GOP senator: Bush handled Katrina better than Obama handling spill

President George W. Bush displayed better leadership during Hurricane Katrina than President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaTrump's new debate challenge: Silence WATCH LIVE: Obama speaks at African American Museum opening Obama talks racial tension at African-American museum opening MORE has during the oil-spill crisis, a Republican senator said Friday.

Sen. James InhofeJames InhofeDemocrats blast GOP for ‘sabotaging’ House waterways bill GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase Week ahead: Flint aid fight shifts to House MORE (R-Okla.) compared the two disasters to have devastated the Gulf Coast, especially in Louisiana, inasmuch as he thought Bush had handled his crisis better.

"Remember the criticism George Bush got during Katrina? They said it was a lack of leadership," Inhofe told the conservative Newsmax magazine in an interview. "Let me tell you, that leadership looks pretty good right now."

Republicans have been somewhat reluctant to explicitly link the Gulf of Mexico oil crisis to Hurricane Katrina, a major natural disaster for which Bush was heavily criticized for a perceived lack of responsiveness.

Some Republicans have panned Obama's response to the current crisis as too slow, but have been loath to specifically invoke a comparison to Katrina. The president has won some praise from other Republicans like Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleySenate rivals gear up for debates Grassley pulling away from Dem challenger Overnight Finance: McConnell offers 'clean' funding bill | Dems pan proposal | Flint aid, internet measure not included | More heat for Wells Fargo | New concerns on investor visas MORE (Iowa), who said that Obama had taken charge of the crisis.

“This is the first time he’s had a really tough test, and he flunked. It’s not just me that is saying he’s provided no leadership," Inhofe said, pointing to the criticism Obama faced from some commentators on MSNBC following his Oval Office address on Tuesday night.

That speech, the conservative Inhofe said, was Obama's "worst moment" as president.