Comments from Senator Harry Reid on the floor of the U.S. Senate have ignighted a firestorm of controversy with Gulf Coast residents and leaders. (Scroll down to view video of the comments.)
In speaking of the federal response to HurricaneSandy, Reid compared the response to the recent Superstorm to the 2005 response to Hurricane Katrina.
"We were there within days, taking care of Mississippi, Alabama and especially Louisiana...within days. We are now past two months with the people of New York. And the people of New Orleans and that area, they were hurt, but nothing in comparison to what happened to the people of New England."
Today, Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter released a statement that didn't mince any words about how he feels about the majority leader's comments.
"Sadly, Harry Reid has again revealed himself to be an idiot, this time gravely insulting Gulf Coast residents," read Vitter's news release. "Katrina and Sandy were horribly destructive storms that caused real human misery. And by most any measure, Katrina was our worst natural disaster in history."
Update: CBS News reports that Reid released a statement saying he "misspoke."
"I simply misspoke," he said. "I have worked hard with Senator Landrieu to ensure that the people of the Gulf Coast have the resources they need to fully recover, and I will continue to advocate on their behalf until the region is fully recovered."
Sen. Mary Landrieu this afternoon issued this response to Reid's statement:
“Leader Reid misspoke and he has clarified his statement. Sen. Reid has been a strong advocate for the Gulf Coast’s recovery after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. I am confident that he will continue to provide extraordinary leadership and support to the people of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast moving forward, as well as champion the needs of the people of the East Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.”
Click the window below to view video of Reid's comments: