Well...it 's hard to "defend scientists and local officials from criticism that they had miscalculated the path of the hurricane", since they did, in fact, miscalculate the path of the hurricane. And a defense against an unreasonable demand for accuracy would be welcome, since the fact seems to be that hurricanes are hard to forecast with current tools. But what Jeb actually said comes across a lot more like serves them right for daring to predict, and you-all for listening to them, too. I wonder if the National Weather Service considers that a "defense".
The president's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), surveyed the devastation by helicopter. Visiting relief workers in Punta Gorda, he defended scientists and local officials from criticism that they had miscalculated the path of the hurricane, which had been expected to hit the more heavily populated Tampa Bay region nearly 100 miles to the north.
"God doesn't follow the linear projections of computer models," Bush told reporters here outside the emergency management center, whose roof caved in during the hurricane. "This is God's way of telling us that He's almighty and we're mortal."
(Seen at Slate's Today's Papers,with the word "defend" repeated by weekend TP writer Alexander Barnes Dryer.)