June 9th, 2010
03:41 PM ET
4 years ago

Gibbs defends Obama's language

(CNN) – White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Wednesday there have been no second thoughts over President Obama's coarse language directed at oil giant BP earlier in the week.

"No, I have not heard any regrets about the language," Gibbs told reporters in his daily White House briefing.

Obama's eye-brow raising comments came in an interview with NBC earlier in the week when he said he was talking with several experts about the Gulf oil spill so "I know whose ass to kick."

"I was down there a month ago, before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the Gulf. A month ago I was meeting with fishermen down there, standing in the rain talking about what a potential crisis this could be," said Obama in defense of his reaction to the crisis. "And I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar; we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick."

Gibbs also said he was not aware the White House had recieved any complaints about the comments.


Filed under: President Obama • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Angus McDugan

    Oh please! Spike Lee told Obama to do it and Obama did it. It is all PR and Obama couldn't be taken seriously trying to act tough. He was told to show emotion and that is what he tried to do.

    June 9, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Angus McDugan

    One more thing. The only reason Gibbs is talking about this is to try and remind / reinforce everyone that Obama is trying to show emotion.

    June 9, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. rdepontb

    Better than "so I know whose ass to wipe" would have been.

    June 9, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. Indiana Voter

    He is lying!.

    June 9, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. EDW

    And...I'm OK with that. Next story please.

    June 9, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. katiec

    President Obama cannot win regardless of what he does. They accuse him of being too laid back, then when he shows emotion they are up in arms about that.
    The republicans have become a pathetic group who can do nothing but point fingers, lie, show outrageous hypocrasty and obstruct.
    They are a disgrace to our political system and for our country.

    June 9, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. Rita Nalette

    POTUS using the vernacular ain't as offensive as devastating oil spill.

    June 9, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Larry

    Uhhh, anybody here ever heard of a guy named Harry Truman? Get a life America, and especially you, news media. Must be a slow news day.....Oh, I'm constipated.....How 'bout that for news?

    June 9, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Paul from Phoenix

    The biggest problem I have...not with the manguage, but that it took him 40 days to say it. The rest of America was saying this after 48 hours! Way to be on top of things.

    June 9, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. barbara

    very un-presidential, unprofessional and almost thuggish. Definately shows his youth, inexperience, disrespect and arrogance. i am ashamed of him.

    June 9, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    What language? Gimme a break... They say worse than this on TV....

    I wish these stupid republicans and right-wing nutters would get off Obama's back and start supporting this country...

    June 9, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Naqib

    "I was down there a month ago" – 20 days after it happened

    "And I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar" – No... you go to campaign and rock star parties!

    50 Days later and he's scrambling to divert attention off the fact he's lame.... can we get back to fixing the problem PLEASE!

    "so I know whose ass to kick." – How about the people that made them drill in a mile deep water... instead of say... 90 FT? But don't worry... we will all take care of that this Nov... and Nov 2012!

    June 9, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. Rick

    Nice to know our president was down there a month ago checking on this, yet still has done nothing.

    June 9, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Get A Grip

    "No, I have not heard any regrets about the language,"

    Well, of course not. This is the way Chicago thug politics works and this administration is full of it.

    June 9, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. Allen Hussein

    Mr. President:

    Now that you know whose backside to kick, get busy and start planting some 10-D's into those who need it! If you need a workpit, plant some in the Republican congressional delegation as well!

    June 9, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. sonny chapman

    He's too passive, he's too aggressive; WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT!! Start acting & talking like grown ups instead of a bunch of 5th Graders !

    June 9, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. Chris August

    The oil crisis in the Gulf has been skewed. This IS a socio-geographical disaster NOT a political issue. The stakes are human and impacts the well being of this planet that we as human beings share, co-operatively, with everything living and non-living in existence and the responsibility to own our mistakes and fix them are imperative for the well being of everything that shares the inhabitance of this planet. To distract the populace with political scheming is not only irresponsible but counter-productive and mind numbingly evil.

    June 9, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  18. Minnesotan

    I wonder how many complaints the white house got when Dick Cheney told Reid to go F himself. Some how the GOP will characterize this incident as WORSE than what Dick Cheney did, but when you think about what's happening to the environment down there I can't say Obama didn't use the correct discriptive language.

    June 9, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    The GOP complains when the President is too calm and cool and they complain when he's more outspoken, do you see a pattern here? No matter what the President does or say, the GOP complains, but I think we can fix that.

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.

    June 9, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. DOBBS RETURNS

    Yes...and Obama didn't know enough to come in from the rain or
    at least use an umbrella down there.

    June 9, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. J.T.

    My President is gangsta!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 9, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!! Making sure "whose ass to kick" IS OFFENSIVE????????????

    OFFENSIVE IS:

    SC State Rep., saying we already "have a rag head in the White House, we don't need one in the governor's mansion."

    Its Rand Paul saying that he would not have supported the Civil Rights Act!

    Its the daily assault by AM Hate-radio on our Nation's unity!

    Having President Obama kicking BP's ass, would be great!

    June 9, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    President Obama didn't whisper "I know whose ass to kick", he made sure the mic was on. Unlike Bush who was whispering cuss words in front of World Leaders and had to be told by Tony Blair the mic was on.

    June 9, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. Georgia Peach, Atlanta

    GOP Media: Where's the outrage, Obama?

    Mainstream Media: No Shock Barack aka No Drama Obama over oil spill

    Teapartiers: Finally we see the President for what he is: "The Angry Black Man" aka Rev. Wright. See 15 sec Obama soundbyte of Obummer cursing on Hannity, O'Reilly, Greta Van Sustern every night for the next 5 months until Midterm eletions.

    June 9, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. FM

    To my opinion the language the President used is not offensive. He is frustrated like any other person. He does not trust Hayward at all and it was wise thing not to to talk to him.
    Here is why:
    1. This is the man (Hayward) who lied about the amount of oil leaking
    2. This is the man who paraded people to seem been working when he heard the President is going down there.
    3. This is the man who wants his life back while his own people (11 workers) lost their own lives.
    4. This is the man who was not ready to release the video of leaking oil until he was forced.
    5. This is the man who cares about the reputation of his own company (making ads worthy 50 million) without considering those who lost their small business because of his negligence. And so on and so forth.
    How can the President take his words credible by talking with him. It could have been totally lies and wastage of precious time of the President.

    June 9, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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