Mississippi’s governor is in Iowa today thanking Iowans who went south to help residents in his state recover from Hurricane Katrina. Governor Haley Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Commtitee, is also helping local Republicans raise money for races this November.
“I’m going to be the only elected official y’all see out here this year that’s not running for president,” Barbour says. “I am affirmatively not running for president. I’m on hurricane duty and will be.” Barbour intends to seek re-election to the top job in Mississippi government in 2007.
Barbour met with a group of Iowa Telecom employees who spent a month in Mississippi late last year as well as some folks from a Spirit Lake-area church who were helping in the rebuilding process. “Mississippi got hit by the worst natural disaster in American history and we bore the brunt of that hurricane,” Barbour says. “…It was as if the hand of God had wiped away the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”
Barbour says the residents of his state are grateful for the help of tens of thousands of volunteers from all across the country who’ve helped in the recovery along the Gulf Coast. Barbour says while the federal government did make “some mistakes,” the feds have been a “good partner” — putting billions of taxdollars into reconstruction.
“Our people are not into blaming. They’re not into whining or moping. Mississippians are not into victimhood,” Barbour says. “From the first day of the storm, our people who got knocked down by this awful disaster, they got up and hitched up their britches and went to work.”
Barbour claims that 99 percent of the hurricane storm debris in Mississippi has been cleaned up.