June 2nd, 2010
06:48 PM ET
12 years ago

Carville bumps into BP CEO

(CNN) – Louisiana's legendary Creole cuisine may have helped to broker a bit of a cease fire between outspoken Democrat James Carville and embattled energy giant BP.

Carville said he had a chance meeting Tuesday night with BP CEO Tony Hayward at the popular New Orleans restaurant "Eleven 79." Hayward was dining with former Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen, Carville said in an interview that aired Wednesday on "The Situation Room."

Carville, a native Louisianan, has been critical of BP's response to the Gulf oil spill.

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

Carville, a CNN contributor, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that the unexpected encounter was "polite" and "tense."

Hayward "asked me, he says 'What can I do? You've said some pretty harsh things about BP. What can we do to show you that we want to do right?'"

Carville, never one to hold his tongue, said that he responded by telling Hayward that "'in all honesty, I don't trust you.'"

At which point, Carville said Hayward promised to take action that demonstrated BP's commitment to cleaning up the environmental catastrophe caused by the millions of gallons of oil that has been leaking from an ill-fated rig drilling on BP's behalf when it exploded in late April.

"'I want to come back in a year and let's have dinner and you're going to see that we're really serious,'" Hayward said, according to Carville.

Carville said he told Hayward he was "very skeptical," but he'd "love nothing better than to be wrong."

Carville also seemed to have cooled in his criticism of President Obama's handling of the oil spill.

"If this president just shows that he's determined, he's committed, he's going to hold people – he's going to use the force of the federal government to see that this enormous wrong is righted, then I'll be fine with that," said Carville.

Filed under: BP • Energy • James Carville • Popular Posts • President Obama • The Situation Room
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. DENNA

    BP might as well get accustomed to harsh criticism. The longer this goes on, the worse things will get and they are going to have one heck of a time gaining our trust ever again.

    June 2, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  2. Chandler01

    The thing that people like Carville can't admit is that there is very little Obama CAN do right now in regards to this spill. The time to correct this was before it happened. Bush and our Congressmembers (both parties) were sleeping on the job and allowed this to happen. We are all going to have to live with the consquences. This is a case of Capitalism out running Technology and Responsibility.

    June 2, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  3. Island Tutu

    Exactly. Time will tell. I really hope James Carville is wrong.

    June 2, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  4. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Carville is just still mad at Obama for beating Clinton. Kudos for him confronting Hayward as someone that can not be trusted.

    June 2, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  5. donut888

    Tony Hayward, CEO of BP (5/30/2010) :

    "We're sorry for the massive disruption it's caused their lives. There's no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like my life back..

    June 2, 2010 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  6. Joann

    Why is Hayward dining with Admiral Allen? Keep the relationship strictly professional.

    June 2, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  7. Veteran

    Next time, Mr Carville, just put him in a boat and drop that BP CEO right in the middle of an oil slick and see if that will increase his motivation to plug up that darn hole in the ocean floor. Thanks for fighting for everyone along the Louisiana coast, sir. Keep up the fight and don't let up.

    June 2, 2010 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  8. Jeff

    This man's idiosyncratic retorts and his great pliable character look, would make him a great host on SNL ! Go Figure...

    June 2, 2010 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  9. Bob

    Let us NOT forget that all of the Republican party and a lot of democrats DO NOT want goverment regulation of big business and big oil is the biggest business aroung. Both parties take a lot money from them for re-election. So if you people out there are yelling too much goverment and to much regulation then stop complaining about the spill. AS bad as our politicans are and I am voting out all incumbents, there is NOTHING as bad as GREEDY big business. Money Money Money...The American way.

    June 2, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  10. Waddell

    What better voice for your state than James Carville. He's like a child who says it like it is, no sugar-coating. He means well. He has his heart and soul in this matter. I love him being in everyone's face. He's a passionate, caring soul for his people and his state. Hopefully, BP will prove him wrong in his distrust of their intentions. That would be very good for the Gulf regions. Heartbreaking to see what is happening there - the sludge, the muck, the ruining of those precious marshlands. BP better step up to the plate faster than it has shown so far. Everyone (including the federal government) better pick up its steps and get people on the ground who can clean up this horrific mess before it gets worse. Where are all the people? What's the hold up? Come on folks. This is such a pathetic showing. Get people on those beaches and in those marshes and give them all the tools they need to get the job done. Snap out of it! It feels like everyone is in some sort of coma.

    June 2, 2010 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  11. John In Louisiana

    BP has a chance to kill the well once they cut the twisted riser off at the BOP. They could make a bowl shaped device to put on the end of drill pipe and lower onto the flat or close to level top of the BOP and with a runnber seal attached let the weight of the drill pipe seal off the top and pump mud down into to the top of the BOP and try to kill the well. The extra mud or oil/gas would have no place to go but down. It looks like BP does not want to kill the well and lose the hole but try to to produce and recover some oil while some still leaks oput til August when side well may tap into the old hole. CNN, thanks for the good coverage but I see it has turned into a "big oil scam" and BP's intentions are shadey now, so I choose now to watch the circus anymore. Peace Out

    June 2, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  12. donut888

    Quotable quote from BP CEO Tony Hayward during the BP oil spill crisis :

    The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant
    we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume.

    June 2, 2010 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  13. Jeff S.

    Why should anyone care that James Carville had a chance meeting with BP's CEO or care what Carville thinks about BP's response to the spill? Carville is a political commentator. He's not an elected politician and has no role in the cleanup, nor the investigation of the events leading up to the rig explosion.

    June 2, 2010 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
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