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. Nelson, Colorado Springs Co

    Mitt Romney is just like the other ones ARM CHAIR QUARTER BACK it easy to make this statement like this. 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 but Peter Humby did Rumney give any names of company that could HELP?????? if so why didn't you print them or ask Rumney for names.

    June 18, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. RH

    And if Obama had done exactly what Romney now prescribes it'd be, "Shame on Obama for burdening the taxpayer and other, uninvolved oil companies! This was BP's mistake and should be BP's responsibility."

    The only people who are responsive to this kind of crap are the stupid and those already committed to opposing anything and everything Obama does anyway.

    June 18, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. Dave

    IN these economic times hopefully the republicans will wake up and select Romney as thier candidate. The man knows economics and hiow to run a business. He is a leader. All the things we need right now as Obama and his cronies dig us deeper and deeper.

    June 18, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  4. WI Liberal

    Obama has done all that you are complaining about Romney, find some new material and get off this Obama witch hunt.

    June 18, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. Elliott

    So, the US government should take over the situation? So much for less big government....

    June 18, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. liberal elite = anyone with an education

    And if the President had stepped in immediately with experts, etc. and taken it out of BP's hands, Mr. Romney would have based his speech on how that was an example of Big Government interference, waste of tax dollars, etc.
    Man, I hope the American people realize that the Party of No is talking out both sides of its mouth, come election time.

    June 18, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. fpalin

    Another GObP tool

    June 18, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. felicia

    mitt rompey is a sarcastic, evil, bad hair wearing fool, he and the rest of these fools is only just so jealous of my President. They're mad because Obama made it and they didn't, especially rudy guilliani. He very p'oed. President Obama is doing a he!! of a job. OBAMA 2012

    June 18, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. Me

    Mitt Romneys a car salesman. Its easy to say what you would've done now. The fact is, nobody knew how difficult this would be to fix. We do have oil spills people, and the government normally doesnt jump in and start directing traffic.

    June 18, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. Cheryl

    I see the party of NO is still pulling their stunts. Instead of complaining and being a part of the problem, why don't you consider being a part of the solution?
    How much did you receive from the oil companies, care to divulge that?

    June 18, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. roro

    The Republicans seem to want it both ways. They DON'T want government in your business until they DO. Obama can do nothing right. First, he's too hands off. Then, he's accused of government interference. He's damned if he does, and damned if he doesn't. The mess he was handed in 2009 is going to take quite some time to clean up. Still, some people want to put the Republicans, who created the mess, back into office already. Now, he's got this disaster in the gulf, which also goes back to the lack of regulations brought about by the previous oil-crazy administration. Give the man a chance to do his job, in his way, which is what he was fairly elected to do by a majority of voters.

    June 18, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. Kenneth

    Always pointing out problems without a single solution. If not BP then who else? We know the US didn't have the technology available that's why Obama had to rely on them, because we had no choice. What would Mitt have done? The exact same thing, except get the $20 billion to fix this mess. You heard Barton. Making them pay for it is a "shakedown".

    June 18, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. anagram_kid

    Romney stated: “That is something which he has delegated to BP. As the company responsible for causing the spill in the first place…”

    So by his logic someone else should take care of the mess. What kind of message does that send? Hey guys, if you screw something up, don’t worry you won’t be held RESPONSIBLE for correcting it. I thought responsibility the mantra of the Right? The nonsense continues.

    June 18, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    Nobody really cares what Mitt thinks. He's just another corporate raider GOP big mouth. He has disagreed with every policy or action that the democrats or the President have done. So he must see himself as 100% right all the time and the democrats 100% wrong all the time. Really Mitt, Really?!? Just another GOP liar.

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.

    June 18, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. Hindsight

    Leave it to Mitt Romney...Mr. Hindsight!

    It is so easy to look at events AFTER they have played out and point criticism.....WHERE was Mitt when the crisis just happened?

    And where was Mitt when GW Bush ignored New Orleans for weeks after its disaster, or when Bush let the deficit go to multi-trillions, or when Bush declared the Iraq war won after a week??

    Let's talk about REAL 'dangerous hands off approachs!'

    June 18, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. Susan L.

    Romney could fix it! He'd just use it all to comb back his greasy, nasty hair!!! Mittens Romney can fix anything! He's dreamy!

    June 18, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  17. Living in America

    Look ahead. What is it. It's a bird. It's a plane. No it's Super Obama who can plug a oil leak in a single bound. Right just like McCain tried to come to White House as Super Maverick to solve the American economy without a plan or agenda and looked like a fool.

    June 18, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  18. Mark

    We Republicans are for limited smaller government! No wait! The government should have gotten right into the oil spill crisis in a big way! This administration is all for big government taking over everything from the private sector! Wait! Government should push out the private sector in this oil spill crisis. Chevron and Exxon should have stepped in and helped their competitor! The government should have made them do it! I guess what I mean is that government should take over from the private sector when....oh I don't know what I mean!

    June 18, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. lolo

    Please Mitt, like you would have done a better job. You would be too busy prancing in front of the mirror to make sure that every hair was in place. You Republicans are nothing but hypocrites. Just admit that you hate that Obama is the President. You can't keep hiding behind politics. Everyone sees the republican parties true colors. No one spoke up about how Bush handled Katrina or any other crisis. He was too busy vacationing all the time. Now that we have a president that works you just complain about everything. If Obama showed his true anger you would have something negative to say about it. At least he is working for the people and not for the lobbyist and corporations. Go suck a lemon you and all of your republican and tea party pals.

    June 18, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. Ken, AZ

    This empty suit, like the other chorus of republican idiots (Palin, Juliani, Barbour, et al) simply refuse to acknowledge that president Obama did precisely what they say he should have done. Just because he didn't consult either of them, which would have been a complete waste of his time, or "their experts", does not mean that the outcome would be any different. Let them consult their experts and provide their solutions for handling this problem. This charge only proves tha Frank Lutz has given the GOP another talking point, because they're all saying the exact same thing, as if they're reading it from the palm of their hand.

    June 18, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. maria

    Romney shut up!

    June 18, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  22. Ramon

    Republicans have no ideas for the future they're just counting I may seat they’re going to win in November.

    June 18, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. Peter s

    Typical Mormon politician! Mitt why didn't you dive in with a tool kit stop the leak and then claim victory?. Republicans whine too much! isn't it one of you knelt down and begged BP for forgiveness oops he begged for donations in advance! he is a lobbyist!

    June 18, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  24. American Patriot - a "real" tea partier

    Hey, it's BP's fault. They made the mess. They should have had the pipe shut down and capped off within 24 hours. It's BP's responsibility. When they didn't fix it, then BP should have been put out of business, its officers arrested and tried for ecological destruction and OSHA offenses.

    June 18, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. T

    Romney, needs to get a life. He dont know how to communicate with the everyday people and he can't see beyond his nose. He is about the money....BIG OIL......what would he say to BP.....good job!

    June 18, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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