George W. Bush photo

Remarks in a Briefing on Flooding in the Midwest in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

June 19, 2008

The President. Our job is to come down here—and I want to thank the Senator and Congressman and members of the Cabinet—just to listen to what you got on your mind. Obviously, to the extent that we can help immediately, we want to help, and then plan for recovery.

I know a lot of farmers and cattlemen are hurting right now, along with the city people. The other thing I think is just very important is that—and the Senator and Governor have made it clear—that as we worry about Cedar Rapids, we also got to worry about the little towns. A lot of folks are wondering whether or not the government hears about them too. And I can assure you that I know the Governor cares deeply about it, and so do we.

Paulison, who is the head of FEMA, tells me that there are 600 FEMA people moving around the State, and that ought to help the people in the smaller communities know that somebody is there to listen to them and care about them.

Our hearts and prayers are—from around the Nation go out to people here. It's a tough time for you.

Mayor Kathleen "Kay" Halloran of Cedar Rapids, IA. It is.

The President. The good news is, the people in Iowa are tough-minded people. I mean, you'll come back better. Sometimes it's hard to see it when you're this close to the deal.

Mayor Halloran. Well—and it's going to take time.

The President. A lot of people aren't getting much sleep these days, but—[laughter]. You're exhausted; I understand that.

But we want to—Congress passed a— is about to pass a big chunk of disaster money, which will put—help put people's mind at ease, and that will—we're going to help people—going to help you recover.

Anyway, thanks for letting me come by and see you.

Governor Chester J. Culver of Iowa. Thank you, Mr. President.

The President. Yes.

Gov. Culver. If I could, just very quickly, I want to thank the President on behalf of the people of Iowa——

The President. Get those cameras back in here. [Laughter]

Gov. Culver. And I want to make sure they get in trouble. [Laughter] But I also want to thank this incredible team, all of these people in this room, just an amazing team. All the people standing up here: Thank you. And we will rebuild this State and this city, and it will be even better and even stronger as a result. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 12:01 p.m. in the Lynn County Training and Response Center at Kirkwood Community College. In his remarks, he referred to Sen. Thomas R. Harkin; and Rep. David W. Loebsack. A portion of these remarks could not be verified because the tape was incomplete.

George W. Bush, Remarks in a Briefing on Flooding in the Midwest in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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