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. Texan

    Republicans have screwed our nation forever.........it will never be the same. The RNC has nothing better to do than complain. G_d forbid the Repubs. regain power.

    June 16, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. Robert

    Again the Republicans show their phony conservatism. Now they are saying big government didn't play a BIG enough role in the spill clean-up? Hello?--they should be in favor of the private sector cleaning up their mess.

    What next? Are they going to for sending another stimulus check to President Obama to hire scientists, drilling technology specialists, buouys, ships, sumbersibles, etc. to clean up the mess left by the private sector? Phony conservatism rears its ugly head once again.

    June 16, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. Monty

    And what exactly was the RNC doing over the last 2 months? Detailing Obama's every single waking breath so they could put together a video criticizing Obama for "dithering." Sounds like they've been a great asset the country during this time of crisis as well!

    June 16, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. Weezie

    I am so very tired of the RNC finding fault with everything that President Obama does. All you'll do is complain but never offer any better suggestions. If you have no suggestions or solutions, why not just shut your darn mouths and try to assist in any way that you can. Such jerks! This goes for the sicko Tea Partier's too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 16, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. Linda from Minnesota

    Honest to God. There are so many issues that need President Obama's attention right now. He is trying people. Put yourself in his place. Which crisis would you attend to first? No matter what he does, someone will find fault with it. Get a grip, be supportive, come together without pointing fingers and be part of the solution.

    I also find it ironic that conservatives say they want big government out of their lives. Then the oil spill comes along and they are first screaming "Where is the president? Where is the federal government?" What do conservatives want? They can't have it both ways.

    June 16, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. mark

    The RNC and Steele still look clueless. Do they actually think we believe what they're saying? Do you expect Obama to swim down to the oil and plug the hole with his finger? Damn. You speak as if Obama is super human. Republicans are getting more rediculus every day because they have NO IDEAS, NO PLAN, NO BRAINS. Pathetic.

    June 16, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. la736 in CA

    It was only a matter of time before the opportunist step up their non-sense. Instead of complaining and pointing the finger as you all state GOP, what ideas do you have to clean this s..t up? Stop the foolishiness and help solve the problem, it is an AMERICAN problem, not ADMINISTRATION! And by the way, how often have you been down there to see for yourself Mikey?

    June 16, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. Terry607

    I don't see much coming from this. It's a dog and pony show to me. BP has said it is ready and willing to put the cash up to clean this up! This was a one person accident and that person happened to work for BP. Treating the CEO of BP like he's the one that flipped the switch to create this problem is absolutely stupid. BP has said they will take care of it, there ready and willing so MOVE ON. Yes let a 3rd party adminster it the claims/settlements with BP and move on to concentrate on correcting the problem on shore. Get the damn politics out of the solving this problem! Who the hell cares what the flo rate is? Doesn't really matter at this point. Let's just worry about putting the people in place and with the right tools to clean this up and stop the blame game. Obama claiming his energy plan is the real solution is a joke. We're Americans, we like our big cars and we like to travel. That's a fact and all the blind promises from Obama won't stop that and won't stop this from destroying the Gulf coast today.
    Cut the red tape, put someone in charge that has complete authority and balls to approve and disapprove techniques, procedures, materials, people amd equipment needed etc to attack this problem on the spot. Put someone in charge who has and can make decisions on the fly and stick by them and move on. One that doesn't need to go to the DEC, OSHA, EPA for approvals. Just do it! Oh by the way telling us it's OK to swim and yet people are wearing full hazmat gear walking the beach is ludicrist. If it's safe get rid of the suits if not close the beaches!

    June 16, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. Jilli

    Well, if anyone knows "dithering" it the republicans. They have been "dithering" and playing games for the past 16 months while the results of their "no regulation" ideology threatens our nation. They've been "dithering" while the dems struggle to right the economy and reduce unemployment.

    Republicans are proven experts on "dithering".

    They're why we're in the horrendous position we're in today. In response to their whining about Pres. Obama, they need to just get out of the way, they've contributed nothing but political games to the legislative process.

    June 16, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. Dano

    I suppose the RNC expects President Obama to go to work on one of the skimmer boats? Or maybe he could operate one of the robotic arms that are attempting to seal off the well? Come on guys – dithering? – can't you even come up with an original word of accusation, or did Darth Cheney write the words to this commercial?

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

    Before commenting on the article what we will ultimately see is the Republicans upset with Democrats for the inability, now that they have full control, to manage both the presidency and Congress. The Democrats will HATE the Republicans for, well, just being Republican. They can't come up with an answer but simply hate Republicans. It has often been said that Democrats only succeed as long as the truth is not revealed.

    Regarding the article, well, to put quite simply "I guess the truth hurts". Obama had an offer from the Netherlands to use their oil skimming boat 3 days (that's right 3 DAYS!!) after the oil well callapse but the Obama administration refused. Within 2 weeks after the oil well callapse (that's right 2 WEEKS!!) 13 countries offered to help but the Obama administration declined. What has the Obama administration done in almost 60 days? Nothing to actually keep the oil from hitting the shores of 4 STATES!! This oil should NEVER of made it that far to ANY coast. It is the imcompetence of this administration to blame.

