June 18th, 2010
12:03 PM ET
5 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. Nightrider

    If these people know so much about how to handle these crises, where were they to advise Bush in Katrina? Romney you lost the presidential bid, get over it.

    June 18, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. Captain Awesome

    Obama is a joke. Bobby Jindal can't even get barges to go and suck up the oil because the coast guard shut them down. Sixteen barges were just sitting there with nothing to do because of lack of leadership from the Obama administration. Obama = Jimmy Carter.

    June 18, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. Amazed!!

    Does Romney live in a broom closet at the GOP headquarters??? I'm asking because it's very apparant he hasn't read a paper or seen a tv screen in quite some time or he would know that OIL COMPANIES have CLEANED there OWN MESSES UP!! The President was right to let BP try to handle things, but they are incapable of cleaning up their own mess and of being honest about the extent of their responsiblity in causing the disaster by taking short cuts with safety equipment that should have been installed when the rig was being built so the President was forced to stepped in. Why the CEO hasn't been fired is beyond me, whose closet has the skeletons he owns back in the UK???

    June 18, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. Dan A

    Go Ahead Mitt–Run Again and lose again !!! You are pretty good at doing that so give us a good show !! All money and no substance !!!

    June 18, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. nomad

    Really Mitt? And I suppose you or the eventual "Dream Team" of so-called mavericks the GOP had on the docket in '08 would have endeavored to exercise such a comondeering approach? How "BIG GOVERNMENT" of YOU !! Republicans are such hypocrites on this particular issue. What about the fact that this deep an oil well is rather new technology, and therefore there are really not that many experts kicking around. I am certain what few there are were consulted. Clearly the White House wishes they had approached this mess sooner, and with more muscle, but I'm certain a GOP admin. would have been far more timid about upsetting BP. No Question.

    June 18, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  6. independent

    I have a simple series of questions:
    Is Mitt a Senior elder of his church?
    Is this the equivalent of being a minister, reverand, rabbi or priest?
    If it is, should he be allowed to hold public office and his church remain tax exempt?

    Do you believe that any denomination that allows/sanctions its minister, reverand, rabbi, priest, or elder to run for public office should lose tax exempt status?

    June 18, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. Who Cares?

    All these clowns do is whine, whine, whine....all while never making any suggestions and voting No on everything.

    How can any intelligent American think the Republican Party has their best interest at heart. It is so mind-boggling to me.

    June 18, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. Jim in Kansas

    I seldom agree with Romney, but in this case I must. However, the problem is that the President has no one in charge of the spill that is capable of making a decision. We don't need coordinators or touchy feely we will figure this out together commissions.

    We need a SOB that will Kick @%^ and take names on the ground in charge. Someone that will listen up to a point and make a decision based on what the situation appears to be based on the information on hand. Any decision is a good decision the only bad decision that leads no where is no decision. Personnaly, I don't care at this point in time whose fault it was, we have bigger fish to fry, and I personnaly do not care who is going to pay for clean up. BP's job is to plug the D&%^ well, our job is to protect our coastlines, and the economic well being of the gulf. THe resources of the nation to protect our coastlines and to clean up what has made it to shore.

    Six month moritorium on drilling, what in heavens name for, at most a 30 day safety review of procedures and safeguards on each of the rigs, once accomplished, and verified, the rig goes back to work. It appears today we are willing to destroy the economy of the gulf because one project manager in the gulf violated protacal, procedural safe guards and safety because a well was behind schedule. If awell is safe drill baby drill, if its unsafe shut it down on the spot, but don't push ahead and see if luck will be on your side today, that is out and out stupid.

    June 18, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. KJ

    It is easy to be critic, Mr. Romney. Let's be honest, you would find something to critical of President Obama even he did exactly everything you suggested. Since he believes the government should have capped the leak, can he explained where in the US government such skills and capability exist?

    June 18, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  10. Rich

    Yea Mitt you and your OIl buddies would have done better job

    June 18, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. SaraP

    Blah Blah Blah....

    ..Everyone knows theGOBP (Republicans) are responsible for creating the situation that allowed this spillto happen.
    Furthermore the idiots down south say 'thankyou may I have another' because big oil pays for their budweisers and gun collections. Idiots all around.

