May 2nd, 2010
09:25 AM ET
8 years ago

'This is an ecological disaster,' Rubio says of oil spill

Normally a critic of President Obama, Republican Senate hopeful Marco Rubio was cautious in assessing the White House's response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Normally a critic of President Obama, Republican Senate hopeful Marco Rubio was cautious in assessing the White House's response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

(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

soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Rich, Kankakee, IL.

    Yes it is, Why don't we have the same equipment that other countries have, why did we allow them to take short cuts, and who allowed then to cut corners?

    May 2, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  2. once upon a horse

    Duh...Rubio you really think so?? '"DRILL BABY DRILL" u betcha!

    May 2, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  3. PaulC

    The greater disaster would be for rubio's election as Senator.

    May 2, 2010 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  4. Rich, Kankakee, IL.

    Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal expressed frustration Saturday with efforts to clean up a massive oil spill creeping toward the Gulf coast, saying "we continue to be concerned with BP's ability to respond to this incident." This is the same Governor that does not believe in Volcano Science either, why does anyone take him seriously

    May 2, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  5. Anonymous

    You haven't started your rherotic yet but I know it will soon come. I Want you dam republicans to keep your stupid mouths shut until you can come up with solutions. We are sick and tired of your bull.

    May 2, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  6. Monrob

    Rubio is not Senate material.

    This Cuban politician should stay in South Florida with the rest of the Miami Mafia.

    May 2, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  7. Nice job Brownie

    Some are comparing it to Katrina.
    This looks like it will be worse.

    May 2, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  8. John TX

    The only criticism I would offer the Obama Admin. over this is if they continue to support oil offshore oil drilling. Can we at least learn something from this disaster? Yes, I'm from Texas and I'm pro-alternative energy. We need to hear the truth about what happened here and who is responsible.

    May 2, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  9. Nik

    I am tremendous Obama supporter and believe he moving this country in the right direction, helping to turn the economy around and is trying to advance a nation in direction that truly allows everyone to participate in the American dream. As a Obama supporter, I am extremely impressed by Rubio, how he handles himself, his apparent sincere honesty and integrity. Although I may disagree with some of his views, if I was a resident in FL I would seriously have to consider casting my vote for Rubio. Admittedly I do not know much about any of the candidates positions, but in every interview I have heard Rubio he is measured, calculated, and direct in his responses. Principled. That's all I can ask for out of any person running to represent the people of any district.

    May 2, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  10. brian in denver

    It's refreshing to see a fair-minded, reasonable Republican for a change. I wish the best for Mr. Rubio.

    May 2, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  11. Frozone

    The clowns that say this spill is Obama's Katrina are the same idiots saying "drill, baby, drill!" Republicans will ruin this country if we keep electing them.

    May 2, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  12. Efrain

    This guy is a smooth operator and your typical GOP insider trying to paint himself as an outsider. I guarantee you one of two things will happen if he gets to the U.S. senate. He will be in trouble before the end of his term or he will become invisible.

    May 2, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  13. Liz the First

    He wants to be fair to the administration! Wow! he'll be drummed out of the republican party any day now.

    May 2, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  14. Jstsaying

    Such a common sense, tempered response, next Marco will be giving our President a hug. LOL, whacko republicans are going to have to send Mr. Rubio to the Sarah Palin's Vitriol 101 class.

    May 2, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. La Fisherman

    What do you mean "Republican goes easy on Obama"? Who deregulated the oil companies so the Gulf could become their private toilet. Bush Cheney! CNN, this is the reason you are falling behind all the other cable channels. You report B.S. and call it news.

    May 2, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. Brian

    BP's solely responsible for this catastrophe, they have been given the chance to clean up their mess, and they can't do it. So it now comes down to the fed government to step in. Just think, teabaggers, if you had smaller gov't with a hand's off approach, they wouldn't be able to do anything here, they would leave it to BP, and BP would just continue to allow the damage to continue. Careful what you wish for...

    May 2, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  17. DJ

    I say, bring in a sub and a couple of torpedoes and send bill to BP!! Seal the hole and forget about trying to save the oil!!!

    May 2, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. ib

    I won't go easy on Obama; while he is out running around the country as usual his response has been a joke. If this had been Bush you can just picture the comments that would be made here. A lot different than we hear about King Obama you can be sure of that.

    May 2, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  19. novowel4me

    I guess "drill baby drill" is not going to be a big part of the GOP message this election cycle.

    May 2, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. Marge

    Yeah. He doesn't want to be unfair and maybe mistake falsehoods for facts. The conservatives always leave that for Fox News to handle for them.

    May 2, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  21. xfiler93

    What a disappointment. Rubio should have said that Obama was too slow after 9 days, and the first thing they did was send the lawyers!! If this was Bush, he would be nailed to the cross and the MSM would be giving wall to wall coverage of his incompetence 24 hours a day. Disgusting.

    May 2, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  22. Rush

    I love this... The GOP pushes the "Drill anywhere and everywhere" agenda, resists any and all safeguards, and then deflects the blame they deserve by "Going easy" on the President.

    How low can you go?

    May 2, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. smj

    Rubio is a Rethuglican tool and puppet. The people of FLORIDA will decide our next Senator...and it could be Gov. Crist. At least he stands up for the citizens of our state instead of special interests. This guy is an idiot.

    May 2, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. Mike Chino Hills

    The oil companies have the politicians in their pocket. So who will criticize? No one......... Isn't Obama's fault anyway. Maybe Jindle can get his geeky self out there to help.

    May 2, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  25. Duke

    Where did this guy come from. A republican who is critical of the Arizona immigration law. A republican who actually wants to be fair? He better be careful or else Rush won't like him and we all know what happens when Rush doesn't like you. They'll take his republican pin away from him. Good luck Rubio.

    May 2, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
1 2