Dissing Pennsylvania

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WASHINGTON, DC: Responding to complaints by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge that the White House dragged its feet providing disaster assistance in the wake of devastating post-blizzard flooding in his state, presidential spokesman Mike McCurry unaccountably accused Ridge of bureaucratic ineptitude, cracking: "He ran his mouth instead of getting the work done that would have led to getting the assistance." Ridge had complained on Sunday: "We've got people dead and missing. We've got families walking around in shelters with only the clothes on their backs. We have roads under water and ice . . . But according to them, we've got flooding in basements and that's about it." Though the Administration has since declared 25 counties in the key election state disaster areas, the dispute over how quickly federal aid would arrive was still being resolved late Monday.