Cassidy defends 'hostage' comment about Flint, Michigan
WASHINGTON - Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy is defending his comment that people in his flood-ravaged state deserve immediate help and should not be held "hostage" to Flint, Michigan, where residents are struggling with lead-poisoned water.
The Republican told National Public Radio that Flint residents can be taken care of after the election, while flood victims in Louisiana need immediate help.
Cassidy said lawmakers "shouldn't hold folks who right now still have mud in their house ... hostage to other people's grief."
Democrats call the remark insensitive and say it minimizes the suffering of Flint families, who have been drinking bottled water for more than a year.
Cassidy tells The Associated Press that he did not mean to "take a shot at Flint" and supports federal aid for the city.