Rove: Bush Administration ‘Fulfilled’ It’s Katrina Responsibilities

By Jennifer Parker

Mar 1, 2009 4:40pm

Former President Bush’s chief political strategist Karl Rove today defended the Bush administration’s handling of Hurricane Katrina, blaming former Democratic Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco and local officials for not having an adequate evacuation plan.

Rove made the comments after appearing as a guest on the "This Week" roundtable during a taped "Green Room" segment discussion with Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and The Nation magazine editor Katrina vanden Heuvel.

"The government official who was responsible for managing Katrina under the Stafford Act was the governor of Louisiana and she lost office in large measure due to the poor quality of her performance," Rove said.

"I think many thought that Katrina was the bookend to Iraq," vanden Heuvel told Rove. "That’s when millions of Americans, left or right, woke up to the incompetence of an administration that had worked hard to diminish government as a force for good."

"With all due respect, the federal government’s responsibilities were met under Katrina which were to provide the immediate assistance, to pluck people off of the roofs," Rove said.

"The people in charge of calling the evacuations are the state and local officials who didn’t." "The voters have made their judgment," Greenberg told Rove.

"Ignoring what the law requires and ignoring what the reality of the situation is may be fine," Rove argued, "But policy-makers set the laws in a certain way and then the policy-describers — the scribblers, observers and commentators — ignored what the law did and ascribed the problems of the locals to the federal government."

Watch it here:

–George Stephanopoulos

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