White House Fires Back at Critics of Louisiana Response

White House spokesman Josh Earnest pushed back at critics who have scolded President Obama for his response to what has been called the country's worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy, saying on Monday that "there is all too common temptation to focus on politics and optics."

"Survivors of flooding aren't well served by political discussion," Earnest told reporters. They're "well served by coordinated government response."

During the flooding in Baton Rouge, which killed 13 people and left tens of thousands of homes devastated, Obama opted to remain on vacation in Martha's Vineyard — a fact noted in a scathing op-ed published Wednesday in the Baton Rouge Advocate, among other places, NBC News reported.

On Tuesday, Obama will travel to Louisiana to survey the damage, speak with officials and "offer comfort to citizens whose lives been thrown into chaos," Earnest said.

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