Bush White House press secretary Ari Fleicher said empathy for the victims of Hurricane Harvey was missing from President Trump’s remarks when he praised the size of the crowd gathered outside the fire station in Texas on Tuesday.
“I was with President Bush when he went to see the devastation caused by fires in Missouri and Arizona and tornadoes in Missouri,” Fleischer said during an interview on Fox’s “America’s News Headquarters.” “There was something missing from what President Trump said, that’s the empathy for the people who suffer.
“In my opinion, that should’ve been the first thing he said, that his heart goes out to those people in Houston who are going through this and that the government is here to help them recover from this,” he said.
“Secondly the job of the president is to thank those who are the first responders doing all the rescuing. That is a huge morale boost to those working so far away from their families. Their homes are often flooded, but they are sacrificing themselves to stay others in the president needs to thank them,” Fleischer added.
“That’s what a presidential visit can accomplish, I hope President Trump will return to that in some other public setting later today.”
The president and first lady flew to Corpus Christi, Texas, on Tuesday to survey damage from Harvey, which made landfall on Friday as a Category 4 hurricane and has since unleashed record breaking tropical storm rainfall records in Texas.
“What a crowd, what a turnout,” Trump said to a gathering of several hundred Texans, according to a White House pool report.
“Thank you,” Trump said to the crowd.
“It’s historic, it’s epic, but I tell you it happened in Texas, and Texas can handle anything,” he added.
— CAP Action (@CAPAction) August 29, 2017