During his speech on Tuesday night, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal related this story about a conversation he allegedly had with a Sheriff during Hurricane Katrina:
Well, it turns out that it wasn’t exactly true:
A spokeswoman for Bobby Jindal says the Louisiana governor didn’t imply that an anecdote about battling bureaucrats during Katrina directly involved the governor or took place during the heat of a fight to release rescue boats.
The spokeswoman, Melissa Sellers, said the story Jindal told in his response to Obama actually took place some days later in Lee’s office — though still in Katrina’s chaotic aftermath — as Lee was “recounting” his frustrations with the bureaucracy to someone else on the telephone.
“It was days later,” Sellers said. “Sheriff Lee was on the phone and the governor came down to visit him. It wasn’t that they were standing right down there with the boats.”
She said she didn’t know who Lee, who died in 2007, was on the phone, about the incident with the boats when the governor described him as yelling into the phone.
UPDATE: I’d initially misunderstood Sellers to be saying Jindal and Lee didn’t meet while rescue efforts were still underway. In fact, she said, the conversation took place in the aftermath of the storm, but after the boat incident.
“Bobby and I walked into Harry Lee’s office – he’s yelling on the phone about a decision he’s already made,” Jindal chief of staff Timmy Teepell recalled. “He’s saying, ‘This is a decision I made, and if you don’t like it you can come and arrest me.’”
Teepell said the exchange took place in the week following Katrina, when Jindal visited Jefferson Parish multiple times.