03/09/2006 AT 8:00 AM ET
Country-music heavyweights Faith Hill and Tim McGraw let loose with their feelings about the Hurricane Katrina cleanup effort Wednesday, calling the slow-going work “embarrassing” and “humiliating,” ABC News reports.
The husband-and-wife stars were in Nashville to discuss their upcoming Soul2Soul II Tour, but when reporters asked about the cleanup efforts in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast, both responded with emotions that ranged from rage to sadness.
“To me, there’s a lot of politics being played and a lot of people trying to put people in bad positions to further their agendas,” McGraw told ABC.
The 38-year-old singer, a Louisiana native, said politicizing cleanup based on race or economic status is “the most wrong thing.” “That erases everything that’s great about our country,” McGraw said.
A clearly frustrated Hill, who is a native of Jackson, Miss., broke down at one point, swearing and calling the government’s efforts “screwed up.”
“It is a huge, huge problem and it’s embarrassing,” Hill said. “I fear for our country if we can’t handle our people (during) a natural disaster.”
The criticism was uncharacteristic of either performer, both of whom usually avoid political discussions, although both have been active in raising money and volunteering for Katrina cleanup efforts.
McGraw singled out President Bush directly, wondering aloud why the leader of the free world can’t hold someone accountable for the cleanup.
Bush was in New Orleans Wednesday, where he toured some of the areas hardest hit by Katrina and encountered protesters and criticized Congress for “shortchanging the process” of rebuilding the city, the Associated Press reports.