Begin forwarded message:
From: Darren Sands >
Date: August 23, 2016 at 2:48:47 PM CDT
To: "Gabriel, Brian" >
Subject: Travel pool #5a: Obama remarks
POTUS began mentioning Gov. Edwards and his wife Donna, "They've got their own cleaning up to do because the governor's mansion was flooded as well.
He said the FEMA administrator was one of the best hires he made as president, nothing that there was a change of culture in the department.
"It's hard by the way for Craig to be here because he's a Florida Gator, and he's been seeing a lot of LSU t-shirts."
POTUS said "the prayers of the entire nation are with everybody who lost loved ones."
"We are heartbroken at the loss of life."
He said the people who are still trying to track down friends and family are going to be helped in every way possible.
He solemnly noted meeting a woman whose husband died. Her daughter tried to take keepsakes with them "that reminded her of her father."
"That gives you some sense that it's just not about property damage. "It's about people's roots."
He also mentioned a older woman who was living by herself, and how the young man next door to her vowed to look after her.
He reiterated the federal government's response, noting that support reached $127 million.
Prompted on the question of whether he worried the trip would become politicized, POTUS demurred.
"First of all, one of the benefits of being five months short of leaving here is I don't worry too much about politics."
"The second thing I have seen historically is that when disasters strike, that's probably one of the few times where Washington tends not to get political. I guarantee you nobody on this block, none of those first responders, nobody gives a hoot whether you're Democrat or Republican. What they care about is making sure they're getting the drywall out and the carpet out, and there's not any mold building, and they get some contractors in here and they start rebuilding as quick as possible. That's what they care about. That's what I care about."
Mistakenly believed these remarks to be open press, so my apologies.
Darren Sands | BuzzFeed | Reporter, Politics | xxx-xxx-xxxx | @darrensands
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