June 17th, 2010
11:35 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama, Hayward didn't talk one on one

BP CEO Tony Hayward did not have any direct one-on-one contact with President Obama during Wednesday’s White House meeting.
BP CEO Tony Hayward did not have any direct one-on-one contact with President Obama during Wednesday’s White House meeting.

Washington (CNN) - As BP CEO Tony Hayward gets grilled on Capitol Hill Thursday, a senior administration official acknowledged Hayward never had any direct one-on-one contact with President Obama during Wednesday's White House meeting.

In defending that decision, the official said there was nothing the president needed to say to Hayward that he didn't say to the entire group.

Obama met for 20 minutes with the group of BP executives, then individually in the Oval Office for another 25 minutes with Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg.

Asked if the president used strong language to scold the executives, the official insisted that the tone was "businesslike."

The official, who was present for part of the meeting, suggested the real arm twisting took place in the days leading up to the meeting and that while there were still sticking points, BP executives showed up aware of what they needed to do.


Filed under: BP • President Obama • Tony Hayward
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    He also doesn't talk directly to the CEO of every small business in the USA. It's NOT his job.

    And PALIN? She is an ex quitter gov. and should have talked to Jindal. Protocol has lost it;s way.

    June 17, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    Obama is more comfortable doing his political grandstanding on TV.

    June 17, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  3. Pot calling Kettle

    What amazes me the most in all of this is that the government can make major mistakes all the time in their spending programs, budget projections, war plans and nobody gets to call them to task to point out their incompetence.

    For example, we can hear that a $700 Billion (with a capital B) stimulus plan was going to keep unemployment below 8% and stimulate the economy. $700 Billion spend and it didn't work!! They are angry with BP because this could cost $20 to clean up yet nobody points out that the Fanny and Freddy mess will cost $1 Trillion dollars and the failed stimulus cost $700 Billion.

    When will business executives get to grandstand and call these White House, House, and Senate goofs to task for their failures!!

    June 17, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  4. jim

    how much time did obama allocate for meeting with mccartney? probably more than the 45 minutes given to bp. strange priority i'd say.

    June 17, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  5. dave with eyes wide open

    geez, all you obamacons make me laugh. you should look past the lights and glitter. i can't wait til it blows up in your face which means it'll blow up in everyone's faces. you people should use your brains for something other than an ear splitter. i celebrated putting a black man in office even though i didn't vote for him, but i'd rather celebrate a competent black man in office. HERE!! HERE!!!! now back to your trough..........

    June 17, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  6. Joy

    Once again a nonissue. The president went to the top to get this resolved. Why does everyone think he should talk to Hayward?

    The nonsense just keeps going on and on.

    June 17, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. Slider

    Of course the tone was 'businesslike". After Obama made a jackass out of himselt, with his 'kick ass' comment, when it comes time to actually face his opponent he is a no show.

    Gutless.

    It's called taking the money and running.

    One more thing: it's important to see how leftists and Obama view this $20B shakedown: It's nothing more than how they govern; shake down business and individuals of their wealth, and then redistribute it.

    How pathetic.

    June 17, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. anotherGDlefty

    Who cares?
    Tony Hayward does not control the money.

    He obviously met with the right person to get a 20 billion dollar start to a fund for relief.

    A fund which the esteemed GOP is now calling a slush fund & extortion.

    GOP slogan 2010-2012..."Hoping America fails".

    June 17, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  9. Cindy

    I just don't get this action on behalf of our president. It is unacceptable that you don't want to talk to their acting CEO. You don't have to like him, you aren't hanging out watching a game and you aren't showing sympathy for them, so what is the issue? Quite frankly, this is despicable, reprehensible and more importantly, childish. I would want to meet and talk with everyone to make sure that they understand your seriousness and commitment to fixing this mess. Grow up, Mr. President. I am sure you could get better advice from your own daughters than you are getting from your advisers.

    June 17, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA June 17th, 2010 12:11 pm ET

    Someone has to be the fall guy. And guess what Mr. Hayward??? You're it!!! This will eventually turn into a criminal investigation. The President can't be seen associating with legitimate criminals.
    __________________________

    My God, Son... where do you come up with this incoherent blather? Been hanging out with Sniffit?

    June 17, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. Slick William

    If Obama had any clue with regard to leadership as our President and any business experience at all, this mess would have been handled differently from day one. At least this is basis for Hope for Change in 2010 and 2012, America has now seen the Obama Administration at its' best and all I can think of is FORE, boogie night and backroom payoffs!

    June 17, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  12. malabar

    He's in over his head. it seems rather obvious that sum other person or group call the shots. he may undo what took hundreds of years to perfect- fooling our country into believing our President is the leader

    June 17, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. Mesa Mick

    Why would the POTUS want to talk with such a low-level water carrier? Obama is the leader of the most powerful nation in the world and you right wing nut jobs want him to discuss the poisioning of the Gulf witha person that is pretty much the janitor for BP.

    Brilliant, just brilliant...

    June 17, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. mexicana

    Obama's administration is all demonizing companies, never mind fixing the real problem. My guess is that the $20B will end up somewhere in a Chicago fund to pay off "you know who"...

