May 26th, 2010
08:40 PM ET
13 years ago

Carville: Obama needs to tell BP 'I'm your daddy'

Washington (CNN) – Just hours after completing a tour of oil soaked wetlands on the Louisiana coast, Democratic strategist James Carville blasted the Obama administration for its response to what he calls "a disaster of the first magnitude."

"The chairman of BP said that BP was a big important company and the United States was a big important country…BP is not the equal of the United States government," Carville told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. "And this president needs to tell BP: I'm your daddy, I'm in charge. You're going to do what we say."

Joined by his wife and fellow CNN contributor Mary Matalin, an emotional Carville stressed the urgency of the situation. "We need some action here, and we need to get this thing moving very quickly," Carville said Wednesday on CNN's John King, USA.

Asked by King whether the disaster response has become a question of presidential accountability, Carville suggested that Washington lobbyists hired by BP were influencing the administration's response to the spill. "They've [BP] hired everything that walks in Washington," the Louisiana native said.

But Carville, a staunch supporter of President Obama, said he is still optimistic that the federal response will change after Obama visits the Gulf Coast later this week.

"I think when this president comes down here Friday and actually sees what is going on, I think we are going to swing into action here. I think we are very optimistic that we are going to have a sea change here Friday. I just think that the president is not being told what the situation here is in a very candid way, and I urge him to come and see."

Clutching a plastic bottle filled with oil from the wetlands, a visibly upset Matalin said that during their tour of affected areas, "We sailed through these marshes for two hours. We didn't see one boat, not one rescue effort, not one skimmer, not one container."

"But before we get to accountability, America just help, just help," Matalin said. "If everybody could help, put pressure on those that can help, there will be plenty of time for accountability and criminality and all the rest of it. But now, get down here, clean it up, contain it, don't let it do any more damage."

Filed under: Energy • James Carville • JKUSA • John King USA • Louisiana • Mary Matalin • Popular Posts
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. Jon

    Can any liberal actually say that they would be pleased with this (lack of) response if it was Bush?

    May 26, 2010 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |

    I have never heard so much BS in my life. Don't tell me Obama is not aware of the urgency of this situation. All anyone has to do is switch on a television. This is Obama, not Bush. He knows what's going on. Enough is enough. This has been going on for a month. This puts Katrina to shame. What is Obama thinking? I am so tired of seeing him on the TV with his cool-ass attitude. I voted for the man and really thought things were going to change. So far I am not impressed. How can someone sit by for a month and watch this situation get worse and worse and not do anything about it. I have never been so saddened or disgusted by anything in my life. I just can't talk about it anymore. It is a horrible black mark on our country.

    May 26, 2010 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  3. eolufemi

    carvilles none to bright

    May 26, 2010 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  4. andy urion

    very well said james and mary,
    i agree the government needs to step in, take charge, and use
    every available asset to stop and contain this leak. This is a
    huge disastor for the environment, the animals, the country, and
    america. Its very depressing. What i am worried about, is the
    dispersants. If the dispersants break up the oil and keep the majority
    of it underwater for the currents to carry away, or settle–then we
    are limiting our chance to scoop it up off the top of the water, and
    eliminatine what we can get too.

    May 26, 2010 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  5. barbra k

    This entire situation is unbelievable. There is nothing to justify it.No matter
    what BP says, it must do everything as swiftly as possible to clean it up.
    The longer it stays in Louisiana the worse it gets.Livelihoods are at stake.
    Food supplies are at stake. It was said if it gets into the ocean current it could extend to the Anarticas. There is talk it could reach the east coast of the U.S. and go north.There is no end to the possible extent of damage.
    Let alone the Avian and animal life affected. This must be taken care of now.BP is responsible for the cost. If it bankrupts be it. The greed
    of this company and its executives had been left unhampered. Now,they
    must show responsibility. They also have to get busy and do it now!!!!!!!!!!

    May 26, 2010 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  6. Sarah, the baby seal basher

    Wow a rightwing wacko and a left wing loon married to each other.Only in hillbilly country.They might even be brother and sister from that state.They are lucky im not president,the red states wouldnt get diddly.

    May 26, 2010 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  7. billy

    Face reality Carville, Obummer is not concerned about what is happening in the Gulf!!! Wildlife can't vot!!!

    May 26, 2010 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  8. bsd13

    Wrong Mr. Carville. As usual.

    What needs to happen is Obama needs to keep his filthy lying nose out of it.

    May 26, 2010 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  9. Hopey Whisperwind

    Hooray for Carville (The Best Ever!) and his lovely wife, Mrs. Matalin, BP has lied to "we the people" and we must take a stand against this company and show these greedy scoundrels that the American people are not to be played upon. We must be rid of their constant consumption of our hopes, dreams and innovation. Why would you dig a hole that you will never be able to cover up? Did not one of these top notch scientist think of this possibly happening? Then, I heard some idiot say that this happened because the Obama administration would not allow inshore drilling. Ok why don't you let BP dig in your front yard since you trust them so much. Answer: Hybrid power!

    May 26, 2010 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  10. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    First they want no government the government is not taking over fast enough. My hypocricy meter is pegging...

    May 27, 2010 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  11. christopher

    But dad" s are powerless in US. Dads do what obama is doing. It is not like 50 years ago when the whole house would tremble at the dad's voice. Now nobody knows who is dad or who is mom.,or children are in single parent homes.

