June 16th, 2010
11:43 AM ET
8 years ago

RNC alleges Obama ‘dithered’ in Gulf crisis



Washington (CNN) - The Republican National Committee accuses President Obama of failing to focus his full attention on the Gulf oil spill, specifically criticizing him in a new web video of waiting 58 days to meet with BP executives to discuss how to address this environmental disaster.

Obama met with BP officials Wednesday morning in the Roosevelt Room, less than 24 hours after he returned from the Gulf and delivered a primetime address from the Oval office outlining his plan to revive the region.

The RNC’s hard hitting video, which CNN viewed before it was released publicly Wednesday, alleges that instead of trying to find a solution to the Gulf crisis, Obama was too busy playing golf and attending events such as Paul McCartney’s White House concert.

The video weaves together devastating images the Gulf, Obama playing golf, a fictitious day planner and footage of him singing with McCartney.

In a statement that will accompany the release of the video, RNC Chairman Michael Steele charges “President Obama and his administration have dithered while the worst ecological disaster in American history has unfolded, wreaking environmental and economic havoc up and down the Gulf Coast.”

“The American people are looking for Presidential leadership during this time of crisis, not executive finger pointing or backroom political power-plays seeking to force through yet another unpopular Democratic proposal that would only devastate the economy even further,” Steele also contends in the statement.

Updated at 12:45 p.m. ET:

In a statement sent to CNN, Democratic National Committee National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan fired back at the RNC and accused it of trying to "politicize" the situation. Sevugan also highlighted a recent scandal about an RNC-financed night out for donors at a risqué Hollywood nightclub.

"While the President has brought to bear the resources of the entire federal government to addressing the leak, is holding BP accountable to the families and businesses of the Gulf, and is working to ensure that a leak like this never happens again, the RNC has used its resources – which are ever dwindling by the way – to politicize this tragedy. That's actually a more pathetic use of their money than table service at a sex club."

Filed under: Energy • Michael Steele • Popular Posts • President Obama • RNC
soundoff (236 Responses)
  1. stevegee

    Obama and the Democrats have been trying to destroy our economy since they took control of Washington. The lack of action during the Gulf Oil Crisis just accelerates their plan. Soon, we'll all be needing handouts from the federal government - and that's the way the liberals like it.

    Wake up people and save our constitutional republic! In November 2010, vote American, vote Republican!

    June 16, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  2. Darlis

    As usual... same old politics.. nothing constructive frm the RNC, just criticism and trying to make political hay from a disaster.. and what would the RNC do to stop the leak? No solutions? not surprising. Just disappointing.

    June 16, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  3. ja

    the regulatory agency dithered, the policies have been in place for ages without scuritiny, better known as payola, or lobbyist, campaign contributions to the demomcrats and republicans, lets be real

    June 16, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  4. Riley

    Obama is clueless. He will go down as the weakest US President in our history.

    June 16, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  5. Dave

    Just wondering when a spotlight would shine on this subject because MSM refuses to. If it was Bush waiting this long it would be plastered everywhere. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't stand Bush and I believe he should be behind bars (along with Cheney), but MSM is constantly defending the wrongs of this guy. Just look at how they backed off this idiot congressman from NC that grabbed the students (and are even trying to spin it like he was "ambushed"....get real).

    June 16, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. American Patriot - a "real" tea partier

    And what are they saying about how Bush and Cheney and their regime helped CAUSE the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico?

    June 16, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. Greg

    As usual the RNC is disingenous and dishonest

    June 16, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. Butter from Apex, NC

    RePIGlicans are beneath scum. From day one, the president has been on top of this crisis – all business, no showboating. RePIGlicans are liars and anti-American. My contempt for them knows no bounds.

    June 16, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. al in memphis

    I really thought the GOP first words would be that government should stay out of private industry issues. Private industry can fix it if the president just would allow another tax break.

    The vast majority of Americans really should be sick of political parties and their high school finger point, no solution games.

    June 16, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  10. Alley-fl

    who is mechael steele but a puppet for the rnc.....so pointless at times like this...where are they when we need them...oh yeah...meeting with the tea partiers hate, lies, digusting crew the've become! People better wake up, they got something coming if they believe these whinners......of no.no.no.no.no.no.no.no.no.

