President Obama is praising the people of Hurricane Katrina-ravaged New Orleans for not giving up and says the influx of new people wanting to build a better city is a powerful sign of progress.
He toured portions of New Orleans Thursday to hear directly about residents' four-year-long struggle to recover from the devastating storm that hammered the city and large portions of the Gulf Coast.
It's Obama's sixth visit to the city since Katrina, and first since becoming president. Obama did not include the Mississippi Gulf Coast, which took a direct hit from Katrina, in his visit.
The president told a town hall meeting he was gratified by all the people who are "eager to build something better in place of what was."
Obama says he makes no excuses for the fact that the federal government didn't work effectively with state and local officials in the aftermath of the storm four years ago. But he says his administration is "working around the clock to clean up red tape and eliminate bureaucracy."