Sen. Landrieu Threatens to ‘Punch’ President

From Editor and Publisher:

Sen. Landrieu Threatens to ‘Punch’ President if He Keeps Hitting Local Response to Katrina

Senator Mary Landrieu, the Democrat of Louisiana (whose father was a mayor of New Orleans), appears to have finally found her voice after offering only cautious criticism of the federal relief effort in the hurricane catastrophe earlier in the week. Today she promised to literally “punch” anyone, “including the president,” who continued to question the local response to the tragedy, considering the gross federal misconduct.

Appearing on ABC’s “The Week” TV program this morning, Senator Landrieu still appeared to be smarting from President Bush’s comments, during his national radio address, that state and local bore a fair share of blame for the slow response. On a copter tour of the area, Landrieu said that if she heard any more criticism from federal officials, particularly about the evacuation of New Orleans, she might lose control.

“If one person criticizes them or says one more thing – including the president of the United States – he will hear from me,” she said on the ABC program. “One more word about it after this show airs and I might likely have to punch him. Literally.”

She burst into tears as she looked at a broken levee. “The President could have funded it,” she said. “He cut it out of the budget. Is that the most pitiful sight you have ever seen in your life? One little crane.”

She also referred angrily to comments Bush had made Friday at the New Orleans airport about the fun he had in her city in his younger days.

“Our infrastructure is devastated, lives have been shattered,” Landrieu said. “Would the president please stop taking photo-ops?”

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