leaving.” –Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), Sept. 6, 2005
10) “You simply get chills every time you see these poor individuals…many of these people, almost all of them that we see are so poor and they are so black, and this is going to raise lots of questions for people who are watching this story unfold.” – CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, on New Orleans’ hurricane evacuees, Sept. 1, 2005
These quotes are also available here.