Monday, September 05, 2005

Trent Lott to his constituents: "This is not a time for complaining" and "I've got personal problems"


"On Anderson Cooper 360, Cooper interviews Trent Lott. Cooper is in Mississippi talking to Lott on the phone.


LOTT: Anderson, I just as soon not have done any press the last couple days, and hadn't done much because I'm too busy to assess the problems and move things and build my own personal problems.


COOPER: Well, this storm has hit home for Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi. His home in Pascagoula has been destroyed. He joins us tonight.

Senator, thank you for being with us, and I'm sorry for your personal loss in all this, as well as the loss of so many in your state.

SEN. TRENT LOTT (R), MISSISSIPPI: You know, I will say this, Anderson. When the people on the Mississippi Gulf Coast suffer, I suffer. And when they lose their homes, I lose mine, too. And I want to thank you for being there and giving, from what I understand, some really good reports about how just how devastating the situation is. Waveland, Mississippi, a neat little town, doesn't exist.

COOPER: It's a beautiful town. My cousins actually came up to me, they're from Meridian, and I got family in Alabama. It turns out they had a house here, too. I didn't know about, it's been destroyed.

You know, there's so much anger here, Senator, as I'm sure you know. I'm sure you've heard this from your constituents. People want answers and they feel like the federal government failed on this. Did the federal government fail? LOTT: Absolutely not. Now, when you've lost everything you have, and when you've lost a loved one, and you're exhausted, and you haven't had a bath in four days, and you're hungry, and you don't have water and ice, and you don't have generator to run, a fan, you know, it's tough.

And I know from having been through a lot of hurricanes and tornadoes and ice storms, always a couple days after a hurricane or whatever you feel like you've hit the wall. You're just completely exhausted and the aid that you need desperately is not quite there.

But it's on the way, and that's what I want to say to the people in Mississippi and Louisiana and even Alabama. A massive aid is coming. In my own home town of Pascagoula, which suffered a devastating blow too, we are now getting generators, ice, food, water in there. And a lot of volunteers...

COOPER: Why is it taking so long? Do you understand why it's taking so long?

For the rest of the interview with Lott . It appears about midway down the page.


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