    For those who will drink the kool-aid of the left I ask just one question. IF George Bush was still president (or John McCain for that matter) and was handling this catastrophe in an identical manner would you STILL be saying the administration was handling well? OF COURSE YOU WOULDN'T!! That makes you a hypocrite and a liar.

    You elected a Community Organizer with NO leadership experience and it shows. IT REALLY SHOWS!! God have mercy on this great nation and I HOPE with can survive such an incompetent president of Barack Hussein Obama........

    June 16, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. Dave

    This is hilarious and pathetic at the same time. It's hilarious because the idiots in the GOP are only good for complaining and second-guessing. What would they do? The answer is that they have no idea. All they are good for are simpleton sound bytes to satisfy their knuckle-dragging supporters.

    It's pathetic in that they are using this to score political cheap political points off the backs of the thousands of people who are suffering from a siutation that was caused by a corporation motivated by sheer greed. The GOP should just sit down, shut up, and let the adults handle it.

    June 16, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    More criticism from the NO Party that has done NOTHING but obstruct for almost 2 years.

    Vote out the Party of NO.

    June 16, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Have we seen ONE, just one idea from the republicants? NO. Because unless Superman himself shows up to stop the leak NOTHING will stop it. I am so sick of this smack from the right wing that are the cause of this problem with their idea that less regulation and oversight is needed for these monopolistic corporations that pay their salary and campaign funding.

    June 16, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. PalmReader

    Unbelievable. Now matter what the cost, the GOP just can't seem to control themselves.

    It's like an addiction. Their jealousy of all things Obama is so palatable it clouds their judgment to a point of outright childishness.

    No wonder our country is in the tank. Why worry about Al Queda when the GOP themselves are causing more harm to this country than even the most dangerous of terrorist could ever wish to do.

    June 16, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Shut your cakehole Steele. The Republicans have been playing golf with Big Oil and handing-out taxpayer $ in corporate welfare for decades. Who you fooling?

    June 16, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. Sgt Sam

    This is such BS by the RNC, but are we all that surprised? Political posturing is their main objective and most of that are well aware. Wouldn't it be great if both parties could come together over this rather than keep pointing fingers? Grow up!

    June 16, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. malcolm in St Louis

    Hey RNC, wake up the President has the US to lead. A good leader delegates. If he was hands-on with the oil spill all the other serious matters like N Korea, Gaza, and the sovereign debts issues in Western Europe would not be getting their attention.

    Michael Steel should focus on cleaning up his RNC organization.

    June 16, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. Marie MD

    Can the rethug party be more pathetic?
    The story is not worth the time of anyone with any intelligence which is why the repugs have to hammer on this.
    "barber" from MS went to a NY picnic since the oil spill.
    Any word on that!?!?!?!?
    boner and mitchell keep hammering about this instead of being positive during a national catastrophic disaster.
    no wonder General Petraeus fainted as he was being interviewed by mr. snooki himself yesterday!

    June 16, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  20. Some republican guy

    Heavens to murgatroid!!!! Those narcisstic elitest obamabots are at it again!!!! Their plotting a government takeover of the Gulf oil spill cleanup!!!!!! If the free market can't fix it what makes them think that the government can do a better job??? They want to pass this global warming bill that will make our grandbabies generation into unemployed, Oprah watching union thugs!!!!!!! Theres enough oil to last us another hundred years but no, their going to make us start using clean energy from they're libtarded porkulus package!!!!! Then we'll all be socialists and Muslins like Canada or Europe!!!!!!! Their going to take away our birth certificates and make us read they're crypto-trotskyism indoctrination and brainwashing propaganda from the teleprompters!!!!! Wise up, real Americans!!!! Succeed from the union and empeach them all before its to late!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a nice day!

    June 16, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. Laurie

    Always quoting their mentor Richard "Dick" Cheney. Lets continually complain and not try to pull together and assist those people.

    June 16, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. Balls

    the GOP is purely embarrassed at how Bush handled Katrina, so this is all a big stage to even the score. They've spent millions campaigning this stupid notion that Obama hasnt doen anything, yet the all stand on this belief the government shouldnt get involved in [private corporations problems. What a big bunch of babies. I still am waiting for one republican to say how exactly they would have handled the situation and how that would have changed everything to this date. Of course, i'll never hear that because they have no idea.

    June 16, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. David in Houston

    The RNC is becoming less and less relevent with every passing election...

    Want to talk about dithering? Three words...My...Pet...Goat.

    June 16, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  24. Emerson

    Memo to RNC: The people are not buying it. The responsibility for this is with BP and the other two stooges who were subcontractors. You should know this since you are the friend of big business

    June 16, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. Hammerer

    obama is not dithering! He is answering the storied "3 AM" call with all of his persidental leadership skills on display.
    All obama can do is read from his trusty teleprompter words that his handlers write and talk, as long as no one changes the subject or asks a question that is off the script.
    Are you ready for that change yet?

    June 16, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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