    June 18, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. PalmReader

    OK, so Mitt – along with a great many other GOPers -knows what to do, but is simply bidding his turn as president before he actually DOES anything about it.

    Kind of like McCain still holding onto Bin Laden's secret hideout because HE didn't get elected.

    OK, Mitt. So, WHO are these academic and engineering firms that have yet to be contacted? And, why haven't these experts offered their expertise?

    Don't throw in the Palin Dutch and Norwegian talking points. THOSE were debunked long before she ever spoke.

    Gotta get on top of things, Mitt. Like, well, reading. Washington Post has already covered this subject.

    GOPers don't care about facts. They simply care about bringing down this President. And, as we have seen for the past two years, will repeat any lie, over and over, if that's what it takes.

    June 18, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. Common Cents

    Tell me something, Mr Romney: If you were president of these here United States....how would YOU stop the leak?!?

    I read your entire comments TWICE and still didn't see a solution...

    June 18, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  14. bunkai

    Romney is critical that Obama didn't do this – "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.- when it was exactly what Obama did.
    Why is it that the GOP has to make things up?
    The gov't or military don' t have the technology necassry to deal with an accident of this extreme nature – neither does BP it would seem – but the oil companies are the ONLY ones with the ability to work at that depth – the gov't has no other choice available to it.

    June 18, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  15. J.T.

    Wow Romney, that sounds like goverment interference. I thought you were against that? You Hypocrite.

    June 18, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  16. Dan

    Typical Romney. One day government is the solution. Next day government should stay out.

    Romney shouldn't even be allowed in the GOP since Romney Care was the framework of Obama Care.

    June 18, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  17. Victim of GOP Taliban

    As if you would be able to do anything? First of all you would have bowed to your Big Oil Lobbyist Masters and done everything to please BP like your boy Barton.

    Now go back and hire some illegal aliens to work on your billionaire chateau, while claiming ignorance and talk out of that other side your mouth about how Americans should not hire illegal aliens. Slick Mitt is a tool.

    June 18, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Chandler01

    That is EXACTLY what the President did, Mitt. But don't let facts get in the way of your partisan bickering.

    June 18, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  19. JC

    And you have done what.... yeah thats what I thought.

    June 18, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  20. Sharon

    Another lying Republican. I quit listening to the whole lot of them after following their horrendous performances during the health care debates. President was on top of this from the start, assembled 100 of the top scientists in the country to help BP on the well and just enacted an amazing feat by persuading BP to put 20 billion dollars in escrow to be doled out to people in the Gulf region by a very experienced outside person. Otherwise the people may ave had to wait decades to collect like the Alaskans did after the Exxon Valdez spill. People in the Gulf are happy. He promised to help them get their money in a reasonable time–he kept his word. POTUS is doing a great job.

    June 18, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. Carol Johns

    Ther $20B slush fund just adds another layer of administrative nightmares for claimants to have to navigate to get their righteous reimbursementwhile Obama's buddies will get big checks for "helping out". This is just a show from the white house because they can't think of anything they can do to help fix the leak or the cleanup.

    June 18, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. Oregon Calling

    Not really fit to print what my thoughts are on how some seem to be only trying to derail our President. Were you in all of his meetings? Did you speak with him at all during this time frame? If you can't answer these questions then, to me, your opinion doesn't amount to much.

    Peace :-)

    ok for my Poll of Polls: How many people think that again Mitt will fail to become the nominee for the Republicans?

    June 18, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  23. ST

    Is Romney not aware that the oil is still gushing? He can also step in and dive into the water and plug the hole and emerge as a hero. If he can't do anything, he should not throw his blames to others!

    June 18, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. CMH Green Guy

    So let me get this straight – Romney, a "conservative" who favors smaller government, is criticizing Obama for not governing enough. It's amazing how much these smaller government guys suddenly favor more government and crticize President Obama for not doing more governing. Should make for an interesting debate this fall.

    June 18, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. Amazed

    Hello Mitt. Did you manager to sell that comfortable little $17,000,000 ski shack you had listed for sale out in Utah?

    Thank you for looking out for us.

    The Little People

    June 18, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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