U.S. Senator David Vitter says Senate Majority leader Harry Reid is an idiot for saying that Hurricane Katrina was nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New England after Hurricane Sandy.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

On the Senate floor Friday, Reid said that "the people of New Orleans and that area, they were hurt - but nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New York and New Jersey."

"Sadly, Harry Reid has again revealed himself to be an idiot, this time gravely insulting Gulf Coast residents. Both Katrina and Sandy were horribly destructive storms that caused real human misery. And by most any measure, Katrina was our worst natural disaster in history," Vitter said.



Looking at the numbers provided by the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina caused 1,833 deaths and over $108 billion in damage. Hurricane Sandy caused 131 deaths and $65 billion in damage.

"It's never a good idea to make those comparisons but it's particularly not a good idea when you get it exactly wrong," says Vitter, who is the ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee.

Vitter says the comment is par for the course for Reid and is calling on the Nevada Senator to apologize to the people of the Gulf Coast:

I think that would be very appropriate because what he said was just outright untrue and he's just really an idiot for saying it...I think (it's) just crazy and really hurtful to the people of the Gulf Coast.

United States Senator Mary Landrieu, (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Senator Mary Landrieu has issued a statement on her facebook page in defense of Sen. Reid:

Leader Reid misspoke and he has clarified his statement. Sen. Reid has been a strong advocate for the Gulf Coast’s recovery after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. I am confident that he will continue to provide extraordinary leadership and support to the people of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast moving forward, as well as champion the needs of the people of the East Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.