WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Sen. David Vitter offered a blistering rebuttal to Sen. Harry Reid's comments comparing Hurricane Sandy to Hurricane Katrina. Vitter called Reid, the Senate majority leader, an "idiot" after Reid's statement Friday that Hurricane Katrina was "nothing in comparision" to Hurricane Sandy.
“Sadly, Harry Reid has again revealed himself to be an idiot, this time gravely insulting Gulf Coast residents. 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,” Vitter said in a statement.
Reid said that “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.”
On Friday, Reid said that the federal government arrived to help the Gulf Coast “within days” of Katrina, while two months has elapsed and people of New York are waiting to receive assistance.
Reid corrected his comments Monday, according to an Politico.com article. "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,” Reid said in a statement.
Reid added that he has been an advocate for people affected by Hurricane Katrina. "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 [Mary] 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."
There were more than 1,800 deaths in Hurricane Katrina, while in Hurricane Sandy there were at least 125 deaths. The damage from Hurricane Katrina totaled $128 billion in damages when adjusted for inflation, while Hurricane Sandy is estimated to have $62 billion in damages.