Home  »  Politics  »  Louisiana Senator Vitter Calls Harry Reid An ‘Idiot’ For ‘Insulting’ Katrina Victims, Reid Releases ‘I Misspoke’ Statement


Jan 7, 2013 Comments Off Pat Dollard

UPDATE FROM DAILY CALLER: Reid released a statement on Monday saying he “misspoke.” He also threw a few punches at Republicans.

“In my recent comments criticizing House Republicans for threatening to betray Congress’ tradition of providing aid to disaster victims in a timely fashion regardless of region, I simply misspoke,” he said. “I am proud to have been an advocate for disaster victims in the face of Republican foot-dragging, from Hurricane Katrina to Hurricane Sandy, from fires in the west to tornadoes in the Midwest.”

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Excerpted from Politico: Sen. David Vitter called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid an “idiot” for his remarks on Friday that the people of New York and New Jersey suffered more in Hurricane Sandy than Gulf Coast residents did during Hurricane Katrina.

“Sadly, Harry Reid has again revealed himself to be an idiot, this time gravely insulting Gulf Coast residents,” Vitter (R-La.) said in a statement and on Twitter. “Both Katrina and Sandy were horribly destructive storms that caused real human misery. And by most any measure, Katrina was our worst natural disaster in history.”

Vitter pointed to the simple math and statistics from the National Hurricane Center: Katrina caused 1,833 deaths and $108 billion in damage. Sandy caused 131 deaths and $65 billion in damage.

The comparisons between Katrina and Sandy have been increasing since the congressional fight over emergency funding for the Northeast.

Reid’s remarks came after legislation to provide $60 billion in emergency funding for New York and New Jersey was killed after House Speaker John Boehner refused to allow a vote to move forward before the expiration of the 112th Congress.

A bill to provide $9 billion of the $60 billion in funding moved through the two chambers on Friday, part of a compromise after the initial legislation was shelved.

“The people of New Orleans and that area, they were hurt but nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New York and New Jersey,” Reid said Friday. “Almost 1 million people have lost their homes; 1 million people lost their homes. That is homes, that is not people in those homes.”

Reid didn’t provide a source for the figure that 1 million homes were destroyed. In November, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office estimated 305,000 housing units in his state were damaged or destroyed. New Jersey’s most recently released estimate, in November, cited that 72,000 homes were destroyed or damaged. In Connecticut, 3,000 homes were deemed too damaged for power to be restored in them immediately following the hurricane.

Reid’s office did not respond to a request for comment on Vitter’s statement or the source of the 1 million homes being destroyed.