Obama Photographer Reminds Us How Presidents Used To Act During Disasters

Elyse Wanshel
US President Barack Obama comforts Hurricane Sandy survivor in Brigantine, New Jersey, on October 31, 2012. (JEWEL SAMAD via Getty Images)

Former White House photographer Pete Souza, who has taken to trolling President Donald Trump with images of former President Barack Obama’s administration, landed another blow this week.

Following Trump’s Tuesday visit to storm-ravaged Texas, in which the president sought to keep the focus on himself, Souza posted an archival photo of Obama to Instagram, showing the former president comforting a Hurricane Sandy survivor after the devastating 2012 storm.

“There are no Democrats or Republicans hurting in Houston; there are just Americans,” Souza wrote in the caption. “At a time like this, it shouldn’t be about selling baseball hats or commenting on crowd size. It’s about helping our fellow human beings.”

Later Wednesday, Souza posted a photo of Obama greeting survivors of a tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri, in 2011.

Souza quoted remarks Obama made during a memorial service for tornado victims in which he mentioned that some circumstances, like natural disasters, are beyond our control.

“But that does not mean we are powerless in the face of adversity,” Obama said. “How we respond when the storm strikes is up to us. How we live in the aftermath of tragedy and heartache, that’s within our control. And it’s in these moments, through our actions, that we often see the glimpse of what makes life worth living in the first place.”

Other previous presidents, including George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, also comforted survivors after tragedies.

After Hurricane Katrina, former President George W. Bush hugged a hurricane victim whose home was destroyed in Biloxi, Mississippi. (Win McNamee via Getty Images)
In 1992, Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida. Here, Bill Clinton, then a Democratic presidential candidate, visited survivors in Florida City, Florida. (ROBERT SULLIVAN via Getty Images)

Tropical Storm Harvey has wreaked havoc in Texas and Louisiana since Friday, causing catastrophic flooding that has killed dozens of people, caused widespread injuries and damaged property that will take years to rebuild. 

Trump repeatedly wore his campaign merchandise to Harvey events. He bragged about the Texas crowds that showed up to see him, marveled at the size of the storm, and praised his administration’s response ― even though the government’s relief effort is just beginning.

Obama, on the other hand, tweeted this about Harvey:

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.