POLITICS

Rick Snyder Booed In Flint During Obama Visit

He basically admitted it was the right response.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder pauses as he speaks at Flint Northwestern High School on Wednesday. He apologized during his speech
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder pauses as he speaks at Flint Northwestern High School on Wednesday. He apologized during his speech for the city's ongoing water crisis. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Flint residents booed Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) on Wednesday as he addressed a crowd at a local high school during a visit from President Barack Obama

The booing started as soon as the governor approached his lectern at the event, where Obama was scheduled to speak later. 

"He was instantly and loudly booed by the entire crowd when his name was announced and as he came to the podium," Michael D. Shear of The New York Times wrote in a pool report. 

"Let me begin by saying I understand why you are angry and frustrated," Snyder said, according to the pool report. "I want to come here today to apologize."

The boos continued.

Detroit Free Press reporter Regina Boone posted a video to Instagram showing the crowd continuing to jeer at the governor as he ended his remarks: 

Snyder-appointed emergency managers oversaw Flint switching its drinking water source to the Flint River in April 2014. The city had been purchasing water from Detroit for decades. Residents immediately complained that the new water smelled and tasted bad, but state officials insisted it was fine. Only after research showed rising lead levels in Flint children last fall did the city and state admit they'd caused a crisis. Snyder has apologized repeatedly. 

Democrats have continuously hammered Snyder for his handling of the water crisis. 

"The state and their appointees caused the situation, and it's very concerning that we don't see the same sense of urgency or the same full-throttle support to get things done coming from the state," Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) told The Huffington Post earlier on Wednesday. "Right now the state has the primary responsibility to fix the water pipes. They caused the problem."

Obama visited Flint to draw more attention to the city's water woes and recovery. Testing shows Flint's water is still unsafe, but Obama said people can drink from their taps as long as they use filters

Since 2014, the water has had high levels of lead that leached out of the city's aging water pipes. Snyder's government told Flint not to treat the water with chemicals designed to reduce pipe corrosion.

Lead exposure can cause brain damage in children and a host of health problems in adults.

 
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