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. bobbi

    With each passing day Romney looks more and more like David Hasselhoff. : D

    June 18, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. Dustin

    Didn't this dude's church just get cited for 12,000 violations surrounding the financing of the Prop. 8 movement? I don't know that I'd be "ripping" anyone if I were him. You are the company you keep.

    June 18, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. Marie (Portland, Oregon)

    Never cease to be amazed how Romney and his fellow Republicans sing a different tune with each situation. Like waving wheat first they this administration is getting too involved and then they say its not doing enough. Fact is they complain about every decision the Obama administration makes. Its getting to sound like a broken record of b*tch and moan with no constructive ideas or actions on their part to do anything to help this country. Advice from a recovering Republican...we all need to buy some hip waders because the elephant dung is sure to get deeper between now and November.

    June 18, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. thor

    It's too sad that we have a president that see"s the need to go to Ohio to do a little campaigning while we have a terrible disaster going on in the Gulf region.I guess it's too much to ask Obama to show some leadership but the again he would have to care in order to do that.

    June 18, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. ramtruck2500

    seeing the president is responsible for this and every other calamity since the inspired creation by God i frankyly am sick of listening to the dumba__ Repugs. Had he done a major intervention he would have been nationalizing BP what ever he does hes damned. i for one am really sick and tired of all this crap. Know your historyu and the limits as to what can happen. personally I hope the government escrows the crap out of BP becuase you know damn well they are going to file at some pint and well there goes the farm. This is a complete disaster and it is NOT Natural a natural one. Methods need to also be checked But I bet they are going to do a bankruptcy thing just watch. Mitt as far as I am concerned can go blow an egg!

    June 18, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. Colorado Liberal--and Proud of It

    You have excellent hindsight, Mr. Romney.

    The real lesson for all is: Never trust giant, multi-national corporations at any step at any time for any reason. They are simply not democratic institutions.

    June 18, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. Ben in Texas

    Repugnants are looking schizophrenic. Sometimes they demand that the Obama administration keep it's hands off business, and then they demand that they jump in with both feet. They can't even get their act together when they're all in one place at one time, like the interrogation of the BP execs yesterday. Most of the Repugs were coming down on BP while Joe Barton was apologizing to BP and calling the $20B fund a "shakedown". That leads to 1 of 2 possible conclusions:

    1) The Repugnants are 1000% in the pockets of Oil and other Big Business, but they're trying to hide it.
    2) They all need to be put in a home and treated for mental illness.

    I vote both of the above.

    June 18, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. th

    Romney is an idiot

    June 18, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    Let the campaign posturing begin.

    June 18, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  10. obama victim

    so Mitt thinks Obama has bungled the oil spill??? DUH?? Hello?? anyone with any sense has known this for a long time

    June 18, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. cf

    Oh so now the GOP is for gov't intervention and takeovers? Please.

    June 18, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. ConsiderThis - FL

    What about Romney's handling of his own failed campaign? At least President Obama ran a successful campaign and WON. Romney is an expert criticizer and if he didn't have money, he would be a complete failure.

    June 18, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. shawn

    Honestly, who cares what this joker has to say? Has he even had a job in the past 5 years? Mittens is a joke.

    June 18, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. dblzap

    This IDIOT backed the bush administration during their anti regulation blitz and now has the nerve to criticize the Obama for trying to clean up their mess?

    What about less government your always spewing on about?

    HYPOCRITE!!!!!!!

    June 18, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. mj

    I couldn't agree more. Why hasn't Obama taken advantage of help offered from Foreign and Domestic sources? Instead, he chooses to appoint a new Czar and Committee to pursue legal suits against BP. Obama does not have any business sense. Just because he is the President (he likes to remind us of this every chance he gets) it does not mean he has the ability to solve this problem. This has gone on long enough – GET HELP OBAMA!

