Cafferty soon launched a rant: “I have never, ever seen anything as badly bungled and poorly handled as this situation in New Orleans. Where the hell is the water for these people? Why can't sandwiches be dropped to those people that are in that Superdome down there? I mean, what is, this is Thursday. This is Thursday. This storm happened five days ago. It's a disgrace.”
Cafferty ignored a Thursday Union Leader editorial which castigated Louisiana's Governor, Kathleen Blanco: “Louisiana Gov’t Fails Its People.”
Video: Real or Windows Media. Full transcript follows.
One answer to Cafferty on dropping sandwiches: Wouldn't that just cause a stampeded and more deaths? To say nothing about the danger there caused by thugs and gang members with guns.
A full transcript of what the Manhattan-based Cafferty, at about 3:30pm EDT on September 1, told Wolf Blitzer at CNN's Washington, DC studio:
Cafferty: “The thing that's most glaring in all of this is the conditions continue to deteriorate for the people who are victims in this and the efforts to do anything about it don't seem to be anywhere in sight. I want to read you something, Wolf. This is a quote fro an editorial (text on screen): 'A better leader would have flown straight to the disaster zone and announced the immediate mobilization of every available resource....The cool, confident, intuitive leadership Bush exhibited in his first term, particularly in the months [“immediately' on screen but not said by Cafferty] following 9/11 [“Sept. 11, 2001" on screen], has vanished.'
“Now, that's not from some liberal rag. That is an editorial from one of the most conservative newspapers in the country, New Hampshire's Union Leader. The New York Times, not unexpectedly kind of chimed in, they said the President 'showed up a day later than needed' and they excoriated him for 'appearing casual to the point of carelessness.' Harsh words coming from FEMA's former disaster response chief, Eric Tolbin (sp?), who says the government was not ready and shifted its attention from natural disasters to fighting the war on terror. The questions that we ask on The Situation Room every afternoon, Wolf, are posted on the Web site two or three hours before we go on the air and people who read the Web site often begin to respond to the questions before the show actually starts.
“The question this hour is: 'How would you rate the response of the federal government to Hurricane Katrina?' I got to tell you something. We got five or six hundred letters before the show even went on the air. No one, no one says the federal government is doing a good job in handling one of the most atrocious and embarrassing and far reaching and calamitous things that has come along in this country in my lifetime. I'm 62. I remember the riots in Watts, I remember the earthquake in San Francisco, I remember a lot of things. I have never, ever seen anything as badly bungled and poorly handled as this situation in New Orleans. Where the hell is the water for these people? Why can't sandwiches be dropped to those people that are in that Superdome down there? I mean, what is, this is Thursday. This is Thursday. This storm happened five days ago. It's a disgrace. And don't think the world isn't watching. This is the government the taxpayers are paying for and it's fallen right flat on its face, as far as I can see in the way it's handled this thing.”