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. Linda

    Needless to say, Steele, et al never deals with facts, only
    falsehoods and hype!

    Congratulations President Obama, we know you have been working on the Gulf oil spill crisis from the first day of the explosion.

    Fortunately, most Americans are much more intelligent and knowing
    than this idiot Michael Steele.

    June 16, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. Marc

    These guys are a joke–apparently 20 billion is nothing to Republican's. Republican's rejected half that amount when congress tried to approved funds for the gulf. Republican's are saying one thing, then doing another as usual.

    June 16, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. Dennis

    Gimme a break people...the Republican Great Obstructionist Party needs to understand that we have multiple issues that take the president's attention that were caused by their last 8 years of incompetence....that includes this mess because the last administration failed to regulate the oil industry effectively.

    June 16, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. one voice

    Same situation when the General wanted 30,000 more troops and the GOP were crying about the President "dithering", then they cried that Obama was a war President just like Bush. IDIOTS

    June 16, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  5. KR

    This is like the pot calling the kettle black. The republicans have dithered in every crisis or senate bills since day one and now they can holler look what has happened. This was not a hurricane it was a big disaster that was not something that was over and you could go on to fix the massive damages. This has never happened to this extent so gloat RNC but you try to fix if you think nothing has been done.

    June 16, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. samantha

    Obama is a Joke, can't wait till 2013 for him to be gone from office, as for this BP mess, why was help turned away? why did Thad Allen from the Coast Guard turn away skimmers? Where was Obummer during this, walking down a beach 56 days latter does not impress me, his not knowing what the Minerals MMS was doing also is not reassuring,demanding BP pay when they never said they would not is stupid, we need BP to be able to work and continue to make money.
    what does Obama do ? He has done nothing on immigration, can't he tell by the actions of Arizona , people are sick of inaction,he can't shut down the border ar least? our economy is a joke , where was the big stimulus? why do we have this high unemployment? why the 6 month moratorium on oil drilling, thats lame too. People need to work, this guy, just has fancy speech writers and thats all. Oh thats right, make sure you all blame this on W too.

    June 16, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. Larry

    The Republican party DISGUSTS me to NO end

    Though there are a few that deserve praise for their efforts to help this country, most deserve a boot out the door, some deserve prison time, and some death by lethal injection ( George W., Karl Rove, Dick Cheney) the latter !!

    June 16, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    RNC spending $50 thousand on videos like BP in th wake of a diasters, Shame on you. If President Obama was "dithering" the RNC was busy making videos because they aren't part of the U.S. when a disaster occurs such as that in Louisiana. I'm sure the people in Louisiana would prefer fishing than making videos.

    June 16, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. Mark

    Obama has overseen the largest government response to an environmental disaster in the history of the United States. Instead of 'acting like' a president, he is 'acting AS' the president. Republicans simply hate Obama, and they will do whatever it takes to discredit him. Instead of working with him, they try to discredit him. No matter what he does, they will always be unhappy. For Republicans, it is all about elections, and not working for the American people.

    June 16, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    And how long did it take the "Beloved" Mr Bush to finally decide Hurricane Katrina had devastated New Orleans???? If I remember correctly not long after Katrina hit, he took a vacation. The RNC needs a serious reality check. In my opinion the RNC was 100 times slower in responding to Katrina, but that was probably due to the fact that mostly non WASP Americans were impacted. If Katrina had impacted a predominately white city the RNC would have been on it like flies on you know what.
    An yes, I am a WASP.

    June 16, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    The gop is fooling no one the repuks want the oil profits for them selves pkm

    June 16, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. kimberly

    the rnc is irrelivant, and no one cares what they say. they are seen as the bitter losers, and all they do is whine. Obama did not meet the idiot in charge of the disaster, because the idiot has no clue how to fix his mess. Obama met with people that KNOW how to and are not interested in cover ups like th is! morons on the right dont care, nothing he does is right, and the racist would not care if he fixed it himself, they would still whine, this is WHY they are not included in anything Dems do, they are whining liar babies!

    June 16, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. Steve in Florida

    How about everyone pitch in together to clean up this mess that is the worst oil spill in U.S. history instead of standing around and screaming "my political party is better than your's". Geez people!

    June 16, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  14. norma

    "The answer to that is that when these things happen, we are not well-equipped to deal with them." ExxonMobile CEO Rex Tillerson – yesterday


    I hope that is clear enough for the drill baby drill crowd.

    June 16, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. Duck Fallas

    Excuse me, DNC, there is NOTHING pathetic about table service at a sex club.

    June 16, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. Jason

    Are these the same Republicans who want less government 'meddling' in the corporate world? Or have said it is 'shameful' to use this disaster to score political points?

    It sems they switch positions as it suits them. Gotta love politics!

    June 16, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  17. Donnatella

    Oh please, we are so sick of Micheal the token Steele and his stupid statements, why are they looking for somebody to blame, it is BP's fault nobody else, they are paying up so shut up RNC!!!!!

    June 16, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. Barbara Independent in NY

    Talk about "dithering", when is the RNC going to admit that it's the weakening of regulations by Republicans that is partly responsible for the Gulf mess? They always point the finger at everyone else when they too are culpable. Remember, every time that you point a finger at someone else, three fingers are pointing back at you RNC.

    June 16, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  19. lenon

    damn that reply by DNC was short and brutal

    June 16, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. Liz the First

    These idiots have no business saying anyone else dithered. that's all they've been doing since Obama took office.they're standing around jeering from the sidelines hoping he fails so they can seize control of the country and finish the job of destroying it.

    June 16, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. Ricky

    Shame on the republicans for politicizing this disaster and spending millions on this commercial. The money could have gone to the recovery effort. I don't see Michael Steele doing a thing to help the people of the gulf coast.

    June 16, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. Rick

    thats the amount BP has promised all along, SLObama had NOTHING to do with that amount, but I am sure just like always that flop eared SLObama will take credit for it. SLObama is the biggest lieing wanna be leader America has ever seen. It is time for SLObama to be impeached for lies and theft of American lives and their livelyhoods.. SLObama is a waste as a leader, we would be better off with Nixon.

    June 16, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Has Obama ever not dithered on anything? He couldn't even be bothered for months to make any real statement about his own health care welfare idiocy–there's no way he'd say anything decisive or timely about something he's only had a month and a half to think about.

    Obama is clearly in way over his head–his "dithering" simply reflects his inability to make decisions.

    The man reads speeches well, and he looks good in a tailored suit, but that's about it. There's no substance to him. He's in no way qualified to be President, and never was. He's President for three reasons only: He's not George Bush, he's not a Republican, and he looks and sounds good on TV.

    June 16, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. Nick

    Whatever happened to "drill baby drill" "We don't need any more studies on drilling" "Too much Govt regulation" "Govt needs to get out of the way" Now these same people want to know why the President hasn't stopped the leak. Republicans remind me of children. They don't want you to interfere in their lives until they screw up and get into trouble.

    June 16, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  25. anthony

    "That's actually a more pathetic use of their money than table service at a sex club"


    June 16, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
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