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Bridget Johnson


January 7, 2013 - 2:21 pm

Louisiana’s GOP senator lashed out at Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for saying that Hurricane Sandy was far worse than what Gulf Coast residents suffered under Hurricane Katrina.

For the record, Katrina killed 1,833 people and cause $145 billion in damage in 2005, and superstorm Sandy last Halloween has been blamed for 120 deaths and more than $80 billion in damage.

In a floor statement Friday, Reid was trying to slam Republicans for foot-dragging on a porked-up Sandy aid bill. “The people of New Orleans and that area, they were hurt but nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New York and New Jersey,” Reid said. “Almost 1 million people have lost their homes; 1 million people lost their homes. That is homes, that is not people in those homes. So I think it is just unfortunate that we do not have the relief for New York and New Jersey and the rest already.”

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) slammed the majority leader today for insulting his region’s residents.

“Sadly, Harry Reid has again revealed himself to be an idiot, this time gravely insulting Gulf Coast residents,” Vitter said. “Both Katrina and Sandy were horribly destructive storms that caused real human misery.  And by most any measure, Katrina was our worst natural disaster in history.”

Reid then tried to walk back his comments.

“In my recent comments criticizing House Republicans for threatening to betray Congress’ tradition of providing aid to disaster victims in a timely fashion regardless of region, I simply misspoke,” he said in a statement. “I am proud to have been an advocate for disaster victims in the face of Republican foot-dragging, from Hurricane Katrina to Hurricane Sandy, from fires in the west to tornadoes in the Midwest. I have worked hard with Senator Landrieu to ensure that the people of the Gulf Coast have the resources they need to fully recover, and I will continue to advocate on their behalf until the region is fully recovered.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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