Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s comment last week that those who suffered the effects of Hurricane Katrina had it easy as compared to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has sparked a quick and vicious response. Sen. David Vitter called the Democrat leader ‘an idiot’ Monday and Reid was forced to issue an apology.
During a floor speech in the United States Senate discussing the disaster relief bill for Hurricane Sandy, Reid pleaded for action on the bill. He said that while those in the south were hurt by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, it was “nothing in comparison to what has happened to the people in New England.”
In his attempt to provoke action on the measure, Reid’s comparison of the two disasters was faulted by many.
Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter lit into the Senate leader on Monday saying, “Sadly, Harry Reid has again revealed himself to be an idiot, this time gravely insulting Gulf Coast residents.”
In a written statement Reid tried to backtrack his comments saying, “I simply misspoke.”
The debate over the aid bill had already turned very political with the Senate’s $62 billion version containing funding for many items unrelated to the October superstorm. Reid’s comments only added fuel to the fire.
By virtually every measure Reid’s remarks were off base and highly inaccurate.
Hurricane Katrina made landfall as a Category 3 storm on August 29, 2005. The storm killed 1,833 people and caused $108 billion in damage along the Gulf Coast. The storm is considered the third deadliest and the most expensive tropical cyclone in history.
By the time Hurricane Sandy made landfall, it had weakened and was not technically a hurricane. 120 deaths have been blamed on the storm and damage has been estimated at $80 billion.