12/05/2013 08:23 pm ET | Updated Dec 06, 2013

Obama Says FEMA Director Craig Fugate Is 'Doing A Heck Of A Job,' Unlike His Predecessor

MSNBC host Chris Matthews asked President Barack Obama what he had to say about growing skepticism on the part of the American people during a Thursday interview airing on "Hardball," noting that trust in the executive branch has dropped by more than 50 percent over the last 50 years.

Obama explained that far more attention is drawn to "screw-ups" than successes when it comes to the performance of the executive branch.

"So let's take the example of Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA. We got a guy who's been in charge -- Craig Fugate, who has managed as many natural disasters over the last five years as just about anybody and has done a flawless job," Obama said.

"Not like his predecessor," Matthews said, taking a stab at former FEMA director Michael Brown.

Brown resigned only days after being praised by former President George W. Bush for doing a "heckuva job" responding to Hurricane Katrina. He's since been remembered for his failed response to the devastating storm in 2005.

"He is doing a heck of a job," Obama said of Fugate, referencing Bush's infamous praise. "And that's not just my opinion. That's the opinion of every governor and mayor that works with him, including Republicans. And if, in fact, we go in after Sandy or after the tornadoes in Oklahoma or Missouri and we're helping a lot of people effectively and quickly, and they're getting what they need, nobody hears about that."


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