May 29th, 2010
10:34 AM ET
5 years ago

White House says Carville doesn’t know all the facts

Gibbs says Carville doesn’t fully understand what the administration is doing in response to the BP oil spill.
Gibbs says Carville doesn’t fully understand what the administration is doing in response to the BP oil spill.

(CNN) – James Carville doesn’t know all the facts, the White House says.

Amid repeated criticism from the Democratic strategist and CNN contributor over the president’s response to the BP oil spill, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters Friday Carville doesn’t “understand all of what we’re doing.”

“Truthfully, I think the president answered this yesterday. I think people - I don’t think James understands all of what we’re doing. I don’t think James understood the facts,” said Gibbs on board Air Force One when asked what the president thinks that some supporters like Carville have been critical of the administration’s response to the crisis.  In a press conference Thursday, Obama insisted he and his administration understood the magnitude of the crisis from day one.

Related: Obama promises support to oil-stricken region

Carville, a Louisiana native, has repeatedly said the president is not being tough enough on BP for its bungled response to the massive leak in the Gulf Coast.

"BP is not the equal of the United States government," Carville told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King earlier this week. "And this president needs to tell BP: I'm your daddy, I'm in charge. You're going to do what we say."

After completing a tour of oil soaked wetlands on the Louisiana coast Wednesday, an emotional Carville also told CNN, "We need some action here, and we need to get this thing moving very quickly.”

Carville also expounded on his criticisms Friday while giving the commencement address at LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center.

“I don’t like criticizing the president,” he said. “My goal is to make our case — you don’t understand what this is — the magnitude of it…if he’s getting poor advice — if he’s not understanding the nature of what’s going on — then I have to hold him accountable too.”


Filed under: James Carville • President Obama
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Linda

    I understand Carvilles' emotional response. After all this disaster is affecting his home state. However, his response is just that, emotional. He's not thinking clearly. Emotions have clearly taken over his reasoning. And he's wrong in this case. Mr. Obama is not Superman.

    May 29, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. Patty Patriot

    Well, well, looks like the obama regime is going to eat their own. Time for Carville to say bye bye to this bunch of corrupt criminals.

    May 29, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. Dr_Noo

    The administration doesn't want the same level of criticism that was hurled at Bush for Katrina. Obama wants BP to wear the bullseye for this disaster.

    May 29, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. pam

    I say James Carville and everyone else needs to shut up !!!!!!!!!!

    May 29, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. dc

    Caville and CNN have succeeded in scare off tourist, you would think all beaches are effective with the oil spill. In time of an emegency you want a leader/strategist to remain calm to think our way out of this complicated mess. James Caville flunk this test.

    May 29, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  6. Joan

    There's a time and a place for constuctive criticism. Ranting and raving emotionally draws more attention to the person who is ranting than to the issue itself. What kind of example is he sending to his daughters? If you're not happy with something just go ahead and lose your temper, criticize everyone involved and pull a public temper tantrum until you get your way. A former credible pundit has now become a member of the Beck, Dobbs, Limbaugh Club. He would have gotten more positive results if he had calmly and clearly voiced his concerns and he probably had enough clout to contact the administration directly. Something tells me he has now lost that clout. His Republican wife must be so proud of him. The doom and gloom reports by Carville and others in the media made so many people think that the whole Gulf area is a disaster area and they cancelled vacations to the area. If only three beaches in Louisiana are closed it can't be that bad yet. The number of resorts and businesses who suffered because of this negative reporting is truly shameful. The reporting about this horrible event needs to be truthful and not exaggerated unnecessarily.

    May 29, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  7. w l jones

    The more knowledge a person attain the sooner he or she leant that if I knew so much about pluging this oil leak I would go to BP... this is what I would do to stop this leak in this numbers hours. A good solider do not do criticise his or her leader in public.

    May 29, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  8. jeff jackson, alabama

    Just like people didn't understand all
    that "W" was doing after Katrina.
    Hypocrits !!!!!

    May 29, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
1 2 3 4