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McCain Assails Response to Katrina

PBS's Bill Moyers interviews the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., the former pastor of Sen. Barack Obama.
PBS's Bill Moyers interviews the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., the former pastor of Sen. Barack Obama. (By Robin Holland)
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Friday, April 25, 2008

IN NEW ORLEANS

McCain Assails Response to Katrina

Touring the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans on Thursday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) criticized the Bush administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina and vowed to respond differently if elected president.

"Never again, never again will a disaster of this nature be handled in the terrible and disgraceful way that it was handled," McCain told reporters after walking a few blocks through the still-devastated area.

McCain, flanked by his wife, Cindy, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), local pastors, community activists and a coterie of National Guardsmen, spent 20 minutes touring houses in different stages of rehabilitation. When asked to describe how the administration had failed in its response, he replied, "I think everybody is aware of how it was a failure."

McCain said he would handle natural disasters differently by putting qualified people in charge of the nation's emergency response team and by enlisting the aid of private businesses.

-- Juliet Eilperin

FORMER PASTOR SPEAKS OUT

Wright Calls Coverage 'Unfair'

Sen. Barack Obama's controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., told PBS host Bill Moyers that inflammatory statements from his sermons were taken out of context. Focusing only on the snippets, Wright said, "was unfair. I felt it was unjust. I felt it was untrue. I felt, for those who were doing that, were doing it for some very devious reasons."

Wright said he didn't begrudge Obama for denouncing the clips of his sermons, which had created a sensation on the Internet and cable TV.

"He's a politician; I'm a pastor. We speak to two different audiences. And he says what he has to say as a politician. I say what I have to say as a pastor. But they're two different worlds," said Wright, who retired this year from Trinity United Church of Christ on the South Side of Chicago, where Obama has attended services for 20 years.


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