Mitt and Ann Romney joined Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Friday to tour hurricane-damaged areas around New Orleans.
Romney said they made the trip to see the extent of the damage caused by Hurricane Isaac earlier this week and "obviously to draw attention" to the impact "so that people around the country know that people down here need help."
Jindal said at a press conference that he invited both Romney and President Obama to visit Louisiana and tour the damage, according to multiple reports.
Obama will be in Louisiana on Monday to meet with local officials and view ongoing response and recovery efforts to the storm, according to the White House. White House press secretary Jay Carney said the decision for Obama to visit Louisiana was made before Romney announced his trip.
"The president of the United States is always welcome in Louisiana," Jindal said at the press conference, but did not offer further specifics on meetings or areas the president plans to tour.
"We're thrilled to have both these leaders here," he said. "We are not talking politics."
Jindal, early in the week, criticized Obama for not doing enough to help Louisiana's preparation for the storm. Obama declared a state of emergency for Louisiana on Monday, making federal funding available immediately. But Jindal said it didn't “provide for reimbursement of expenses that the state is taking to prepare for the storm.”
Obama, in a televised statement on Tuesday, urged residents of the region who had been ordered to evacuate “to listen to local officials and follow their directions."
“Now is not the time to tempt fate," he said.
Despite that, Jindal told Romney that many residents who should have evacuated the area they toured remained through the storm, according to reports from press traveling with the GOP presidential nominee.
Romney officially accepted the GOP nomination on Thursday. Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThis obscure Senate rule could let VP Mike Pence fully repeal ObamaCare once and for all Sharron Angle to challenge GOP rep in Nevada Fox's Watters asks Trump whom he would fire: Baldwin, Schumer or Zucker MORE (D-Nev.) blasted Romney and his running mate Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanFox News host promoted by Trump calls on Paul Ryan to step down Dan Rather: Failure to repeal ObamaCare most 'staggering loss' so early in a term Sunday shows preview: Aftermath of failed healthcare bill MORE (R-Wis.) on Friday, calling it "the height of hypocrisy" to show sympathy for hurricane victims when their policies would “gut disaster funding.”
The Romney campaign said it is sad that Reid is playing politics with a tragic event.
“Paul Ryan believes providing aid to victims of natural disasters is a critical obligation and should be treated as a high priority within a fiscally responsible budget," Ryan's spokesman Brendan Buck said in a statement. "It’s sad that some see these heartbreaking events as opportunities to distort his record and play politics.”