According to a Public Policy Polling survey, 29 percent of Louisiana Republicans say President Obama is more to blame for the botched executive branch response to Hurricane Katrina while just 28 percent blamed George W. Bush. A plurality of 44 percent said they were unsure who was more responsible, even though Hurricane Katrina occurred over three years before Obama entered the presidency when he was still a freshman Senator.
When the Hurricane hit in 2005, Bush was slammed by both parties for errors pre- and post-Katrina. Later, a congressional report determined that a lack of presidential leadership failed the people of New Orleans. But Bush praised the federal response at the time, saying FEMA director Michael Brown was doing “a heckuva job.” Since Obama took office, he has directed federal funding to rebuilding New Orleans hospitals.
President Obama received some better reviews for at least one storm that actually occurred while he leads the executive branch. After Hurricane Sandy storm hit the East Coast, Republican governors Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell, praised federal efforts.
Even Brown’s criticism of Obama during Sandy came across as a compliment, because the disgraced FEMA director slammed Obama for responding “so quickly” to the oncoming storm.