Washington (CNN) - Mississippi’s Republican governor, a frequent critic of President Obama, is passing up an opportunity to criticize the president’s handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Instead, Gov. Haley Barbour says he is “tickled to death” that the president will visit Mississippi on Monday.
Barbour made the comments on Friday to Chief National Correspondent John King in an interview that aired on CNN’s John King, USA.
“We’re tickled to death that he is coming Monday,” Barbour told King. “He [Obama] has known that the red carpet was out for whenever he wanted to come.”
Barbour was asked to assess the president’s handling of the deepening oil spill, the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.
“I’m not going to pile on the president,” Barbour said. “I see the polls. I can read. But it serves no purpose for me to – to criticize him and I’m not going to.” Earlier in the interview Barbour said, “I will tell you generally ... the federal government has tried hard to do everything we possibly could do.”
Barbour is considered a potential challenger for the Republican nomination for president in 2012 and frequently criticizes Obama on other issues.
One area where Barbour does not agree with the president is on the issue of temporarily halting offshore drilling. The Obama administration has imposed a six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling. The White House says it’s important to first know exactly what caused the oil disaster.
“ … I do not believe we need to stop all drilling,” Barbour said.
“It's more than just jobs lost in the Gulf region, though it will be terrible - it will be a huge economic negative impact - but because of what it will do to America. It will hurt our energy security tremendously,” the governor said.
“And the idea that these oil rigs - 33 of them that were out there drilling wells in the deep water - are going to sit around here for six months during this moratorium and then be here to start drilling … the idea that we're only going to lose six months of drilling is just wrong-headed,” Barbour added.
Updated: 6/12/10, 10 a.m.
something smells fishy here
That's right Barber poor oil workers losing their jobs. How about the family fisherman that BP put out of business. How about all the tourism related jobs that are lost in three states. If your so worried about jobs , use your power as Governor to punish the destroyers of the environment. Oh I forgot its easier and more fashionable to blame Obama. Why not have Sarah Palin come tell those people Drill Baby Drill
Who in the world voted for this complete idiot? I am so ashamed to live in the south when I hear people like this man open his mouth. I hope and pray that Pres. Obama can show him what a real gentleman is. This governor is so off the wall no one knows what he will say next. He will run for president??? That is going to be a real joke.
I have a crush doll of Bush. Where has everyone been? A little squeeze doll in a suit with money in his hands. Hard to recognize after 8 years though.
Ok I'm no fan of Mr. Obama, but to be so sarcastic and derogatory about a presidential visit, from a Gov, no less, is nothing short of being unpatriotic. The Gov needs to plug his pie-hole.
they are always tickeled if they think they get money out of it.
Barbour has dissed the president on 3 different occasions. Tickled to death... I think not. This man is of the old southern heritage. So, what Haley thinks don't matter diddly.....
my questiion is what would u, do it's crazy and where sorting it out. if california falls in the ocean. do u think the help is there. small goverment is the way too go. rofl try controlling 500 too 1000 people it's a bitch. but watch the best has yet too come.
Yep, the clown in chief is coming to Pensacola and since I have been to many three ring circuses, I will skip his. I See way to much of nobamby on tv as it is.
If I were Obama I would snob the Party of No governor of Mississippi and see the spill problems, but not show up to meet the Party Of NO man!
Did you tell him about the sharpened spikes underneath the red carpet. What a shame.
Wow. It appears that a decency bug bit Barbour finally.
There's a world of difference between Barack Obama and Haley Barbour, especially in intellect. Barbour will find a way to twist this visit into an anti-Obama message. Just wait and see.
They need to stop blameing the president for everything that gos on how can he be the blame for an oil spill thats out of his control if he was a white president he want be the blame game and that is true