Don King Backs Bush On Katrina

BY Robert Ecksel ON August 30, 2006
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Don King has found a home on Fox News. He was on “Hannity & Colmes” in 2004, and appeared on the August 29 "Your World with Neil Cavuto." King was one of the guests Tuesday afternoon and defended George Bush’s handling of Hurricane Katrina; the crawl at the bottom of the screen read: "Don King: Stop Blaming Pres. Bush For Katrina!"

In the August 30 New York Times, Alessandra Stanley wrote in recognition of the one year anniversary of Katrina that "not many ... officials were eager to go on television to defend the administration's handling of the relief effort," and that Cavuto was forced to turn "to boxing promoter Don King" to "praise the president."

Cavuto said to King in the studio two days ago, “I know you're friends with the president, like the president. He's getting a lot of bashing on Katrina. Deserved?”

"Well, the president is, I think, is a revolutionary president. He stands for inclusiveness. And not only that. He has given more women freedom than any other president in history. With the… Afghanistan… and Iraq... and the Middle East, he has freed a lot of women. So, when the women's groups know," replied King in answer to Caputo’s question about Hurricane Katrina, "they must take note of that. A lot of women now, they've got the liberties and the freedoms, and they'll be able to vote and to be able to be active. It's because of George Walker Bush."

Cavuto tried to steer the questioning back to the subject of Bush and his handling of Katrina, and asked about the recent criticism of the president by Sen. John Kerry, and the very recent criticism of the president by giddy fitness guru Richard Simmons, which King had been listening to and watching while waiting in the Green Room before going on the air.

"Well," said King about the senator from Massachusetts, "I think that, you know, you have to take it for what it's really worth. You know, John Kerry, you know, I love the man. He's a great American, but he's a flip-flopper. So, when you're flip-flopping all the time, you don't know what stand he's really taking. So, we can disregard that."

About health nut Richard Simmons King said, "Richard Simmons is one of the greatest exercisers in the world. I adore him, his energy, his vitality to be able to exercise. But in running a country, and knowing all the different idiosyncrasies and appealing to all the people, such as George Bush is doing, Richard should stick with the exercising. Know what I mean?"

King described Katrina as "God's work" which revealed "that we had a Third World nation within the most, the most plush, luxurious, and wealthiest nation in the world. When you find that Katrina, the devastating part about Katrina, that we had people living in squalor and blight and want in Mississippi, in New Orleans and in the Mississippi Delta belt just as though they were in slavery in 1865. This is the exposure. Now, getting to take care of them, yes, little short there. You were tardy. But to recognize what it is now, and to have a mayor down there, that's Nagin, and they've got the money that they have put up to be able to do –"

Cavuto interrupted. "What do you think of Mayor Nagin?"

"I like Nagin," said King about New Orleans' controversial mayor. "I think sometimes, he, you know, he steps over the bar, but so's do everybody else. You know what I mean? I think he's down there. He got reelected. He stood the test of time."

King has given a lot of money for hurricane relief, something approaching a half mil, according to Cavuto, who then pointed out that King’s money, and the missing billions funneled from the government, seems not to have made it to New Orleans.

"That's a problem that we have to really try to get at," King said. "You know what I mean? To find out where the organizational dis-structure is, and put it into a proper fitting."

A good answer, but maybe not the answer Cavuto was looking for, because he asked King if he thought that money had been stolen.

"No, I don't think. It may, it may," King repeated, "being misplaced or not going through the pipelines as readily as it should. And I think that's where our attention should be. Just as we have all of these great organizations, the FBI, the CIA, Interpol, and the IRS, we ought to have enough brains to find out how to funnel and channel money back to where the necessary – "

Caputo interrupted again to press his point. "I've been down there, Don," he said with feeling. "They (the people) all say, 'God, we hate 'em (politicians) all.' Do you think that's justified?"

There’s nothing Don King likes better than a good game of softball on a Tuesday afternoon.

"No, that's not justified," was King's short answer. Then he elaborated: "What we need to do is to find out what the problem is and attack that problem, which, you know, you have just demonstrated. And we must be able to resolve that – you know what I mean? Because this is a country of the people, for the people, and by the people. And, and this, this country here is one of the greatest nations in the world, called America. And so, now we should be able – with all of the MIT graduates, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cambridge, Oxford – we should be able to identify what the problem is, and resolve the problem by handling it appropriately, not through making speeches and attacking the President because he's to, he's to blame for everything from the Johnstown Flood, to World War II, to the Lindbergh kidnapping. Anything that they can find, when they can't deal with it, they jump on George Walker Bush. But let me tell you this. Even the Democrats that are castigating, vilifying, and character-assassinating him are so happy when they go to bed to know that they have a man in the White House that says what he means and means what he says, and resolves the protection of this nation."

Cavuto told King that 90% of all African-American voters voted for Kerry, or against Bush, in the last presidential election, and so King’s embrace of Bush seems an anomaly at best, cynicism at worst.

King said that African-Americans had been "indoctrinated" and "totally bamboozled," but that "it will jibe once they understand. Bush has made inclusiveness. You know, he had Colin Powell. And there's the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, as to security. You know, now, either Bush is totally insane, or he put two blacks – who are shiftless, worthless, no account, that we all lie, cheat and steal – you know what I mean? – into positions of security, for both those who are proponents of America and those who are opponents of America. And so, he is either a man of God. Now, you know that Moses, you know, God told Moses to go to the, to the pharaohs, say, 'Let my people go.' Well, he touched George Walker Bush, and said, 'Let my people in.'"

King and Cavuto took a second to plug the October 7 heavyweight title fight between the Russian Giant Valuev and Monte Barrrett in Chicago. Then Cavuto tried to sign off, but not before Don King said, "I love you, Neil."

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