UPDATED: Attention right-wing bloggers: Bush declared “major disaster” in response to 2006 Hawaii earthquake

In a blog post titled, "Obama Says 'Louisiana Purchase' in Obamacare Will Cover Earthquake in Hawaii... Um... What Earthquake in Hawaii? (Video)," Gateway Pundit blogger Jim Hoft attempted to rebut President Obama's statement that a provision in the health care reform bill that conservatives have dubbed the “Louisiana purchase” may also help Hawaii. In his post, Hoft suggested that there has not been an earthquake in Hawaii since 1975. In fact, in 2006 -- one year after Hurricane Katrina -- then-President Bush declared that “a major disaster exists in the state of Hawaii” due to “an earthquake that occurred on October 15, 2006, and related aftershocks.”

During the Fox News interview, Obama defended a provision in the Senate version of the health care bill that, in Obama's words, says that “if a state has been affected by a natural catastrophe, that has created a special health care emergency in that state, they should get help.” Obama also stated the provision “also affects Hawaii, which went through an earthquake.”

Responding to Obama, Hoft wrote:

Either Obama's completely making up stuff now or we all missed some horrible devastating earthquake in Hawaii...

President Obama said tonight that he agreed with “The Louisiana Purchase” in Obamacare because it also covered the earthquake in Hawaii:


In 1868 there was a major earthquake in Hawaii that killed 77 people. In 1975 an earthquake in Hawaii killed 2 people.

In fact, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake hit Hawaii on October 15, 2006. On October 16, 2006, Bush stated:

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Hawaii and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by an earthquake that occurred on October 15, 2006, and related aftershocks.

Federal funding is available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis in the counties of Hawaii, Honolulu, Kauai, and Maui and the City of Honolulu for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

R. David Paulison, Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Michael L. Karl as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

The Agency said that more areas and additional forms of assistance may be designated after damage assessments are fully completed in the affected areas.


UPDATE: Other conservative bloggers have picked up on the same theme. Andrew Breitbart's Breitbart.tv website linked to Hoft's piece and embedded video of Obama's comments under the headline: “Puzzling Statement: Obama Says 'Louisiana Purchase' Will Help With the Earthquake in Hawaii.” Matt Drudge has linked to the Breitbart.tv post. Additionally, Hot Air blogger Cassy Fiano wrote of Obama's reference to the Hawaii earthquake: “This moment, from Bret Baier's interview on Fox News with Obama, might just be one of the biggest 'WTF?!' moments from Obama's presidency yet. Obama is either completely making things up, living in an alternate reality, or really, really confused.”