U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain has criticized the leader of his own party, saying the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was "disgraceful."
The Arizona senator and presumptive Republican nominee Thursday also criticized the government bureaucracy that he said delayed recovery efforts along the devastated U.S. Gulf Coast.
McCain made the comments after touring an area of the southern city of New Orleans, Louisiana. He was joined by the southern state's governor, Bobby Jindal, to see how the area is still struggling.
He later addressed voters and took questions at a town hall meeting at nearby Xavier University.
The visit is part of his week-long tour of areas struggling economically -- what his campaign calls the "forgotten" parts of the United States.
Separately, McCain asked the North Carolina Republican Party not to run a television advertisement that calls Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama "too extreme" for the eastern state. He said the commercial distracts from the issues and is not the type of campaigning he wants to do.
On the Democratic side, New York Senator Hillary Clinton is holding events in North Carolina, while rival Obama, an Illinois senator, has taken the day off from campaigning.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.