Though he was criticized for it, National Journal correspondent Ron Fournier says
he stands by his comparison of President Barack Obama's handling of the failed rollout of his healthcare plan to President George W. Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina.
Critics said the comparison was flawed because people died in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina – as they did in the Iraq War, which has also been used as a comparison to the failed HealthCare.gov website.
"That's the oldest trick in the book, deflecting it to the comparison you want to make," Fournier said Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File."
While the two don't compare quantitatively, the comparison stands regarding
how the two presidents handled the crises and how the public perceived them for it, he said.
Obama's approval ratings
have hit their lowest levels in his presidency and are near Bush's at the same time in his tenure.
"It's a race to the bottom," Fournier said.
Both men were able to weather earlier troubles, he said, because even people who didn't agree with them liked and trusted them.
"As soon as a president loses that competency and credibility with the public, which Bush did in 2005 and President Obama is now, they're toast," he said.
The problem is especially bad in a president's second term, Fournier said.
No president has been able to dip so far and recover. If Obama hopes to be the first, he has to focus on leading and getting something done, Fournier said, "something he's never really wanted to do."
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