Tags: | Landrieu | Katrina | Cassidy | Louisiana

Landrieu's Katrina Attack on Cassidy Backfires

Image: Landrieu's Katrina Attack on Cassidy Backfires
Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, left, and Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu. (Brianna Paciorka/The Times Picayune/Landov)

By    |   Friday, 07 Nov 2014 06:10 PM

Fighting for her political life and effectively abandoned by the Democratic Party, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu went on the attack against Rep. Bill Cassidy, the Republican congressman challenging her in next month’s runoff.

At a Thursday press conference in front of a Veterans Affairs medical facility, Landrieu tried to contrast her efforts to secure federal money for her state after Hurricane Katrina hit the state in September 2005 with Cassidy’s supposed failure to lift a finger.

Landrieu tweeted that "When the New Orleans VA hospital needed to be rebuilt out of the rubble of Katrina and Rita [another hurricane which struck the Gulf Coast weeks later], where was Bill?"

But as The Daily Caller reported Friday, Landrieu’s implied premise that Cassidy did nothing to help his fellow Louisianans is false.

At one level, the attack is strange given the fact that unlike Landrieu, who was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996, Cassidy wasn’t even in a position to obtain federal aid for his constituents because he was first elected to Congress in 2008.

And even worse, Landrieu was apparently unaware of Cassidy’s extraordinary success in mobilizing private resources to build a hospital to treat persons displaced by Katrina.

Within hours of Landrieu’s broadside, Cassidy tweeted back that "Mary Landrieu wants to know where I was during Hurricane Katrina? Setting up a surge hospital for refugees."

Cassidy linked to a story in which Cassidy, a medical doctor, explained how his physician group turned a Kmart that had been abandoned for almost a decade into a hospital to treat Katrina’s victims.

"We had doctors and nurses step up to design the facility," Cassidy explained. "Around 150 people from two churches showed up with mops and brooms to help clean."

Within a day, an electrician got the power turned on, and Cassidy and his colleagues began setting up makeshift wards to treat hospital patients.

By the time patients began arriving, "we had beds, lights, generators, computers and volunteers to play with children, provide transportation and reconnect families," Cassidy wrote.

Because local shelters declined to take newborns, the makeshift facility admitted mothers and their babies. Within 26 hours, the facility was in place, he added.

In short, Landrieu got the facts wrong another setback in what is already an uphill bid to keep her Senate seat.

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Fighting for her political life and effectively abandoned by the Democratic Party, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu went on the attack against Rep. Bill Cassidy, the Republican congressman challenging her in next month's runoff.
Landrieu, Katrina, Cassidy, Louisiana
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2014-10-07
Friday, 07 Nov 2014 06:10 PM
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