Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, praised Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence for their “helpful” visit to the Pelican State as it struggles to cope with one of the worst natural disasters in recent years. Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Edwards said he had a “good phone call” with vice-presidential candidate Pence. Trump and Pence arrived on August 12 for a relatively low-key visit, distributing food and supplies to residents. Trump donated $100,000 and a tractor-trailer load of relief supplies, besides visiting flood victims in the company of Pence.
Tearful residents told the media that they were grateful for the help, while some cried “We knew you’d come!”
Even so, before Trump’s visit, Edwards’ office released a statement asking that Trump should refrain from a “photo-op,” and instead donate money to relief efforts. However, in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, Edwards said that Trump had always been welcome if he were coming to be “helpful.” Edwards said, “Because it helped to shine a spotlight on Louisiana and on the dire situation that we have here … it was helpful.”
Edwards also praised Pence, a gubernatorial colleague. “I also appreciated the good phone call, the conversation that I had with Gov. Pence, who was sincere and genuine when he called, and we spoke for a long time on Friday morning, about their desire to be helpful,” Edwards said.
President Barack Obama has come under criticism for failing to visit Louisiana or issue public statement about the disaster. He has been vacationing at Martha's Vineyard, playing golf on the exclusive island resort. In contrast, as a senator, Obama was scornful of former President George W. Bush for the latter's alleged indifference to the victims of Hurricane Katrina of 2005, which devastated New Orleans and Gulf of Mexico communities.