Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Barack Obama On Hurricane Gustav Relief Efforts

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama took to the airwaves Monday night for an exclusive interview on CNN's 'Anderson Cooper 360' -- weighing in on Hurricane Gustav relief efforts.

Fresh off of his historic nomination at last week's Democratic National Convention, Obama told Anderson Cooper he is satisfied with the handling of relief efforts for Hurricane Gustav, which hit landfall on the Gulf Coast Monday.

"We have seen the evacuation of two million people, with relatively few glitches," Sen. Obama said. "So, I'm pleased, so far, in terms of response."

He also went on to say the reason he has not yet visited the storm-ravaged area is because doing so would require extensive coordination with law enforcement officials and would "draw away resources" that are needed to assist in the relief effort.

"So what I didn't want to be was just a distraction for a photo-op," he said, adding that he would go to the area "in a hot second" if it were beneficial to helping those in need.

Obama said part of the reason for the smooth response to the hurricane included a bipartisan bill he helped pass in Congress to aid evacuees in locating family members, adding that if elected -- he will focus on immediate emergency response, wetland restoration and rebuilding destroyed homes and businesses.

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