Barbara Bush: Hurricane 'working well' for refugees

Last updated at 11:03 07 September 2005

Former First Lady Barbara Bush has come under fire from hundreds of homeless Hurricane Katrina evacuees who lost everything.

After a tour of the Houston Astrodome in Texas, she said: "So many of the people here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."

"What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality."

The President's mother was extraordinarily upbeat

as described her tour of the makeshift shelter on National Public Radio.

She added: "Almost everyone I've talked to says 'We're going to move to Houston'."

Mrs Bush accompanied her husband, former president George Bush Snr, as he launched a national fund-raising campaign with Bill Clinton.

Thousands of evacuees are being housed at the Astrodome, where they were handed food and clothing. Many are desperately searching for loved ones and anguished appeals are posted on message boards.

In a subsequent interview on CNN last night, Mrs Bush reflected again on the progress made one week since Katrina roared over the coastline.

"Look what's happened," she said.

"Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated and are in comfortable shelters."

Both Mr and Mrs Bush staunchly defended their son's response to the disaster.

"People came up to me all day long and said, 'God bless your son,' all races," she said.

Mr Bush said he did not like the criticism being levelled at his son but acknowledged that it was all part of the job.

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