On top of forcing the cancellation of day one of the Republican National Convention, Hurricane Isaac also prompted a minor diversion in Mitt Romney's post-convention plans. Instead of a planned visit to Virginia, the Republican presidential nominee made a side trip to storm battered Lousiana at the invitation of Governor Bobby Jindal.
Mr. Romney met with Louisiana Sen. David Vitter and Mr. Jindal alongside a highway, where they discussed evacuation procedures and how many families were displaced.
"I'm here to learn and obviously to draw some attention to what's going on here," Mr. Romney told the governor, "so that people around the country know that people down here need help."
Outside a post office, Mr. Romney chatted with a handful of women, including 42-year-old Jodie Chiarello, who said her home was submerged in water.
"After losing everything, you know it's just—it's hard. I don't know where my next step is right now," she said, according to a pooled media report. She shared her story with Mr. Romney and told him the area needed federal flood protection. "I thought he'd be more like a politician, but it was more understanding and caring," she said, adding that she would probably vote for him.
Speculating on what might have been the effects of the Ryan budget had it been passed, New York Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer offered this reaction to the visit.
“It is an affront for Mitt Romney to go to Louisiana given what the Ryan budget would have meant for our emergency preparedness,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Mr. Romney's decision to visit storm-damaged areas drew prompt criticism from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The Nevada Democrat cited a push by House Republicans last year to require that any emergency disaster-relief spending be offset by federal spending cuts elsewhere. Traditionally, emergency spending hasn't been offset by cuts.
"It is the height of hypocrisy for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to make a pretense of showing sympathy for the victims of Hurricane Isaac when their policies would leave those affected by this disaster stranded and on their own," Mr. Reid said in a statement.
A spokesman for Mr. Ryan pushed back. "Paul Ryan believes providing aid to victims of natural disasters is a critical obligation," said Brendan Buck. "A Romney-Ryan administration will always ensure that disaster funding is there for those in need. Period."
Meanwhile President Obama is on the way to Lousiana! After a couple of fund-raisers.
[H]ere's a look at President FailureTeleprompter's priorities during and after a storm th[at] took lives:
Tuesday 8/28: “Obama Reaches Out To Students In Ames [IA].”
Wednesday: 8/29: “In Charlottesville [VA], Obama Makes Appeal To Young Voters.”
Friday 8/31: “Texas Bound” -- To be fair to the president, this is an official visit with the troops marking the two-year anniversary of the end of the war in Iraq. How fortunate for Obama this opportunity arises to play Commander-in-Chief the very day after the close of the GOP convention.
Saturday 9/1: Iowa again for a campaign stop.
Sunday 9/2: Campaign stop in Colorado.
Monday 9/3: Campaign event in Ohio.
“According To White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, The President Canceled A Campaign Trip To Cleveland, Ohio In Order To Make The Gulf Coast Visit. He Will Travel From Toledo, Ohio To Louisiana.” -- “Obama Alters Campaign Trip To Travel To Hurricane Zone.”
You sure you can make the time, Mr. President?
No point in wasting much time on a state that he won't win, I suppose.