Updated on August 19 at 3:55 p.m.
President Obama hasn’t broken from his Martha’s Vineyard vacation to tour the flood damage in Louisiana, so Donald Trump went instead.
The GOP nominee and his running mate, Mike Pence, landed in Baton Rouge on Friday morning and were greeted by top Republicans in the state, including the lieutenant governor and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, the third-ranking Republican in the U.S. House.
One man who did not come out to meet Trump was Louisiana’s Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards, who just a day earlier had warned the Republican not to visit Baton Rouge for “a photo-op.” The governor’s office said in a statement that Trump had not informed Edwards of his planned visit. “We welcome him to [Louisiana] but not for a photo-op,” the statement read. “Instead we hope he’ll consider volunteering or making a sizable donation to the LA Flood Relief Fund to help the victims of the storm.”
The local press in Louisiana has strongly criticized Obama for his silence on the floods, which have left 13 people dead and which the American Red Cross has called “the worst natural disaster to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy” in 2012. The president has issued disaster declarations for 20 parishes and dispatched Cabinet officials to the region, but both The Advocate in Baton Rouge and the Times-Picayune in New Orleans have called on him to make a personal visit. “A disaster this big begs for the personal presence of the president at ground zero,” The Advocate wrote. “In coming here, the president can decisively demonstrate that Louisiana’s recovery is a priority for his administration—and the United States of America.”