    June 18, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. Ex-Republican since McCain picked Palin

    Leave my President alone. He has help from Mexico, the Dutch, Norway, BP, etc.. He has gotten the people who will be out of work when the rigs are shutting down for 6 months money, lots of money. Now the 20 billion for us. Another Republican to bad mouth the President, what would you have done? Again, if the President personally found a cure for Cancer and AIDS, the bashers would have some complaint. This is getting old and I think alot of people in America agree with me about the party of no!

    June 18, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  17. Annie, Atlanta

    Another useless voice heard from. All criticism, no plan. You got ideas Ken, call the President. I'm sure he'd be glad to hear from you (in the name of bipartisanship and all).

    The first President I remember is JFK, and I cannot in all this time remember one who was criticized like President Obama. The man is catching hell for securing at least $20 Billion for the people whose lives are businesses are being ruined in the gulf states. This has gone so far beyond absurd I don't know if there's a name for it.

    At least the GOP has dropped all pretenses for all of us to see. There is that.

    June 18, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  18. dax

    This dude is a shill. Does he have any credibility after criticizing a healthcare bill much like the one he pushed through and celebrated in Massachusetts? Now he, like the rest of these neocons, is checking the polls and barking from the sidelines. New Flash, although they are infecting a lot of people, there will be enough Mormon and faith based zombies to win it for you.

    June 18, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. Mesa Mick

    And when asked what he would do in the Gulf if he were POTUS, Romeny replied....

    After a moment complete silence he then said,
    "I'm in full agreement with what Joe Barton of TX said in his opening statements to the committee yesterday – I feel sorry for BP and the "shakedown" the American people are giving them as well.
    After all, BP isn't at fault, everybody else including Obama and the Easter bunny is."

    He went on to say "The GOBP is behind Tony Hayward 110% in his fight to polute and destroy Ameica's natural bounty and beauty in the name of profit and unregulated capitalism."

    June 18, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  20. Timothy Lee

    Funny how republicans are all for the "hands off" approach on the private sector until something goes wrong – then they want big brother to step in and take over.

    How can you consistantly be against government regulation ot businesses but be for the government steping in and cleaning up the (enevitable) disasters that follow? Lets focus on sensible regulations and their enforcement and not on the partisan blame game.

    June 18, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. hobart

    It's easy to criticize when you have absolutely zero ideas to offer yourself.

    No one, not BP, not any of the other oil companies, and certainly not Republican have a clue how to stop this leak.

    And thanks to Republicans doing everything possible to gut the budgets for basic science and mission oriented science (e.g. the EPA), and thanks to their letting the oil companies write their own regulations, and thanks to their stacking the MMS with oil company hacks, we have the mess we're in.

    And yet they have the audacity to criticize those who inherited this mess and have worked tirelessly on it for 2 months. What loathsome hypocrites!

    Do tell us Mitt, why do Republicans so hate America?

    June 18, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. Choice that matters

    He is just bitting at the bit to put down president Obama because he wants to be a 2012 hopeful.

    June 18, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  23. Dan, TX

    Obama did bring in the experts from day 1. The only problem was, the experts said that the leak can't be stopped until the relief wells are dug. You can try A, B and C. BP has the resources to do it, and they have failed or only partially succeeded. What is needed is for Congress to authorize spending $20 billion in taxpayer money to get more resources to the region and then have BP reimburse.

    Why does congress sit on its hands waiting for leadership – is it because congress really is just not relevant anymore?

    June 18, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. Big Jilm

    If you actually cared about the disaster, you would have proposed these ideas yourself early on, but it's obvious your 20/20 hindsight special powers are only to be used to try and tear down Obama.

    Where was your solution when it mattered?

    June 18, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. jim atmadison

    As the November elections get closer, these finger pointers become less relevant. Obama brought in all kinds of people and has encouraged input from experts around the world.

    What would Romney have done to cap the leak? Nothing specific. As usual.

    If GOP finger pointing was actually useful, the well would be capped, the beaches would be clean, and the dolphins would be frolicking in the pristine surf. Unfortunately, as the Bush administration demonstrated, Republicans can't actually 'do' anything. All they can do is criticize.

    June 18, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
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