Obama set to visit Louisiana as flooding disaster turns political

Sgt. Brad Stone of the Louisiana Army National Guard gives safety instructions to people loaded on a truck after they were stranded by rising floodwater near Walker, Louisiana, after heavy rains inundated the region, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. (Max Becherer/AP)

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) — President Barack Obama will visit some of the hardest hit communities of Louisiana’s widespread flooding during an official visit on Tuesday.

Mr. Obama will arrive in Baton Rouge early Tuesday afternoon to visit with Federal officials who’ve been on the ground coordinating response efforts. The White House visit comes four days after Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump and his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence (R-Indiana), toured the disaster area.

The White House was forced to defend President Obama’s decision to stay on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard instead of returning to Washington or traveling to Louisiana during the height of the disaster.

“The President is mindful of the impact that his travel has on first responders and wants to ensure that his presence does not interfere with ongoing recovery efforts,” said Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary on Friday. The White House has not released a list of people Mr. Obama is scheduled to meet with.

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton released a statement on Monday to respond to questions about why her campaign had not made the same trip that President Obama and Mr. Trump

“I am committed to visiting communities affected by these floods at a time when the presence of a political campaign will not disrupt the response to discuss how we can and will rebuild together.” said Mrs. Clinton in a prepared statement.

For the latest on where things stand in the Race for the White House, follow @markpmeredith on Twitter. 

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