Media Matters Action Network

Conservatives Consistently Question Whether To Rebuild New Orleans

August 26, 2009 3:21 pm ET

Conservative talk radio host Neil Boortz recently said, "Obama wants to rebuild New Orleans? Build it and they will come. They? The debris that Katrina washed out." Sadly, Boortz is not alone in his beliefs. While conservative elected officials tend to use more tact in their public statements questioning whether to rebuild the city, the gist is the same.

As first reported by the Wonk Room:

Yesterday, hate-radio talk show host Neil Boortz mocked President Obama's pledge to rebuild New Orleans, calling the victims of Hurricane Katrina human trash. This weekend, President Barack Obama told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that he "remains focused on rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf Coast," and anything less "would be a betrayal of who we are as a country." Boortz responded on Twitter by attacking the "debris that Katrina chased out":

"Obama wants to rebuild New Orleans? Build it and they will come. They? The debris that Katrina washed out."

Sadly, Boortz is not alone in his beliefs. While conservative elected officials tend to use more tact in their public statements questioning whether to rebuild the city, the gist is the same.

Numerous Conservatives Questioned Rebuilding New Orleans         

Sen. McCain Said He Would Consider Tearing Down The Lower Ninth Ward.  According to CBS News, McCain "also told reporters he was not sure if he would rebuild the lower 9th ward as president. 'That is why we need to go back is to have a conversation about what to do -rebuild it, tear it down, you know, whatever it is,' he said." [CBS News, 4/24/08]

Rep. Kingston: "Do We Really Want To Flood New Orleans With Money?" In September 2005, the Washington Post reported on the debate in Congress regarding a budget for post-Katrina New Orleans. "A new Gallup poll shows a majority of Americans believe the mission in Iraq should be cut to cover the recovery costs, while only a small fraction support slashing other domestic programs, raising taxes or increasing the deficit to finance it. New Orleans also has emerged as the chief target of angst. 'The question is do we really want to flood New Orleans with money,' said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.). Kingston said he has detected a building hostility toward New Orleans among his constituents, based on reports that local officials mismanaged the crisis, along with federal dollars that had previously flowed the region's way. 'What we are hearing from constituents is: 'Wait a minute, slow down on this,'' Kingston said." [Washington Post, 9/21/05, emphasis added] 

Rep. Flake: The Role Of The Federal Government After Katrina Violated "The Principles Of Good Governance."  As reported in the New York Times, "Representative Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican and a staunch believer in limited federal government, worried that the post-Katrina reaction shows 'people have a more expansive view about what the role of the federal government is or ought to be than is warranted by the Constitution or the principles of good governance.'" [New York Times, 9/11/05]

Rep. Hastert: "It Looks Like A Lot Of That Place Could Be Bulldozed." As reported by the Associated Press, "It makes no sense to spend billions of dollars to rebuild a city that's seven feet under sea level, House Speaker Dennis Hastert said of federal assistance for hurricane-devastated New Orleans... 'It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed.'" When asked about rebuilding the city, Hastert said, "I don't know. That doesn't make sense to me." [Associated Press, 9/1/05]

 

— MMAN
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