Bush tours New Orleans, sees progress

Sept. 12, 2005 at 11:59 AM

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush toured hurricane-battered New Orleans Monday and said he wasn't interested in playing a blame-game during recovery.

Bush told reporters he saw progress since the hurricane slammed the Gulf Coast two weeks ago, but deflected repeated questions about the time it took for federal recovery to begin. He said "there will be plenty of time" later on to review the response, adding his principal interest is in moving forward.

Bush was asked for a response to earlier claims that relief was slow based on racial issues in the predominantly black city.

"The storm didn't discriminate, and neither will the recovery effort," he said. He also pointed out he had signed emergency declarations for several states before the storm even made landfall Aug. 29.

Bush then set out to tour St. Bernard Parish to the east of New Orleans where damage was even greater. He was scheduled to visit Mississippi later in the day.

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