Two hard kweschins for Dear Leader.
Q One of the things you hear is people saying a lot of resources are being devoted to Iraq, now this country needs them. And they’re frustrated about that. What do you say to the people who say, there’s too much money being spent on Iraq and it’s time to bring them home?
THE PRESIDENT: I just completely disagree. We’ve got a job to defend this country and the war on terror, and we’ve got a job to bring aid and comfort to the people of the Gulf Coast, and we’ll do both. We’ve got plenty of resources to do both.
Somebody questioned me the other day about — do we have enough National Guard troops? Of course we do. These governors have got compacts with other states. If they need to call upon another state, the state will send Guard troops. And the people have just got to know, we’ve got what it takes to do more than one thing, and we’ll secure our country from the terrorists, and we’ll help rebuild this part of the world.
Q Sir, you talk about fixing what’s wrong and you talk about the results not being acceptable, but there are a lot of people wondering why you weren’t fixing the problems yesterday or the day before, and why the richest country on Earth can’t get food and water to those people that need it?
THE PRESIDENT: The levees broke on Tuesday in New Orleans. On Wednesday, we — and Thursday we started evacuating people. A lot of people have left that city. A lot of people have been pulled out on buses. It’s — I am satisfied with the response. I’m not satisfied with all the results. They started pulling people off roofs immediately. They started rallying — we started rallying choppers to get people off rooftops, started savings lives. I mean, thousands of peoples’ lives have been saved immediately, and that’s good news.
This is one of the worst storms in our nation’s history. New Orleans got hit by two storms, one the hurricane, and then the flood. And it’s going to take a monumental effort to continue moving forward, but we will. And this is a nation that has done a lot of big things before, and this is going to be one of the biggest, which is to recover from one of the worst storms, if not the worst storm. Haley called it the worst, I’m calling it one of the worst storms in the nation’s history.
And some random nonsensical mutterings.
And, secondly, to tell the good people of this part of the world that the federal government is going to help. Our first job is to save life. And earlier today, I had a chance to meet with some chopper drivers, guys dangling off of cables that are pulling people out of harm’s way. And I want to thank them for their hard work.