Sharron Angle Spokesperson Denies She Wanted To Withhold Aid From Hurricane Katrina Victims

09/02/2010 12:04 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Sam Stein Senior Politics Editor, The Huffington Post

Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle is clarifying -- but not backing down from -- comments she made questioning the timing and composition of the aid package Congress passed five years ago for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

In a statement to the Huffington Post, Angle's spokesman, Jarrod Agen stressed that Angle had not, in fact, argued that, "Katrina victims should not receive aid." Rather "unlike Harry Reid, Sharron would want to know where tax dollars are going and who is spending it before voting in favor of any spending bill," Agen said.

The clarification comes after Angle has absorbed more than a few blows for offering what appeared to be an argument against the expedited passage of a $62 billion aid package for Katrina victims back in 2005.

"I think government needs to live within its means," Angle said during an interview with conservative radio station KLAV shortly after the hurricane hit five years ago. "I would like to go and join my voice with Mike Pence and others, who when the $62 billion came out to be spent on Katrina relief, he said wait a minute, I'm voting no, and the reason is because I want to know where it's going, what it's going to be spent on, and who's going to be spending it. So I'd like to join my voice there."

Angle's remarks were unearthed by Democratic opponents shortly before the five-year anniversary of the hurricane's landfall. And they earned the Nevada Republican some sharp rebukes among officials from the Gulf region.

"It really makes you pause for a second and wonder whether you are dealing with somebody that's rational and thoughtful and can somehow balance principle with the need for compassion," said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Asked about that segment, Agen insisted that Landrieu had misconstrued Angle's words and broader point.

"Sharron did not say what Mayor Landrieu claims she said," he said. "In the quote from 2005, she clearly said that government needs to live within its means and that she agreed with needing to know where the money is going, what its going to be spent on, and who's going to spend it."