    May 27, 2010 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  12. Pam

    I just hope that Obama understands that BP needs to quit using oil dispersants that make the oil go to the bottom where it can never be cleaned up. It needs to be soaked up or skimmed from the surface. BP is not doing that!

    May 27, 2010 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  13. Mo

    The puppeteers (Rothschilds) tell the puppet (Obama) what to do, not the other way around.

    May 27, 2010 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  14. malabar

    Sad. the politics of today will just make it seem even worse if thats possible. regardless of who is POTUS, there are limits to what they can do. ugly way to learn that perhaps the man who held the office b4 u may not have been the dolt ur party tried to make him out to b. republicans will sadly pound Obama 4 response, however it may b a very well deserved pounding.

    May 27, 2010 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  15. Tim

    Lobbyists = corruption. Lobbyists are 'influencing' the administration.

    Well, there goes 'HOPE.' Poof.

    May 27, 2010 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  16. jpe

    Proof that all these chumps in the senate all work for the same folks:
    the NRA and the oil corporations. That's how we roll in the USA.
    Shut up and drill, babies. Shut up and drive.
    And the Tpartiers are the worst of the lot.
    And now we pay the price.

    May 27, 2010 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  17. Meowsic

    BP's Board of Directors & top management need to be held personally responsible for all of the destruction caused by their relentless quest of the almighty dollar. Each and every one of you is responsible as an individual for the lives – human and animal – that you have ruined. You have the moral and ethical responsibility to fiscally compensate all of those whose lives and livelihoods you have wiped out. Personally I would rejoice to see each and every one of you to change places with a fisherman who can no longer ply his trade. You take over the boat payments, the gas bill (maybe you can get a discount), mortgages, tuition – with their income. Go ahead. Let's see if you can manage that.

    May 27, 2010 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  18. Richard Rummings

    I can tell who ever worked as a player in a corporate environment and who hasn’t. The first 30 seconds of there comment tells what they did in life. Lets first start out by saying Leaders of industry are bound by there word. If BP says on national TV that they will pick up the tab I believe them! This is a major oil company were talking about and not a mom and pop shop. They also have the right to point any finger they want at there sub contractors. BP may be where the buck stops but liability will come from there sub contactors. BP also is heavily insured with multiple layers of underwriting to protect them just from this type of situation. Obama and his goons need to back off and give support to the citizens affected. There are no experts in the government better then the engineers and scientist employed the oil companies. I have heard calls by politicians and journalist calling for the army to lead this. What in the hell are they going to do? Drop a nuclear bomb on it like every cheap horror movie. We need to back off and let the experts do there job. Remember necessity is the mother of invention. We will solve this problem like all the rest.

    May 27, 2010 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  19. dc

    Ok, that's it! James Cavile is grandstanding along with alot of other clowns. The President has been on the job day one! Do you remember when the President sent 1900 govt workers 3 weeks ago. Pundits were call that an over kill. This is a big disaster, we don't need a knee jerk action. We need calm collected ideas to solve this problem. That why we the people elected President Obama.

    May 27, 2010 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  20. jinak

    Carville and his wife are nothing but political hacks, and the fact the CNN sees fit to publish their opinions says much more about CNN than it does about the response efforts (or lack thereof)... The very best and brightest people available on working on this problem, and to suggest that the government can "take over" serves only to demonstrate the ignorance of James Carville, as well as anyone else who makes such a statement.

    May 27, 2010 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  21. SurRy

    Funny. Ms. Matalin defended GWB and declared drilling as environmentally safe. You can find her defending off-shore drilling and drilling in ANWR on YouTube. What is she crying about now?

    May 27, 2010 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  22. Daniel

    I just watched the Carville/Matalin video. I was merely furious before. Now I am livid. James is yelling for Obama to DO SOMETHING...and there he is standing beside Dick Cheney's BEST FRIEND. These clowns (the married couple) are the worst kind of parasites! They feign concern over a host of issues when they are really just actors in a play without any convictions or closely held beliefs at all. They both make me sick! They are both absolute prostitutes and are really no better than "professional" wrestlers. They have little "pretend" arguments and fights then one drives home while the other one counts the money.

    May 27, 2010 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  23. S, C, Clarke

    James Carville, I know you love the Clintons so nothing that
    President Barack Obama does is right. Since your are married
    to the greatest critic of the President Obama's administration your
    attitude and disgust over the BP crisis in understandable. Instead
    of casting negative tirades against the President why not support him.
    I did not see the outrage from you when thousands of Americans were killed during the Katrina Hurricane.
    Did you forget that President Obama has already visited Louisiana.
    Lastly , Pres. Obama was not president when your friends the
    Bushes and Clinton allowed BP to use inferior safety mechanism
    that created this catastrophy.
    According to my sources the previous administration caused this
    explosion to occur. To create the anger against our president.
    Everyone does not agree with you. It is the opinion of some
    people that this was an attempt to discredit President Obama.
    That is why the members of my church prays for the safety of the president and his family each day.

    May 27, 2010 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  24. andre

    Gotta love James Carville...

    May 27, 2010 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  25. sophomorocat

    'clean it up, contain it, don't let it do any more damage."

    May 27, 2010 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
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