    June 16, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. tstorm

    Every time the Republicans try to bring up Obama not acting fast enough about the BP Gulf Oil Disaster all it does is bring up mental images of people sitting on their rooftops in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina with cardboad signs begging for help.....while George Bush golfed in Texas. Ugh.....

    June 16, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  12. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    No this idiot must be thinking of Bush and Katrina as he flew over New Orleans and waved at people...

    What would Steele do? Does he have any ideas or is his head empty (as I suspect)?

    June 16, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. sonny chapman

    Does the Blog mention 2 wars, a struggling economy & Repubs. with sharp knives just dieing to make this Obama's Katrina or his "Waterloo" ?

    June 16, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  14. Sniffit

    Yawn. The GOP's biggest problem at this point isn't even the fact that they hate facts, evidence and science and believe that all one needs to make the decisions necessary to run a country is to be a fundamentalist ideologue zealot running on dogmatic autopilot. No, they're biggest problem is that they're so predictable. Seriously. Save some money guys and just buy 10 seconds of air time during which you plaster the screen with the following:

    "[Insert Mischaracterization, Disagreement and Criticism of Whatever the Dems and Obama Are Doing and Saying Here]"

    June 16, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. vet in tx

    The most intriguing thing of this is that the GOP has offered nothing to the American people in resonse to any and all proposed legislation since losing control in 2006. That will be the hardest for the moderates to accept. Instead of coming up with a plan, they have only created campaign platforms yelling slogans and appealing to the mentally vulnerable. You can yell, "I'm going to repeal Obamacare, I'm going to lower taxes, support small businesses, oppose abortion, take back our government, and end this tyranny". How, is the question that none have answered. In debates they all side step, and take advantage of their supporters by misleading thier intentions. Until they come up with a viable candidate, they will be in the minority. I have yet to hear any member of the GOP come up with a plan or even step in to help for the good of the country and their constituents in the gulf region. That should tell you something.

    June 16, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. Augsbee

    Reality is that these families in Louisiana are in serious financial trouble right now and we all need to step up to the plate and help them out with money, let's all donate money to help them out. The President's speech last night said nothing of how these families will see money coming to them in the next few days, how their businesses will be taken care of, how he will force BP to pay. I wish George Clooney would do a Telethon to collect money for these families. All I heard was a speech to promote new energy ideas.

    June 16, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. Brandonious

    Well Mr. Steele, considering the fact that it was Republican policies that led to both this disaster AND the economic crisis we now face, maybe you should try something that no Republican has tried in recent memory...be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

    June 16, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. nate

    What's the RNC solution to Gulf leak ? Maybe Michael Steele can take BP execs out to another bondage club and get some ideas.

    June 16, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. db

    Yes, there's a story here, and this is more than just a "GOP allegation." No ifs, ands, or buts – HE DID!

    June 16, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |

    Another Michael Steele high school level web video from the RNC committee, making up their own version of what is happening.

    This is a reflection of their elementry thinking and thought process.
    This is why we have Bush, Palin, and Michael Steele in the same GOP party. GOP slogan: "Take a little more hate to make-up your day".

    June 16, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. Marty, FL

    So, Steele wants more government involvement, exposing the fallacy & hypocrisy (again) of the GOP's so-called "limited government" nonsense.

    June 16, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. Mickey, NY

    GOP: Grand Oil Party, domestic terrorists

    June 16, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. ccm123

    Yeah, kinda like Bush going on vacation during Katrina or during the war in Afgahnistan. "Now watch this drive" Give me a break. The RNC will do absolutly anything to try to embarrass or discredit this president even if he does the exact same thing they do.

    June 16, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  24. Darth Vadik, CA

    RNC also alleges that the earth is 6000 years old, but it's just not in the stars.

    RNC better worry about those "drill baby drill" chants, they will be very useful to the Democrats come November

    June 16, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  25. Wake up America!

    I like CNN's way of using the RNC to say what's really on their minds. Let's face it, obama has screwed this so bad that even cnn is starting to say something about his leadership skills, or lack of. Too bad they're too cowardly and have to use the RNC to point out the obvious.

    The headline should be..."obama dithers on the gulf crisis and the RNC is gaining."

    Oh yeah, did cnn mention that this big summit with the bp execs is only 20 minutes long? what can the idiot possibly accomplish in 20 minutes? obama sucks and needs to be impeached for the sake of our country.

    June 16, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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