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. key

    Have you noticed that Former President Bush doesn't Criticized President Obama. Because he realizes how difficult it is to solve problems. Some people just want talking points.

    June 16, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. Karla

    If Obama dithered on the Gulf oil spill, then Bush completely ignored the Katrina victims. So which is worse? The people of Katrina, I say because life is priceless.

    June 16, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. aricsheppard

    Well put!!!

    June 16, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. Scott

    Stop the political grandstanding and offer some solutions, you worthless pieces of flesh.

    June 16, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. Duck Fallas

    Again, Obama is not moving fast enough to clean up a mess created by the GOP.

    Or, as Haley Barbour would put it, "What mess?"

    June 16, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. Ken in NC

    LOL the RNC is a dither. At a time when our leaders should be pulling us together, these fools are trying to destroy our government simply because they did not win and to make matters worse, they lost to a Half Black man or a Half White man. They can take their pick.

    June 16, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  7. Tom from Canonsburg

    The GOP always & forever the critic. If he ignores the wars, the economy, foriegn policy and how many other possibilties he would catch the same crap. Hey Steele there are only 24 hours in a day. I'm sure he doesn't need to publish his daily schedule for you. At least he's not always at the Crawford ranch.

    June 16, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  8. Jay

    Any of you idiots in the RNC remember a member of your party who experienced a similar event? I think his name was Bush right?
    Boy did he do a great job right? Where was your genuine look of his response to Katrina?

    Just shut up you scum. The man is capable and trying to solve a problem caused by the industry your party is so cozy with. Remember $4 gasoline and Exxon and their $36 BILLION in net profit.

    Just shut up idiots.

    June 16, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. Eric

    Add this to the list:
    – make Jimmy Carter look competent by comparison.

    June 16, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. Eunice

    who RNC Chairman Michael Steele? The token RNC escape goat? Yea he knows what he's talking about. NOTHING..

    Your Republic and your reteric....get your hands off my life government. Now you want get involved government. The great big empty party of NO.

    Hypocrites...... just try to get back in the whitehouse in 2012. You won't . You thought your party was beat before, just watch 2012. You thought people can through in 2008; watch and learn AGAIN and Micheal Steele, continue to make a fool of yourself. So far YOU'VE got an A+ in my book.

    June 16, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. nitro

    the republicans would know what a disaster looks like since we are still in a war started just to play get back with a dictator that tried to have dubyas daddy killed.

    June 16, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. Cheryl

    Maybe you ought to look in the mirror if you want to accuse anyone. It is common knowledge that the GOP party has helped cause this mess – where were you when Dick Cheney was pulling his stunts?

    June 16, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  13. Shucks

    Like they did in Katrina? They didn't only dither, they watched the total collapse of infrastructure, death, starvation, and outright anarchy, and did nothing for weeks. You can't even compare the two and the republicans no it. They just don't have anything else to go after. This is still their deregulation disaster. They know it, Americans know it, and Obama did nothing short of say the exact same thing in his speech.

    June 16, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  14. Uncle Sam

    Even Obama has realized their is not enough money and votes to pander to much to environmentalists...except this time it wasn't a sky is falling hoax it was a real disaster.

    June 16, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. Steve

    Here's an interesting fact I just found out – in the previous worst environmental disaster in the US (Exxon Valdez), then President Bush visited Alaska exactly ZERO times! Where was the outrage that the president was not doing enough to solve that disaster?? I guess showing crying rednecks from the Gulf coast seems to evoke more public outcry than Eskimos...

    June 16, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. Just Saying

    The Republicans should be paying attention to their own problems involving the Tea Party.

    June 16, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. WDRussell

    Well how stupid does the GOP think Americans are?
    Exrxs from Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), ConocoPhillips (COP), Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) and Chevron Corp. (CVX) all testified before Congress and said they had NO CLUE on how to fix this disaster.
    If they don't know then a round of golf by the President isn't going to matter.

    June 16, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. maf

    Grow up you babies! I expect the GOP would like to have the President underwater and trying to stop the leak by himself!!!

    What a bunch of idiots!! Who looks like they are playing POLITICS???
    Maybe it's YOU, the party of NO!! Instead of trying to get along and do some COMPROMISING in the act of Bi-Partisanship, you and your cronies are simply playing the part of obstructionists, and hoping at every turn, that this Administration fails.

    What a bunch of poor sports. DO YOUR JOBS, or you likely won't have them to return to once you are up for re-election!!!

    June 16, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. Joe

    Obama, the Great Fraud, didn't dither...he recklessly, carelessly, and with great deliberation REFUSED to address the spill from day one...by turning away offers of help from twenty countries...by refusing to repeal the Jones Act...

    by REFUSING to be meticulous – or even half-way intelligent.

    Obama hates Americans, the capitalist system, free enterprise and legal citizens. He will continue his liberal, Progressive party agenda – and Democrats – you have been warned – we will take every one of you out of office.

    Republicans – you have been warned – if you vote for any of his agenda...or vote for so-called "immigration reform" – we will take you out of office as well.

    ENOUGH, you ball-less wonders.

    June 16, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. David Scott

    Rip-publicans are just LOSERS.
    Rip-publicans are lying bigots who don't give a damn about AMERICA.

    June 16, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  21. Get A Grip

    When you have a 'Failure-in-Chief' running the country what would you expect.

    June 16, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. FDA

    Several weeks ago they were saying that Obama should stay out of private business, and that his administration was socializing everything. If he would have moved early on this, he would have been seen as big government. Now that it's reached a major crisis, the GOP is using the oil spill to chastise Obama because he isn't involved enough. The GOP is destroying America! Remember the cry drill baby drill! Obama di cave into the GOP on offshore drilling three weeks before this spill, I'm sure it was in hopes of securing votes for other proposals in the works. The GOP will act as obstructionist on every level until Obama is out of office. I'm afraid the "just say no" style of government will be the norm for the party in the minority.

    June 16, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. Robert - Florida

    It slays me how big corporations fight regulations all the time, but when a disaster hits, they expect the government to bail them out. Of course, if Obama had gotten involved on Day One, the Right would have screamed "socialism". Now that it's clear BP couldn't organize a drinkup in a brewery, the Right wants him to fix it.

    June 16, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. Thomas from Reno

    This political bickering, in time of disaster is sick. Obviously the RNC has no answers and would rather serve as saboteur – doing anything to keep anyone, other than the RNC, from being successful. How about serving the country for once?

    June 16, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. rob, austin tx

    its sick. as a citizen im tired of both parties going at each other with total bull dung. the only people to know what he did and when he did whatever are the people involved and himself. the american people, republicans, democrats, and who ever else....stop the trash talk. it gets no where and pulls attention away from the real problems in the gulf and this country.

    June 16, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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