By Pete Kasperowicz - 10/30/12 05:12 PM EDT
"[He] doesn't want anybody to accuse him of not being on top of it or not paying attention or playing politics in the middle of it," Brown said. "He probably figured Sunday was a good day to do a press conference."
Brown added that the message Obama should have sent is one that says the administration will help FEMA with whatever it needs to handle the effect of the hurricane. Obama largely said that on Sunday, when he said the government needs to "respond big" to the storm and that he would not let the process of responding get "bogged down in a lot of rules."
Brown, famously dubbed "Brownie" by Bush, was harshly criticized by both Democrats and Republicans for the way FEMA handled Hurricane Katrina in 2005. That storm left New Orleans residents in a chaotic struggle to find food, clean water and shelter, and FEMA was widely seen as reacting too slowly to that event.
The Bush administration was also criticized for appointing Brown to lead FEMA when he had no disaster relief experience. Brown was relieved of his control over the Katrina response after just a few weeks.
Brown later criticized state-level officials and former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin for failing to evacuate New Orleans quickly enough. Brown said cities in Mississippi and Alabama were evacuated on time, and added that his "biggest mistake" was not realizing that Louisiana was "dysfunctional."