Mayor Ray Nagin was on the phone with Dayside today. Present in the studio were Montel Williams, Juliette Huddy and Steve Doocy.
Huddy: On the phone right now is Mayor Ray Nagin. Good to have you on the phone with us sir.
Nagin: Good to be here.
Huddy: All right. So we saw you explaining what you meant by, by “Chocolate City”. You’ve been getting some flack for that. We have an email: “His comments are inflamatory and inappropriate. Imagine a white mayor referring to his city as a vanilla city.” We’ve recieved a few of those. But are you okay with your comments? Do you feel like you have any regrets about making them?
Nagin: Let me just kind of quickly get to the three issues that I was trying to communicate yesterday. First of all, I was trying to get a message that African-Americans are welcome in the city of New Orleans. Secondarily, I was talking about the violence that happened the day before, and thirdly, this whole undercurrent of who should come back and who shouldn’t come back.
I used some analogies and probably didn’t hit the mark on my message, but I never intended to offend anyone. And I think if they look at the entire context of what I said they’ll understand the points I was trying to make.
Williams: Mr. Mayor, it’s Montel here. You know we know each other and I gotta make this comment, there’s a lot of anger based on what you said yesterday, but let’s stop for a second and remember that Hillary Rodham Clinton, the day before, called the entire Republican party a plantation. Okay? So, what we’ve now proven is that politicians sometimes shoot from the hip. I’ll bet you Mayor Nagin would like to take some of those comments back and re-do them and say them exactly like he said them here.
Huddy: What did you say Mayor?
Nagin: Especially the God comment. If I could take anything back, that’s what I would take back.
Doocy: So the comment that you made where you said that God was mad at the United States for invading Iraq, you would like a do-over on that?
Nagin: I would like to take those back because that was a private conversation that I had with a minister a few weeks ago and for some reason at the moment that came forth.
Williams: The spirit hits you. You know, I was down in New Orleans and saw Mayor Nagin enduring Katrina, I was down there five days after, worked with this man, talking with this man. Like a lot of politicians in America, and I’m not saying this as a negative to you sir, but a lot of politicians get caught up in the moment, they’re caught up in the fever. He was caught up, he made some statements that he shouldn’t have made. I think now that we can understand that he’s at least willing to back up and say ‘I made a mistake’.