It will be interesting to see how this statement is treated:
President Bush said Tuesday that “I take responsibility” for failures in dealing with Hurricane Katrina and said the disaster raised broader questions about the government’s ability to respond to natural disasters as well as terror attacks.
“Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government,” Bush said at joint White House news conference with the president of Iraq.
“To the extent the federal government didn’t fully do its job right, I take responsibility,” Bush said.
The president was asked whether people should be worried about the government’s ability to handle another terrorist attack given failures in responding to Katrina.
“Are we capable of dealing with a severe attack? That’s a very important question and it’s in the national interest that we find out what went on so we can better respond,” Bush replied.
He said he wanted to know both what went wrong and what went right.
As for blunders in the federal response, “I’m not going to defend the process going in,” Bush said. “I am going to defend the people saving lives.”
He praised relief workers at all levels. “I want people in America to understand how hard people worked to save lives down there,” he said.
Other than the long proccess of reconstruction, that is the chore, really. Finding out what the actual failures were among the numerous alleged failures, why they happened, and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
*** Update ***
I assume, perhaps unfairly (I am as jaundiced as everyone who comments here), that this will be a representative sample of responses from some quarters:
Now that Bush has taken responsibility, he must resign. He has pleaded guilty. He has admitted that he was complicit in the deaths of thousands of people.
Haul his ass in front of the House of Representatives for an impeachment trial, and then ask him to confirm that he admits responsibility. If he denies this, he will look like a flip-flopping liar; if he confirms that it was his fault, Congress will be forced to impeach him.