Bush talks with a Katrina
evacuee in Baker, Lousiniana.
BERLIN, Germany (Reuters) -- A conservative German minister in a southern state
has caused uproar by saying U.S. President George W. Bush should be "shot
down" for his handling of the crisis in hurricane-struck New Orleans.
Andreas Renner, Social Minister in Germany's southern state of Baden-Wuertemberg,
clarified later that he had only meant Bush should be downed politically.
During a visit to a local company on Tuesday, Renner said of Bush: "He
ought to be shot down."
He later retracted the remark, saying he meant Bush should be shot down "in
a political sense", according to the Reutlinger General-Anzeiger newspaper.
Opposition Social Democrat (SPD) politicians in the state called for his resignation,
noting conservatives were quick to call for the resignation in 2002 of a former
SPD national justice minister, Herta Daeubler-Gmelin, who according to press
reports compared Bush to Hitler.
Daeubler-Gmelin is reported to have said that by threatening to attack Iraq,
"Bush wants to distract attention from his domestic political problems.
That's a favorite method. Hitler did that too."
She was later replaced.
Renner's Christian Democrat Party (CDU) is traditionally close to the United
States and has openly supported the Bush administration in marked contrast to
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.