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. nena

    Another pathatic Republican, Romney, how dare you open your mouth to criticize the President when you have done NOTHING to help out with this crisis. Did President Obama cause the problem? Is he the oilman, like Cheney and other Texas Republican oilmen? Come on, stop your complaining and help with a solution, DO NOT ADD TO THE PROBLEM!!

    June 18, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. Bill McConkey

    Romney is a dangerous political opportunist with a deep personal belief that his way is the only way. He uses people. He will take differing positions depending upon who he is talking to. I have little doubt that this man will be the Republican nominee, primarily because of his flip-flops, anti women, anti-equality positions, and the money LDS people and businesses will pump into his campaign. The Romney Presidency has been the primary Mormon mission for years. They have used the anti gay movement to collect names, volunteers, organizations. Shameless.

    June 18, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. Hall for Obama

    Mitt Romney can accuse President Obama of mishandling the BP oil spill but he can not talk about Rep. Joe Barton of Texas who is on the side of or the BP and not for the Gulf Coast People who are loosening their live hood. All this tell me is here is another GOP who don’t really give a dog what President do it will not be good enough, so guess what Mitt Romney can grab at it and go straight to HELL. He did not vote for Obama and none of the people he knows voted for him and if he keeps up all this negative talk most of the people he is trying to turn against President Obama will vote for President Obama.

    June 18, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. Dickson

    I bet he won't answer a question about Mormon secret underwear either.

    June 18, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    Romney is full of it, and just trying to score political points with his 20-20 hindsight BS! BP was and is responsible for this mess:

    - BP said they'd be able to handle a spill several times the size of the one in the Gulf.
    - BP is the company with the experts, technology and equipment for dealing with a spill.
    - If BP needed help early on, it should have asked for it.
    - BP is not only a private corporation, it is a foreign corporation.

    Romney's response is just another example of the Republican "privatize success, socialize failure" approach to big business.

    June 18, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. Jay

    Hey where was all your serious look at how to handle a disaster when your pal Bush was in office during Katrina.

    You lost Mitt. The campaign is over.

    Go enjoy your millions.

    June 18, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. larry

    what do you expect from Romney.....he has to do something to get in the news.

    June 18, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. Pam

    Yeah, Mitt. He should have stepped in just like ole Georgy boy did for Katrina victims.
    I can still hear GW Bush saying ..."hurricane?? what hurricane???)

    June 18, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  9. Tulsa

    really? the Government should have taken over? Sounds like socialism.

    June 18, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. JOHN U

    Strange how all these privatizing privateers (like Romney and his firm Bain Capital), who are all against 'big gov't', and who push that corporate responsibility crap when convienient, suddenly wanted that very same big government to solve this issue pronto, even though the regs say the privateers are supposed to be the responsible ones. Romney wouldn't be trying to score 'cheap' political points, would he? Wonder how many oil deals Bain capitals made money off of?

    June 18, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. Dano

    So is Mitt saying that he wants MORE federal government involvement into private enterprise?? Normally these GOP bozos are calling for less government involvement. MAKE UP YOUR MIND MITT!

    June 18, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. Pam

    Mitt, aren't you one of those saying the government needs to stay out of private business?
    You can't have it both ways you idiot. If the government (President Obama) had rushed in and taken charge you would still be critizing him for not letting the private sector fix their own problem. There is so much hate from the right Obama doesn't stand a chance. What has your party accomplished in the last 18 months? Nothing, not, nadda zip and zero.
    Until you can show America you love this country and don't want to destroy it just to try to make OUR President look bad you will never get my vote.
    Republicans...you need to do something positive for the country. Anyone can stand on the sidelines and throw insults but we need results and you don't have any. You just say no, fillibuster, obstruct and say no. I don't call that governing in any sense. Go back to your majic underwaer until you have something to offer.

    June 18, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. Toni - Atlanta

    Mitt Romney is just another Republican hypocrit! The Republicans always tout less Government involvement, yet always want to blame the Government when their big money private corporations screw up and are in jeopardy. I'm thankful to have a President who is thoughtful versus "shooting from the hip" whenever were facing a crisis. Mitt, stick it where the sun doesn't shine. The American people are not stupid!!

    June 18, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. Bettey Moore

    Presidental wanna BE-NOT!!!!

    June 18, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. Larry

    Mitt Romney is a nobody wanting to be a somebody

    I have NEVER heard a solution come out of his mouth for anything that is important to this country

    Like Palin, they should stop QUOTING these morons just because they say something

    Who needs the media, if all they are going to do is RE-quote, MIS- quotes

    June 18, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. Jay

    Mitt, if the company running the rig is confused about what's going wrong for several days, do you really think Obama has magical powers to know better? Mitt, you're either an idiot or a sham. Personally, I think you're both, but then you have the advantage of magic underwear to solve your problems. Hey, maybe that's what they need in the gulf - you can go down and give everyone a pair of your magic underwear! I'm sure the oil will just disappear.