    June 17, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    "This is yet another example of on-the-job learning for the least-experienced executive on the planet. At least Reagan the actor got his training leading the people of California. This Chicago clown is learning as he goes – or more accurately, failing as he goes."

    Boo-Hoo! More sour grapes from the brainless rightwing. This is all the neo-GOP has?.....mindless drivel about non-existent failures?
    And these idiots want to be put back in charge of the mess they created? Please, you neo-morons need to get your panties adjusted before you come out in public again.

    June 17, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  16. emma

    Why make it such a big deal? The processes of communication have been in place no matter who talks with whom. And BP has not leveled about actual outcomes of the spill. Why do you think he would have had an honest exchange with the boss of BP?

    June 17, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. emma

    So you think that because of BP giving him campaign money, that should make it okay for BP to do damage to the earth and its inhabitants without a consequence? Where is the logic

    June 17, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  18. Bedtime for Obonzo

    No time to set up the teleprompter. Seriously, can you imagine a meeting between a community organizer who's never held a job in the private sector and a private sector tycoon who lives the oil business?

    Obama: "I command you to stop the leak instantly!"
    Hayward: "And how might we do that, genious?"
    Obama: "Uh..err..err...uh...I command you to stop the leak instantly!"

    June 17, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "This is yet another example of on-the-job learning for the least-experienced executive on the planet."

    Get a clue please...you guys spout off at the mouth when you clearly have no idea what yuo're talking about . Hayward works for Svanberg. Hayward has royally messed up the entire thing so far in an massive effort to hide information and mitigate liability. Obama talked to Hayward's boss, Svanberg, who is the REAL BOSS, instead of the d-bag lackey who has been jerking everyone's chain for the past 2 months. Svanberg answers directly to the shareholders, Hayward does not. That is precisely why Obama was able to secure $20B.

    June 17, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  20. BeverlyNC

    If all these "experts" who want to criticize President Obama actually knew the FACTS of this disaster and the LAWS that need to be followed to ensure BP can be fully held criminally accountable for this Gulf spill.

    If the government jumps in and takes over, then BP can claim they, the oil experts,tried to do the clean up but the govt interfered and therefore they are not responsible for the long cleanup, the resulting cleanup time, costs, etc.

    Why do you think the first thing BP did after the explosion was send in LAWYERS??? They are still trying to limit their legal liability down the road.

    President Obama has to be careful that the govt does not take any actions that will give BP cause to avoid accountability and full criminal and monetary liability.

    If all you armchair "experts" are so smart – go down to the Gulf and take over the nightmare of cleanup, bird rescue, worker coordination, resource attainment, payment to hundreds of thousands of businesses and workers for loss of wages, and, oh by the way, dive in and close the oil well with your brilliance.

    THIS IS NOT PRESIDENT OBAMA'S FAULT AND THE DECADES IT WILL TAKE TO CLEAN IT UP ARE NOT HIS FAULT AND THE LEVEL OF THIS DISASTER CAN BE INSTANTLY MADE PERFECT.

    I'm sorry and angry too for what BP did but I am not going to blame President Obama who is holding BP accountable, getting separate funds started to pay oil workers on closed rigs and to pay business owners ruined by this spill. He is the HERO in this disaster.

    Republicans don't want anything done to BP and are even criticizing President Obama for being "too hard" on BP. They don't want BP held accountable and House Min Leader Republican Boehner said we should make the taxpayers pay for the cleanup and leave BP alone.

    Do you want a brilliant and successful leader holding BP accountable and forcing them to pay and do the clean up or do you want a slimeball Republican who thinks BP should be "left alone" handling this disaster?????

    President Obama is on the side of the PEOPLE and doing all he can to handle this disaster. Unless you can go do it better, shut up, and let those who know how to lead handle it without constant stupid whining.

    June 17, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. Me

    Not surprised.

    June 17, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. Dan J

    I thought he was gonna kick some a$$. He's willing to meet with the worst kind of dictators, but not the CEO of BP? It's been 2 months of oil spilling, and this sit-down hasn't happened yet? Why is Obama being so non confrontational during what is likely the biggest crisis of his Presidency?

    June 17, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. Gulf Res.

    Gee, maybe he should have conferred with sister Sarah too. After all, she knows all about drilling and how to treat those big bad oil guys, right? And she's so dang smart too; just a wealth of folksie knowledge! This is laughable! Thanks Mr. Pres.; you're doing just fine by us and we appreciate that.

    June 17, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. Dan J

    GI Joe June 17th, 2010 12:31 pm ET

    He also doesn't talk directly to the CEO of every small business in the USA. It's NOT his job.

    And PALIN? She is an ex quitter gov. and should have talked to Jindal. Protocol has lost it;s way.

    What? Since when was BP a "small business?" You honestly don't think Obama shouldn't talk to the CEO of the company that is now actively destroying aa huge part of our country? Are you nuts?

    June 17, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. Angus McDugan

    Of course not. Obama doesn't want to give an executive the opportunity to school a community organizer in public.

    No sir-re-bob. Let's keep the Obama facade up as long as we can.

    June 17, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
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