MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Former President George W. Bush says a phrase that haunted him after Hurricane Katrina — "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" — arose from an assessment of the federal disaster chief by Alabama's governor.
In his new memoir, Bush says he asked Alabama Gov. Bob Riley and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour if they were getting the necessary federal support on his Gulf Coast visit just days after Katrina struck. He says Riley told him embattled FEMA director Mike Brown was "doing a heck of a job."
Bush repeated the phrase, using his nickname for Brown. He said that he never imagined it would become so infamous as critics of Brown's performance used it as "a club to bludgeon me." Brown ended up resigning three days after the president's remark.
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.