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. Bob of Lompoc

    Republicans area simply disgusting. The petro giant BP is not responsible. They didn't try to drill for oil a mile under the ocean, without regard to their lack of knowledge as to how to do this – oh no, it's President Obama's fault. These modern day Republicans are a master joke on mankind. Yeah, Reagan never dyed his hair and Palin didn't have breast implants. Geez.

    June 16, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. ronnospam

    Bush claimed false information about WMDs he was fed by intelligence agencies led to the War in Iraq. Republicans not only bought the excuse, but echoed it at every opportunity. Obama was clearly fed misinformation about both the quantity of oil leaking into the gulf, and BP's ability to correct the problem by BP. Holding Obama to a standard not appleid to Bush appears to be a double standard.

    June 16, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. AEK

    Iraq War...over a trillion dollars...thousands of lives lost...shut up RNC!

    June 16, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. Lets send Rush and Sarah the bill.

    The RNC dithered for eight years on every issue.Rush got married so he woundnt get caught in Thailand being a boyscout leader.hahaha

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

    The GOP are acting despicably. For the "drill,baby, drill" crew to even mention lack of action is deplorable. What a bunch of hypocrites!!!

    June 16, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. Chuck G

    The party of NO makes a statement. Who cares.....

    June 16, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  7. jboh

    Steele is a political hack, and a moron. Who cares what these clowns say. They dithered while the economy crashed. Dithered on everything except stuffing their robber baron cronies pockets with the middle class' retirement savings. They spent the entire Bush/Cheney years looting the country. They say we're at war. Well, what do they do with looters in wartime? Let's give the GOP their comeupance in Nov., and throw all GOP idiots out on their collective backsides. If they can get their heads out of the way..

    June 16, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. JonDie

    Gimme a break. The RNC, aka the Tea Party, wants to abolish most of the functions of government and put all decisions in the hands of Wall Street bankers and foreign oil company executives.

    June 16, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. Dave

    We are almost 2 months into this thing and he has had a 20 mintue meetting with the BP execs... ahh leadership.

    He has also managed 2 vacations, 2 rounds of golf, & a couple fundraisers.

    And of course he has managed to point the finger and blame everyone possible, from the GOP, to Bush, to BP, to the lack of government regulations (laughable, since it is one of the most overregulated industries in the world).

    Now he gives a speech and uses this to push his energy bill. pathetic. He is basically amking a play for more taxes and more government because one company screwed up.

    Vote this incompetent, inexperienced fool out. Start by making him a lame duck in November

    June 16, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  10. t22

    Give it a break Steele. There will be plenty of time to pick this stuff apart in the 2012 campaign. Let the government figure out how it can help.

    June 16, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. Renea

    Oh really RNC Im pround of President Obama he is doing the best he can is what i see. Critcize him all you want unlike Katrina where people was trapped for days. My heart goes out to the 11 people families that was killed and the other that was affected.

    June 16, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. dora

    RNC talking points are not news.

    June 16, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. GL

    I thought the Republicans wanted govenment to stay out of their way and taking over too much of the Private industry. Now it all about the government piching in and helping out their Corp. friend the oil company.

    Remember President Obama said months ago about the Republicans need to tune down on their Tea Baggers noise that government is evil if they want to work togeter. All last summer the Tea Baggers and the Republicans party made government to look like the evil one, but this summer it all about government not moving fast enough to help out their BIG CORP. FRIEND THE OIL COMPANY.

    June 16, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. Deb/Alabama

    I am surprised at such a negative statement. Why does the Republican Committee have to say something negative constantly. President Obama has done well in his actions and more than that his compassionate response toward all the affected areas. I don't like the blame game either, it does not serve any purpose and is pretty childish. However, such major offenses, how is it possible to ignore them.

    Our president deserves our respect and our allegiance.

    June 16, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  15. GL

    The whole Reublicans party is out to destory this President. I can not believe the evilness of the WHOLE REPUBLICAN PARTY. If they spend as much time as they spend in trying to DESTORY this President AND try to get America out of the mess they created maybe USA would be closer to recovery.

    June 16, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. KM

    I could care less if the President himself ever visited the gulf coast. My concern would be do he have the right people at the oil spill site and along the gulf coast to handle the situation.

    I am certain that the President will NEVER personally clean up a beach or put up a barracade so why do I need him there. It makes people feel better to see someone in power at the scene but for me, I prefer to have the experts at the scene taking care of the disaster rather than spending their time preparing for a presidential arrival.

    June 16, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. Realistic

    The republicans party and the tea baggers should both have a brain oscopy and than return when they have removed all their Sh_t from their brains. Until than, Steele, Palin, Rush, Penius head Beck, Sean and levine should stay silent until their treatment is completed.

    June 16, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. John

    And Steele accuses Obama of politicizing the crisis?

    June 16, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  19. Senator

    the RNC lives off of the tragedy's of America, they have milked 911 for all it was worth and now they will cover themselves in oil through 2012, and where is Dick Chaney?????

    June 16, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. Naqib

    AMERICA.... alleges the Blunder and Chief "dithered" in Gulf crisis...

    Forty days before he acted like he was even informed...

    One and DONE!

    June 16, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. Peter s

    Republicans are hypocrites!! did you expect the President to wear a diving suit and a tool kit dive down the ocean and close the leak?. Its you republicans who are obsessed with oil, Dick Cheney!, Bush etc. and guess what your mouth piece so called fix oh no fox news is tainted with oil money!!

    June 16, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  22. Guess Who

    On the flip side of it. Had Obama rushed in too strong and quickly, they will criticize him of being arrogant and big government. Worst of all it would have given BP an everlasting out. BP claim would have been, the government came in and messed it up before it got out of hand.
    I hope many Americans can see the GOP is playing politics with this.

    June 16, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. RH

    Ridiculous. If Obama were to "focus his full attention on the...spill" they would attack him for ignoring the economy or Iraq and Afghanistan. The only people who go for this sort of attack are those who are already committed to opposing anything and everything Obama does anyway.

    June 16, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  24. Bob in PA

    The man has still to this day done nothing. With something this size he should be spearheading an international effort of private and government resources from around the globe to contain and start removing the spilled oil from the ocean. Totally inept.

    June 16, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. Seattle Girl

    Lowest of the low! How about the RNC do something positive for a change and quit lambasting the sitting President who has worked harder in the last 2.5 years than GWB did in his ENTIRE 8 years?!?!?

    June 16, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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