The former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) during the bungled Hurricane Katrina recovery says that President Barack Obama should have delayed providing disaster relief assistance to the states hit by Hurricane Sandy because it could have benefited him politically.
On Monday, Michael Brown, who now co-hosts a radio show with David Sirota, suggested to Denver Westword that Obama had responded too quickly to Hurricane Sandy.
During his Tuesday radio show, Sirota asked Brown if his comments had been taken out of context.
“Politically, he went out too soon,” Brown explained. “Because the storm hadn’t made landfall yet… And my point was that he should have waited until later until he had more information about whether it was going to be really bad or not as a politically consideration.”
“He could have just made a comment while he was in Florida that says, ‘You know my FEMA director is on top of this and we’re gonna do everything we can when the states ask us to come in and help.’ Boom.”
“He would have been better served politically to let everybody else—Bloomberg, Christie, Cuomo, O’Donnell [sic] – all of them make whatever statements they were going to make. Call for their evacuations,” Brown added. “And then he could have stepped up, very presidentially, and said, ‘And by the way, I have instructed my FEMA director to give the states whatever they need as the storm approaches.’ I think he would have gotten more mileage out of it. In other words, he peaked too soon.”
Brown was forced to resign as the head of FEMA in 2005, even after President Bush publicly told him, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job” on Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts.
Listen to this audio from 630 KHOW’s The Rundown – Sirota & Brown, broadcast Oct. 31, 2012.
(h/t: Think Progress)