June 18th, 2010
12:03 PM ET
4 years ago

Romney rips Obama's handing of BP oil spill

Mitt Romney accused President Obama Friday of mishandling the BP oil spill.
Mitt Romney accused President Obama Friday of mishandling the BP oil spill.

Charleston, South Carolina (CNN) - Mitt Romney accused President Obama Friday of mishandling the BP oil spill, and specifically charged that the president had a dangerous hands-off approach in the early days of the crisis.

Romney, appearing a campaign stop in South Carolina for gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley, called the Obama administration's response to the spill "ineffective" and said the White House has relied too heavily on BP to cap the oil leak.

"In this kind of a crisis situation, the president's response should have been to step in, bring in the experts, people from various oil companies, from leading institutions, academic and engineering firms and look at the options for actually capping this oil spill and then actually making those decisions," Romney said.

He added, "That is something which he has delegated to BP. As the company responsible for causing the spill in the first place, I think it was a mistake to rely on BP for 60 days or so to make the decisions on how to cap the oil spill. They have been ineffective in that regard."

The former Massachusetts governor and possible 2012 presidential candidate would not comment on a controversial remark by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas. Barton apologized Thursday for saying that BP's $20 billion fund to pay for oil spill damages was the result of a "shakedown" from the White House.

Romney said he is "pleased that funds are being put aside" to help Gulf residents affected by the spill.


Filed under: BP • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. Ellie

    I'm sorry WHO is Mitt Romney again? The guy who LOST big time in the Presidential race. Yeah, yeah, I thought so. Romney needs to go sit down and shut the hell up. He has NO clue what the REAL situation is or has any SOLUTIONS on how to fix it. NO ONE DOES at this point.

    This guy walks around with his slicked back hair and talks trash about everything President Obama..... and yet had NO SOLUTIONS on how to fix the oil spill.

    Everyone is quick to bash the President, he didn't create this OIL SPILL and right now NO ONE knows how to fix it. This has never happened before in our history. So for Mitt Romney to walk around talking trash is just another indication of what Republicans always do. All they always go around "talking trash" but they NEVER OFFER up solutions when they have or HAD the chance to do so.

    June 18, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. jaybally

    Mitt Romney, thats why your still a "Wannabe" ! Looking forward to 2012, which of your Nine Wives, would become the First Lady?

    June 18, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. Dva

    Romney still will not mention that if regulators were in place, this disaster may not have happened. Why not wait until the disaster occurs, continue receiving oil money, then blame the Democrat administration for not moving fast enough. Talk about transparency. Romney and the Republicans are truly transparent in what they do with denial and blame.......Just keep saying no to Obama, which is another transparent fact. What the Republicans want is to oust Obama any way possible. Their time is spent on entirely trying to get Obama out of the White House that they have no time to nor do they care to do anything about the people of this country.

    June 18, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. Richard Miller in Montana

    Pretty easy to pass judgment Mitt. Suppose you'd enlist the help of the LDS 's god in fixing things. Can anyone on the repuglican side of the political spectrum do anything beside posture and whine?????

    June 18, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. anotherGDlefty

    Fair enough Mitt.

    Now please tell the world what YOU & YOUR PARTY have done towards resolving the situation.

    It's OK, I'll wait...

    June 18, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. Tilly

    Yeah it's pretty easy for you to sit back and make these comments just like all the other Republicans.......but if you had to wear the shoes this President is wearing you couldn't have done any better and probably worse.......it's easy to say what he should have done, but this Govenment isn't in the Business nor has knowledge of how to cap an oil leak, be careful with your words GOP because trying to lable this President a Failure over this Oil Spill will only bite you in the butt because you are the ones with BP and the rest of the Oil companies in bed with you......

    June 18, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. Bobby in Atlanta

    Romney ignores that fact that all the specialist around the world have come up with ideas to cap the well. And the technology doesn't exist, why else does he think the oil continues to flow? What an idiot, I use to respect this guy, but he's like all the others with an "R" behind his name. Useles. Where does this clown stand on getting the US off its dependance on oil? In particular foreign oil? Bet he didn't say a word on that topic. What a clown.

    June 18, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. cardog

    Mitt Romney is a republican...enough said. Having no comment on the statement made by Mr. Barton is a no brain er...what the heck is he going to say other then to confirm what an idiot Mr. Barton is and a further major embarrassment to the republican party.

