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. darrell

    Well, I expected this from the RNC and the idiots who believe their lies. The truth is the RNC, like many Americans, fail to realize that the 1990 Oil Pollution Act is the law that governs the role of the Obama adm. and BP, or any other oil company that causes such a mess. The Pres. is following the law of the land, which Republicans are always ready to point out that is what should be done at all time.

    More importantly, the Obama adm., starting with the Coast Guard, which was on the scene two hours after the explosion, and other federal officials have been working on this situation since it began. Lies don't make it true...but what can one can expect from a pack of liars at the RNC.

    June 16, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. Jobe

    Obama has been inept in his response. He is so arrogant he has not even met with BP until today but has met with and placated all the major third world dictators that despise the US. Its like the whole spill thing is beneath him to delve into fixing. The RNC video is more than fair as its all true opposed to the standard deceitfulness we hear from Obama and his mouthpiece Gibbs.

    June 16, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Drill Baby Drill!

    The RNC has lost all credibility with me. They should be down there in force instead of trying to play politics AGAIN!

    June 16, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. Ryan

    Michael Steele, you have no authority to criticize anybody's handling of anything. You've lost that right as your own credibility is shot and carries as much weight as that of a feather.

    June 16, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. obama victim

    he has not been "dithering"...he has been going to rock shows, golfing, holding dinners, and going on vacation......this is one busy dude

    June 16, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. Stacie

    Once AGAIN, how many times did George Bush Sr. go to Alaska, address the nation or meet with Exxon officials during the last greatest oil disaster on American soil???? NONE

    Unless the president dons a wetsuit, climbs in some submarine that can go 1 mile down to the ocean floor and stick a sock in the pipe to plug it up, these folks won't be happy! Wait, I bet if he did, they'd complain that he was overstepping his authority.

    Puleeze! This is getting to be so over the top stupid that even they must know that their time playing cheap politics with the BP disaster is getting old.

    June 16, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. HeyHey

    Suddenly the GOP are experts on disaster recovery after they botched Katrina. M'kay.

    June 16, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. Nadeem

    This is sad – to make this political shows how pathetic Steele is. Hightly impropper.

    June 16, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. carlos

    republicans, CONServatives, religious nuts, pee baggers....what solutions do you have or will ever have???????..brainless, repulsive, repugnant and criminals, cheaters and ANTI AMERICAN......sick bunch of people

    June 16, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. Tilly

    What a bunch of Whinning, Lying idiots, more of the same, all the time complaining, that this President isn't doing his job......if all you Republicans can do is bring up stuff to try to make this President look bad it isn't going to work, it only makes all of you look bad.......I would love to have seen what the Party of NO would have done in this Gulf Spill under your watch........you couldn't have done anymore or anything any better, you all proved that during Katrina and the last 8 years under Bush when you let the Big Corporations run your Party......so back off, Obama might need to be in charge of what the Federal Government does to end this Gulf Spill but he still has his other duties.....Bush made more trips to his ranch in Texas when he was President when he should have been in Washington taking care of Business........so shut up, NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU ALL THINK

    June 16, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. snow

    obama did dither the first two weeks of the oil spill crisis in the Gulf. He lied when he said the first day he had all the top people in his office because of the spill. He spends way to much time playing golf and entertaining sports figures. If this was President Bush during this crisis, the lame brained media would be eating his lunch for his pathetic leadership.

    June 16, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. accuses President Obama of failing to focus his full attention on the Gulf oil spill

    trying hard here RNC and Shaft, but it is too soon to begin blameing Obama, they are in the middle of fixing it, and he is both following up and letting BP work and observing their progress

    nice try, try again later if he has dropped the ball, the ball is still in play and he is quarterbacking nicely

    June 16, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. Al

    Where was the RNC when Katrina hit New Orleans .. Hypocrites!!!!

    June 16, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. Tori in Texas

    Just think of how fast the President could have reacted had the secret Cheney Energy Policy of 2001 had not been so secret. We would have had an opportunity to correct the all the funny business in it before President Obama took office.

    Dick's secrecy and greed is the reason why this negligent homicide and destruction of the Gulf happened. Once again, Thanks, Dick. I'd love to be a fly of the wall when he meets St. Peter.

    June 16, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. J.T.

    I think Obama is handling the oil spill better than Steele is handling missing money from the RNC. Steele, if you can explain clear where the RNC money has been going, then maybe will listen to your criticism of Obama.

    June 16, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. Seth in Jacksonville

    Count how many days Bush vacationed in Crawford before you start pointing fingers.

    June 16, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. kf

    Talk about a political power play, the Republicans are playing to the fullest.

    Are the Repubs in all the meetings and phone calls with the President? NOT Instead of pushing to get our country away from oil dependancy with a vote in the Senate, No is still their answer to everything.

    June 16, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. j russ

    The proof of this is that the Dutch ships have not been working the gulf for the last 30 days like they should have been, but thankfully this keeps the unions satisfied.

    June 16, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. get real

    Now seems like a very appropriate time to put out political vids on youtube instead of cooperating to clean up the spill and prevent further disasters. Great work RNC. Glad to see you care about the gulf coast.

    June 16, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. Paul from Phoenix

    Dems slammed Bush for moments like this, and rightly so. Turnabout is fair play.

    June 16, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. John , PA

    The RNC should be call for the teleprompter president to resign !

    Let’s review
    higher unemployment
    higher taxes
    higher home foreclosure rate
    tax evading Democratic Party
    tax evading Obama administration
    the “Porkulus” Spending bill
    out of control budget / no budget
    health care reform disaster
    3 terrorist attacks in the USA since Obama took office
    Oil spill disaster in the Gulf

    June 16, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. socalgal

    I thought Clinton was a small and petty person until Obama came along and gave it a whole new low bar meaning.

    June 16, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. Jon

    Michael Steele is also dithering. Ignore this Republican junk.
    They are worthless – as usual. Keep them out of office at all cost.

    June 16, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. Danel

    RNC what have you done for me lately?

    June 16, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    If he showed Bush's leadership he would be doing a fly over and that would be about it.

    June 16, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
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