(CNN) – Republican Marco Rubio called the massive oil slick headed toward the Gulf Coast “a crisis” but the Senate hopeful refused to criticize the Obama administration’s response to the oil spill.
Watch: Rubio on the oil spill
“I want to be fair to the administration,” the former Florida House Speaker said in an interview that airs Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.
Rubio told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that it appears much of the early information provided to the federal government by BP, the company responsible for the cleanup of the oil, had been “either inaccurate or shortcoming.”
“Since that time, of course, over the last few days, we've seen the administration move aggressively and I hope aggressively enough.
“Now, they have information I don't have. They know things, perhaps, we don't know. And so during an emergency, you're always cautious not to be critical because you don't want to appear to be unfair.”
"This is an ecological disaster,” Rubio continued. “It's a crisis. It looks like it may eclipse the Exxon Valdez situation. And I hope it is dealt with quickly, rapidly, effectively, not just for Louisiana, but also for Florida.”
Rubio, once the underdog in Florida’s Senate race, has risen to national prominence in the past year with support from conservatives and the Tea Party movement. With Thursday’s announcement that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will forego the Florida GOP Senate primary, Rubio has now all but secured the GOP nod months before the primary date. On matters of policy, Rubio has been a frequent critic of President Obama and national Democrats.
Related: Rubio depicts himself as conservative with mainstream policies
A breath of fresh air. I like this guy. I can respect a Republican politician who looks at the full picture BEFORE passing judgement. No administration is perfect. We all know this, but let's try to be fair. This oil spill is a disaster not of the government's doing. I believe this administration is doing all it can in this case. BP should reimburse taxpayers at some point for this mess especially if they were not forthcoming in the first place.