Culture

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards Now Praises Trump For Touring The Baton Rouge Flood Damage

Devastating floods have wreaked havoc on the state of Louisiana and this morning on CNN, Governor John Bel Edwards praised Donald Trump for drawing attention to the crisis.

Edwards was a guest on the latest edition of State of the Union and host Dana Bash asked the Democratic governor about Trump’s visit, in particular his office’s public concern that the trip might be more of a photo-op than actual help. This is also a characterization that Trump’s camp pushed back against, stressing it was a “decidedly non-political event” where the press wouldn’t be around. Edwards says that the framing of the “photo-op” comment mischaracterized his stance on Trump coming to the state, as he was on board for the GOP presidential nominee’s arrival provided he was in the state for something more substantial.

“I think … because it helped shine a spotlight on Louisiana and the dire situation that we have here that it was helpful,” offered Edwards. “I also appreciated the good phone call, the conversation that I had with Gov. Pence, who was sincere and genuine when he called, and we spoke for a long time on Friday morning, about their desire to be helpful.”

President Barack Obama was heavily criticized by Trump for not visiting Louisiana as it reels from flooding, and he’s not the only voice that’s asked why Obama hasn’t left his vacation to tour the area. Edwards has told the press that the White House asked about coming to Louisiana, but that visit was urged to come later so the focus could be on immediate flood relief and resources would not need to be diverted to accommodate the visit. At present, Obama is scheduled to visit Baton Rouge on Tuesday.

This Facebook comment from a Baton Rouge resident and volunteer suggests that delaying Obama’s visit was the right call for the unique situation facing the state:

To be fair to Trump, he did make a $100,000 donation to Greenwell Springs Baptist Church. Mind you, critics will be quick to point out that Taylor Swift has donated 10 times as much to flood relief in Louisiana. If you’d like to donate to help those impacting by flooding in the state, the American Red Cross is ready to receive your support.

(Via The Advocate)

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