Friday, February 27, 2009


I see that Bobby Jindal's spokeswoman has issued a clarification: his story about the boats, which he said on Tuesday night happened "during Katrina," didn't actually happen during Katrina, i.e., not while the hurricane was ravaging his state. His spokeswoman now says it actually took place days later. (Talking Points Memo and Daily Kos diarist xgz have established that Jindal wasn't in the affected area during the storm.)

I told you on Tuesday night that Jindal has told this story a lot, and that it has evolved over time, but I left you to read my links for the excerpts. Here are those excerpts. Notice that there's no sheriff (and no direct exposure to the complaints by Jindal) in the 2007 version, and that Jindal and the sheriff don't offer to get themselves arrested in the 2008 versions. Notice, also, that Jindal in 2007 and 2008 never said the incidents took place while the storm was raging.

Ouachita Citizen, August 29, 2007:

"A lot of foolish things happened following the storm," Jindal said. "We all remember the horror stories.

"People were still in the water. Numerous heroes rushed down with boats to rescue them, but then the bureaucrats got involved. They said if you don't have proof of registration and insurance, you're not allowed to go into the water.

"People were drowning, and they were worried about paperwork. Look, if I'm drowning, I don't care if you steal the boat, I hope you come and get me."

Rush Limbaugh radio show, February 8, 2008:

I witnessed the frustration of the local law enforcement officials. At one point, volunteers were rushing in boats, to come and pick up people out of the water. Some bureaucrat decided that they couldn't go in the water -- turned away even sheriff's deputies because he said they didn't have the right paperwork. He said if you don't bring proof of insurance and registration, you can't go in the water to rescue. That is the kind of inane absurdity of the bureaucracy.

Human Events, 5/22/08:

Jindal told me, "There are thousands of these stories. I talked to a sheriff in an area where they had people with boats that were ready to go in the water and rescue people and they were turned away because they didn't have proof of registration and insurance, they didn't bring the right paperwork. The bureaucracy was just awful."

Tuesday night's speech:

During Katrina, I visited Sheriff Harry Lee, a Democrat and a good friend of mine. When I walked into his makeshift office I'd never seen him so angry. He was yelling into the phone: 'Well, I'm the Sheriff and if you don't like it you can come and arrest me!' I asked him: 'Sheriff, what's got you so mad?' He told me that he had put out a call for volunteers to come with their boats to rescue people who were trapped on their rooftops by the floodwaters. The boats were all lined up ready to go - when some bureaucrat showed up and told them they couldn't go out on the water unless they had proof of insurance and registration. I told him, 'Sheriff, that's ridiculous.' And before I knew it, he was yelling into the phone: 'Congressman Jindal is here, and he says you can come and arrest him too!' Harry just told the boaters to ignore the bureaucrats and start rescuing people.

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