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McGraw, Hill blast Katrina cleanup efforts

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Tim McGraw and Faith Hill met with reporters to talk about their upcoming tour, but ended up venting their frustration with the cleanup efforts along the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Hill, who grew up in Jackson, Miss., and McGraw, a native of Delhi, La., have spent time in the devastated areas helping with relief efforts and raising money for victims.

When asked by reporters during Wednesday's round table about the government's slow progress, Hill, 38, said, ``It's wrong. It's embarrassing. It really gets us fired up. That's our homeland.''

McGraw blamed state and federal politics for hampering efforts to get adequate shelter, food and supplies to victims.

The 38-year-old country singer also criticized President Bush, who visited the devastated Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans on Wednesday.

``There's no reason why someone can't go down there _ who's supposed to be the leader of the free world _ and say, `I'm giving you a job to do and I'm not leaving here until it's done. And you're held accountable,''' he said.

Later in the news conference, McGraw let out a stream of frustration, growling, ``I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore.''

The couple were married in 1996.

When asked what their fans could do to help, McGraw said: ``Vote.''

The Associated Press obtained a recording of the round table, which was held for radio media to promote their upcoming ``Soul2Soul II'' tour.

Earlier in the day, the Academy of Country Music announced Hill and McGraw's nomination for vocal event of the year for their duet ``Like We Never Loved at All.''
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