ON BOARD AIR FORCE ONE, Aug 31 (Reuters) - - President Barack Obama will visit Louisiana on Monday to meet officials in the state dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Friday.
Obama intends to visit first responders and survey the damage from Hurricane Isaac, and is “making sure that unmet needs are being met,” Carney said. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has led the storm recovery efforts.
The president has steered clear of the U.S. Gulf Coast region as emergency responders dealt with the damage. Obama held campaign events in Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia this week that coincided with the Republican national convention in Tampa, Florida.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is making a trip to Louisiana on Friday. Romney, fresh from accepting the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday, is scheduled to join Louisiana’s Republican governor, Bobby Jindal.
The memory of Hurricane Katrina that battered the Gulf in 2005 and led to heavy criticism of Obama’s Republican predecessor in the White House, George W. Bush, has prompted the administration to go to great lengths to show it is on top of the response to Isaac.
Carney said the president has not gone to visit the region because of to logistical challenges.
“It was the assessment of the president’s team working with all the people involved in operations, as well as people on the ground, that Monday was a good day for the president to visit,” Carney said.
Obama made several references to Isaac in his campaign remarks this week and said he had personally been in contact with various federal agencies.
Isaac, the first hurricane to hit the United States this year, is now a tropical depression.