Critics Call for Obama to Cut Vacation Short to Visit Flood-Ravaged Louisiana

President Obama and his family are on vacation in Martha's Vineyard.

ByABC News
August 19, 2016, 11:23 AM

— -- President Obama so far has no plans to cut short his 16-day vacation in Martha's Vineyard to visit flood-affected Louisiana.

The White House is emphasizing the massive response led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist in recovery efforts, which has received praise from Louisiana's Gov. John Bel Edwards.

However, some critics are looking to connect what they see as a lackluster response compared to former President George W. Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina.

"If the president can interrupt his vacation for a swanky fundraiser for fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, as he did on Monday, then surely he can make time to show up for a catastrophe that’s displaced thousands," the editorial board of The Advocate wrote on Thursday.

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump is likely to seize on the sentiment as he visits the state this morning to meet with local officials. Hillary Clinton has not announced her plans in regards to visiting the area, but earlier tweeted that she is "closely monitoring" the situation.

"The optics of Obama golfing while Louisiana residents languished in flood waters was striking," the editorial board said. "It evoked the precedent of the passive federal response to the state’s agony in 2005, a chapter of history no one should ever repeat."

However, Gov. Edwards defended the administration's response yesterday evening saying the president's visit could be disruptive in having to redirect law enforcement resources to handle security.

If the president visits, Edwards said, he should wait at least two weeks.

White House officials say Obama has continued to receive updates throughout the week and point to the resources mobilized on the ground in Louisiana.

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