    June 18, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  17. Anthony Beasley

    Watch Morning Joe! Romney and Guiliani are nothing but political hacks and opportunist! Until American citizens decide to not reward negativity, this is what you get! People who make it all about tearing down the President. He couldn't win against McCain and now he's trying to make himself into a Presidential figure! They did call experts from everywhere! Maybe not your buddies because your buddies are about making money first and screwing people in the process.

    June 18, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  18. Confused

    Too much gov't intervention on specific items like health care, etc. Then not enough gov't intervention.

    I have two wishes:

    1. I wish politicians would just quit with the posturing and just do their dang jobs

    2. I wish people weren't simple-minded and stopped falling for this two-party rhetoric and tea party nonsense.

    We're all Americans!

    June 18, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  19. JESSIE

    So, wait...is Romney for big government or big business? I thought it was the free markets responsibly to take care of all these problems. Doesn't Romney want to starve the beast...leaving nothing left for emergencies like this? Which is it Romney?

    June 18, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. Debbie

    Why is it that the GOP have so much advice for the president after the fact? When he ask their option on something it's either "NO" or the president is trying to play the "I got you game".

    June 18, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. Jo Jo

    When will the repubs get a better strategy? The "attack, attack, attack and then attack the president some more" plan has played out. They have become like the background characters in a Charlie Brown cartoon, you see their mouths moving but the only sound coming out is, "bluh, bluh bluh." Also, included in their small minded bag of tricks is to put a spin on the situation. Accuse the opponent of something you are guilty of doing. Just the other day, wasn't it the repubs accusing the dems of making the oil spill out to be part of a political platform? Mitt and the rest of his old buddies really need to sit down and decide on which direction they are going because right now, they have none!

    June 18, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  22. mat

    Yeah, right...the US military branch has better oil technology than Big Oil. Yeah, right...the GOP would have rooted for Obama if he made demands of BP to hurry up or took over BP.
    Yeah, they would have supported levies and fines to offset the damage done to the area and its inhabitants.....oh wait, no I forgot...GOP Texas idiot accused the WH of exthortion and shaking down BP for 20 Billion...

    PRICELESS.

    June 18, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. Shari from Madison WI

    Here we go again with bashing President Obama. At least he's trying to do the right thing. But, since he can't change the color of his skin and his personality, nothing he says or does will be enough for all the people who are blaming him for everything that goes wrong, even when most of the problems he is having started under Republican presidents who didn't even have half of President Obama's intelligence. Romney and his kind will only be happy when they are totally in control and can put down anyone who disagree's with them.

    June 18, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  24. RA OHIO

    Republicants are SHILLS for BP. Seriously, BP shouldn't be making decisions on how to fix the problem they created? If President Obama had stepped in immediately after the leak, he would have been reamed for interfering with private business. As it is, he's being reamed for holding BP financially accountable for it's destruction of the environment. "Smaller Government," and "why didn't the President take over as soon as this happened" are at entirely opposite ends of the political spectrum MITT/RUSH/SARAH/GLENN. You can't be at both ends at the same time without being a LIAR.

    While I'm at it, our government didn't allow the Dutch skimmers to come in earlier because we have a LAW that prohibits them from using their oil/water separation method. It's an EPA-enforced law. I agree we need to change it and get them in, since damage from the separation tech is a lot less harmful than oil. Just report the facts, please.

    The full weight of fixing this problem still rests on BP's shoulders. Government (going back for a long time) IS to blame for allowing companies to experiment anywhere near our shores with technology they don't understand. BP obviously STILL doesn't understand how to fix the problem. I do wish President Obama had stepped in earlier, and gathered these experts. However, I don't think these experts even exist. Have you seen any of the testimony from the other HUGE oil companies CEOs? "Oh, we would have never done such a thing." BS. "We have plans in place to address emergencies." Such as contacting a professor who's been dead for five years. None of these companies KNOW how to fix it. They have little checklists with bullet points saying things like, "cap the leak." The oversight of these companies has been horribly lax, and I don't care which administration the blame falls on for this. Name names, whatever. Just FIX it. These companies have no business working in places they don't understand, and cannot control.

    June 18, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  25. Jeff in Virginia

    Yet more armchair quarterbacking from the man who has no ideas, and is actually partly to blame for the problem at hand.

    It is Republican policy and Republican mismanagement of the MMS that got us into this mess, not Obama's handling of a crisis created by BP.

    Republican policy led to the lack of safety on these drilling rigs. Get that through your heads.

    June 18, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
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