On his radio show today, Rush Limbaugh claimed that President Obama is ignoring the victims of the Tennessee flood because, “he doesn’t have any constituents there,” which implied that Obama is ignoring Tennessee, because they support Republicans and they are white. However, Limbaugh neglected to mention that FEMA was on the ground in Tennessee before the rain even started.
Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters
While taking a call from a man in Tennessee who claimed that the flooding has been ignored Limbaugh said, “Well he knows he doesn’t have any constituents there to speak of, well seriously. I don’t want to poison the well here…It’s true though you still will not find a donation link at a White House website for Tennessee. You will find it for Haiti, and you will find it for people in the Gulf because of the oil slick.”
Limbaugh’s claim that there is no donation link is not true at all. If you go to the White House website and click the post on the front page titled On The Ground Before the Raindrops Started Falling, you will find that Robert Gibbs posted, “You can lend a hand to those affected by flooding and tornados in Tennessee and across the region by donating to the Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org/ or texting “RedCross” to 90999 and a $10 donation will be added to your bill,” which certainly looks like a link to me.
Rush Limbaugh was trying to play the race card here and flip the claim that George W. Bush ignored New Orleans after Katrina because most of those trapped were black and Democratic on its ear to make it look like Obama is ignoring Tennessee because the people there are white and did not support him in 2008. However, the President signed disaster declarations for Alabama and Tennessee on May 3 and 4th respectively. The rain came on Saturday and Sunday, and federal aid was approved by Monday and Tuesday.
Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said that FEMA was on the ground in Tennessee before the rain started falling. This contradicts Limbaugh’s claim that Obama has ignored the flooding in the state. I will agree that the flooding has been neglected by the media in favor of the Gulf oil spill. Limbaugh’s allegations about the federal reaction and prioritization are simply false, but when has Rush ever been in the habit of telling the truth on his radio show?
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association