In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the United States’ Gulf Coast. President George W. Bush’s response to the natural disaster was disastrous in itself, and was viewed by many as one of the lowest points in his presidency.
In addition to being criticized for taking a photograph on Air Force One, in which he was seen looking out at the wreckage from the hurricane, Bush was also under fire for the fact that he did not personally visit the site of the damage in the proximate aftermath of the tragedy.
In 2014, President Barack Obama is facing his own major catastrophe. Despite the recent influx of undocumented children at the U.S.-Mexico border, and a pre-planned trip to Texas this week, Obama has announced that he will not make a visit to the border.
Obama’s decision has raised criticism from U.S. Representatives like Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat, who told CNN’s State of the Union, “With all due respect to the administration, they were one step behind. They should have seen this coming a long time ago.”
“I’m sure that President Bush thought the same thing, that he could just look at everything from up in the sky, and then he owned it after a long time,” Cuellar said, comparing Obama’s decision to steer clear of a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border to Bush’s decision to neglect a visit to the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He went on to say that this incident could become Obama’s “Katrina moment.”
Texas Governor, Rick Perry, is also criticizing Obama, saying his actions regarding the mass entrance of illegal children through the country’s southern border shows that he is either “inept” or has an “ulterior motive.”
“I don’t believe he particularly cares whether or not the border of the United States is secure,” Perry told ABC’s This Week. “And that’s the reason there’s been this lack of effort, this lack of focus, this lack of resources.”
Perry went on to say, “Some might think allowing them to stay is a more humane option, I assure you, it is not. Nobody is doing any of these children the slightest favor by delaying a rapid return to their countries of origin, which in many cases is not Mexico. Allowing them to remain here will only encourage the next group of individuals to undertake the same life-threatening journey.”
“If the President of the United States is really serious about securing that border, we can show him how to do that,” said Perry, who claimed that he hasn’t received so much as a phone call from the President, regarding the crisis.
“What has to be addressed is the security of the border. You know that. I know that. The President of the United States knows that.”