    June 18, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. Corbett Cummins

    I'm sorry, but if Romney thinks that he could do any better, then that is further proof that he is way too ignorant and self-absorbed to hold any office. Go back to your stomach crunches, D-bag.

    June 18, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. Brian from Iowa

    Isn't this the guy who favors limited gov't?

    June 18, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. normajean

    In this case, i'm not so sure that "Better late than never" quite fits. This man has been on the edges of the current political scene and has yet to make a contribution to any of the problems except rapping away at anything the Democratic party or the president does. I think he should just quietly slip away into the forgotten past.I don't see him as a viable candidate for president and think it would be a waste of time and money for him to go ahead.Appparently he was unaware that the first thing the president did when the Gulf problem started was to get in touch with experts.Funny how many people didn't think the president was smart enough to do this. Guess THEY were the dumb ones.

    June 18, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. Jilli

    Another republican moron trying to change reality.

    Sorry Mittens, another corporate apologist that tried to buy his partys nomination – not buyin' what you're selling.

    June 18, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. Nadeem

    Romney is the ultimate flip flopping GOBPer

    June 18, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. joyluck

    Whey is he talking so much about Obama. Is this a presidental campaign speech? He is suppose to be helping nikki.

    June 18, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  15. Kris

    I am confused, why do the Republicans want limited government 99% of the time but when there is a disaster they all scream "The Government is not doing its job!!" You cannot have it both ways! At least that is what I was taught as a child.

    June 18, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  16. TonyInLargo

    "Don't get dressed for the gala, Romney. You're not going to be invited, and neither are any of your Republican colleagues. Don't you just hate yourself, having to criticize Obama when you know he's doing a superb job?

    Even if your brain was firing on all cylinders, you would never have come even close to handling the BP Oil Spill t as well as he has.

    Remember, the truth is like the sky, as hard as you try, you can't cover it by putting your hands in front of your eyes. We have a Leader in the White House, not a blowhard like you and the rest of you slime balls who tried to block passage of unemployment benefits, apologized to, BP, lied about abortion funds being in the Health Care Reform, lied about Euthenasia being part of the Health Care Bill, continue to lie about who created the Economic Debacle that Obama is dealing with successfully, de-regulated Banking, de-regulated Environmental Rules, want to privatize Social Security to feed the sharks on Wall Street and stood by when the Bush White House committed Treason on one of our finest women, Valerie Plame.

    Stay home, rock on a chair, listen to the news and educate yourself on running government, unless of course you prefer to look out the window of your house from which maybe you can see the North Pole.

    June 18, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. Blown

    Like most of what Obama has touched the gulf spill is a disaster. I heard today he talking about unemployment and since we don't want it to get worse maybe he should avoid it. From the economy, to jobs, to the Gulf nothing has been unscathed by the well spoken but worthless Obama.

    June 18, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. Doyle Wiley, MI

    Romney is still clueless.

    June 18, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. Future expat

    SHUT UP, MITTHOLE!!!

    We've seen now that you, just like your buddy John McCain, are bottom-dwelling opportunists who will do and will say ANYTHING to get yourself elected.

    June 18, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  20. anthony

    By the time you assemble the experts from industries and academia, put them in a room, have them deliberate, and give the president their recommendations, they would have told the president to do the things that BP had already done. Your party still would have attacked the president, but the attack probably would have been that the president is all talk and no action. Give it a rest. The Republican Party attacked the president for not doing enough, even though the government does not have the resources or the technical know-hows to stop an oil spill like this. The military is not designed for this and does not have the right equipment. The one with the equipment and technology to drill in the first place, BP, is the one with the equipment and technology to stop the leak.

    Now that the president get BP to agree to pay 20 billion for the damages they caused, your party is criticizing the president for being too hard on BP. It is not just Barton, the ranking Republican on the the committee, who feels this way. Another member of the GOP leadership, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative House members, used the same "shakedown" language Wednesday in describing the escrow fund. Try to explain to the public why demanding a company to pay for the damages it caused from the spill is "Chicago-style shakedown politics." BP agreed to the fund in an effort to rehabilitate itself in the face of a PR disaster. Republicans might not appreciate this yet, but apologizing to an oil company after it caused the greatest oil spill in history is a PR disaster of epic proportions, one that is entirely of their own making.

    June 18, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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