How Donald Trump Has Responded to National Tragedies Compared to Barack Obama
It’s not surprising people draw comparisons between former President Barack Obama and current President Donald Trump on a regular basis. We know they both enjoy golf — but how they respond in certain situations varies widely. Ahead, we examine the differences between Obama and Trump’s responses to national tragedies.
Obama: Sandy Hook school shooting
On Dec. 14, 2012, Obama addressed the nation about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were killed. During his address, Obama shed tears but also promised “meaningful action,” according to The Guardian. “As a country, we have been through this too many times,” Obama said.
Next: Trump took a different approach to a school shooting.
Trump: Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting
“My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school,” Trump tweeted on Feb. 14, 2018. Trump gave a speech to the nation and sat down with governors and discussed arming teachers and reopening mental institutions, according to The New York Times.
Next: Republicans praised Obama for how he handled Hurricane Sandy.
Obama: Hurricane Sandy
During Hurricane Sandy, Obama canceled campaign trips to stay at the White House and supervise relief efforts, according to the U.S. News & World Report. He provided the public with frequent updates and toured areas the storm damaged.
Republicans even praised Obama for his efforts. “The president has been all over this and he deserves great credit,” then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said.
Next: Trump’s criticism of Obama came back to haunt him.
Trump on Obama’s reaction to Hurricane Sandy
In a now infamous tweet, Trump criticized the Obama administration’s response to Hurricane Sandy. “The federal gov. has handled Sandy worse than Katrina. There is no excuse why people don’t have electricity or fuel yet,” Trump tweeted on Nov. 6, 2012. Now, politicians and the public are using this tweet against Trump for how he handled Hurricane Maria.
Next: Speaking of Hurricane Maria …
Trump: Hurricane Maria
Trump approved “major disaster declarations and ordered federal aid […] on the day the hurricane made landfall,” according to The New York Times. But critics say Trump responded more swiftly to the hurricanes in Texas and Florida as opposed to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The situation in Puerto Rico got so dire, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz sent out a plea for help. “People are dying in this country,” she said, according to Newsweek. “I am begging, begging anyone that can hear us, to save us from dying.”
Next: Obama played golf during a natural disaster.
Obama: Floods in Louisiana
In 2016, during floods in Louisiana, Obama played golf in Martha’s Vineyard (one of Obama’s favorite vacation spots), according to The Washington Post. This sparked outrage among Americans because Obama seemed as though he didn’t care about the potentially life-threatening situation in Louisiana.
Next: Trump appeared to ignore a natural disaster in California.
Trump: Wildfires in California
Trump receives criticism for not mentioning the devastating wildfires in California until very late in the game. “Judging from his response to the wildfires, Trump doesn’t care about California,” according to an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times. When the wildfires were on their fifth day, Trump issued federal assistance to the state, according to Politico. Prior to this, Trump only mentioned the wildfires in a few tweets.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!