CNN Contributor Cites Bush's Katrina Fiasco to Ask If GOP Is 'Worried' About Hurricane

In light of Tropical Storm Isaac threatening the Gulf coast during the Republican National Convention, The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza evoked shades of Hurricane Katrina and the Bush malaise on Monday's Starting Point.

"Does the Republican Party worry about that right now, that when you think of hurricane and Republicans, that it's not necessarily two things that have gone together in the past?" asked Lizza, who ignored the fact that a Democrat, not a Republican, is in the White House, and will be in charge if Isaac makes landfall and wreaks havoc.

"And obviously, when anyone talks about Katrina, the first thing they remember is the crisis management of the Bush administration, which I think was widely judged to be a failure," sounded Lizza.

The chairman of the Florida GOP, Lenny Curry, answered Lizza that "A number of elected local, state, and federal government, failed obviously in Katrina, they failed the people."

A transcript of the segment, which aired on August 27 on Starting Point at 8:12 a.m. EDT, is as follows:

RYAN LIZZA, The New Yorker: Not to politicize the storm, which will inevitably happen --

O'BRIEN: Well, I think storms are – certainly, the aftermath is political, right? Reaction, responses, absolutely political. But go ahead.

LIZZA: Well with permission to politicize –

O'BRIEN: You have my permission.

LIZZA: This convention, one of the people, the names that is not going to be mentioned is George W. Bush. He's not here. And obviously, when anyone talks about Katrina, the first thing they remember is the crisis management of the Bush administration, which I think was widely judged to be a failure. Does the Republican Party worry about that right now, that when you think of hurricane and Republicans, that it's not necessarily two things that have gone together in the past?

LENNY CURRY, chairman, Florida GOP: A number of elected local, state, and federal government, failed obviously in Katrina, they failed the people.

LIZZA: Yeah.

CURRY: But, look, the Obama administration has a record.

O'BRIEN: And they're gone, though, right? They're all – they're gone. We're not going to hear from Governor Blanco. We're not going to hear from Ray Nagin. They're not going to be any part of this story. So I guess my question would be the timing might be problematic.

CURRY: It's all going to – it will all come back to the economy and spending. That is what's going to come back.

MARTIN: Real quick, look, it hurts the Republicans because of the attention, but here's the reality. Republican governors in Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas – they'll still have Republicans out front. The whole issue is what's the aftermath? What's the damage? That's the real concern. Until that happens, you really can't say what the impact will be on the Republican Party.

O'BRIEN: And certainly -- hopefully, there will be no damage and no aftermath to talk about and it'll be a story we can just move on from.

CURRY: And we're seeing governors -- again, Governor Scott stepped up when it looked like the party was on and said I'm canceling my events.
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014