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. ajax

    Trust is something that you have to earn.I hope BP learns that lesson and maybe Carville words wiill hit home.

    June 2, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  2. john

    carville is awesome.....

    June 2, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |

    The nerve of Hayward to show his face in public, hope they spit in his food or served him contaminated fish. James you should of gone off on this jerk. They continue to pull stunts out of their butts to stop the Geiser of oil leaking into the gulf. With regards to POTUS and his Admin they better get off their butts and not wait or trust BP to do what is right.

    June 2, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. Eli_Blake

    I'd love to see Hayward do what he said he's going to do too. I hope the press keeps on this story and in a year Carville and Hayward do have dinner and Carville tells Hayward how he's done.

    June 2, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  5. Pragmatic

    ... the more interesting question would be what Carville's wife – the tart-tongued, true-blue republican would have said to the BP CEO? Kissed him and told him that "republicans love big business, especially big oil and to just ignore those nasty ol' federal people..."

    June 2, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  6. Karl in Charleston,SC

    In a related story, James Carville announced he has accepted a position as Senior Vice President of BP's US operations...

    June 2, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. 'in all honesty, I don't trust you.'

    not sure that is a starting point, but I think it sums up the populace view point well.

    There is very little that he can say that I will believe.

    How about show us, do such a great job for the loss of business, the wildlife and the Gulf coast people in general that we are WOW'd

    June 2, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  8. Smallville

    The guy that makes fun of him on SNL is more credible than this buffoon

    June 2, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  9. David

    Ah – Carville counted to ten. Good for him.

    No one wanted this to happen – heck I think a lot of people from BP to Haliburton to the government kinda fooled themselves into thinking it couldn't happen.

    It's like driving on the freeway – you're in a metal box traveling faster than a human can naturally travel on foot, eating a sandwich, talking on the phone and maybe yelling at the person your tailgating – and you do this every day for years until one day out of seemingly nowhere you crash – after the crash your behavior is a bit different as you were reminded that well...you weren't built to go 80 while eating a sandwich, talking on a phone and yelling at the person you were tailgating. We survive often on a razor's edge and every once in a while we slip and cut ourselves on the blade.

    June 2, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. Cynthia - Arkansas

    I have always like James Carville, but lately he really needs to get a grip. He is acting like a crazy person! I understand being passionate about a cause, but at some point you can cross the line into loco land.

    June 2, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  11. gg

    is his wife really comparing this to a plane crash ,i think her huaband should sit her down and have a long talk with her and maybe get that republican chip out of her head, she,ll feel much better in the morning after

    June 2, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  12. ms. ria

    BP needs to be removed from the plugging of the hole by the govt. They have used up their time in "trying" and failing. Their excuses get more ridicules each day. There are plenty of solutions, just get BP to paid the bill. How long do we sit by and watch that area go bad? Pres Obama can take over this situation. He needs to otherwise he will lose his 2nd term.

    June 2, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  13. Jerome

    Just be yourself and use the familiar gifts and talents God has given you. He will work miracles through you.

    Use the force of the federal government is warrented.

    June 2, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  14. Jeff of Peoria

    Have you noticed that Carville is always on the outside looking in. Sure he helps get people elected but he doesn't actaully DO anything himself but complain about THE RIGHT – THE RICH – and Limbaugh

    June 2, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Carville is unleashed, remember he has a job to keep just like the CEOs of BP.

    June 2, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  16. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Get em James. I don't always agree with him but at least he says what he really thinks.

    June 2, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  17. jeannie

    I bet the BP bigwig almost had a heart attack.

    June 2, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  18. DrJulieDBell

    Mr. Carville, if you only knew what work has gone and is going into making this right then you have a better understanding in just how difficult the job that is being done for the Gulf is. Every robot or ROV was on another job, each vessel was somewhere else. The logistics to do the work is amazing. I worked offshore prior to becoming an academic and I know. I was born in one of the Gulf States – Alabama to be precise. Raised in North Carolina, which is another coastal community. Now I am the Petroleum Geoscience lecturer here in London. This is why I am so passionate about this situation.

    You know that it is not only BP but some other companies created this mess and made mistakes. Sometimes when you hire someone to do the job and mistakes occur. Which is why I would like the facts out before any judgment is passed – via the investigation.

    Just remember how difficult the job is that is being done in the Gulf. I think there has been some troubled water under the bridge. We MUST all work together to make this right. From the industry, which is BP supported by 600 or so from various companies in Houston – to President Obama, who has great interest in the area to the locals, – all hands on deck.

    June 2, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  19. phoenix86

    Funny that Carville is ok with Obama saying he's committed (after some 45 days of ignoring everything except the Memorial Day in Chicago and campaigning in PA); yet Carville isn't OK with BP, who is actually in the Gulf trying to fix it.

    Carville, like most liberals, never lets reality intrude on his opinions.

    June 2, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  20. Mike

    Carville is WRONG to speak that way to one of our most powerful corporate overlords. He needs to learn some manners!

    June 2, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  21. David

    This is the problem with government. It is dining at expensive restaurants with the very people they are suppose to be policing. Conflict of interest, I think so.

    June 2, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  22. RIchard

    Carville is the Charles Barkley of political consultants/ commentators.

    June 2, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  23. Mokitoo

    James, don't forget about the little girl who found a snake with a broken tail,feeling sorry for the snake, she put it in her pocket, took it to her home a nursed it back to health. When the snake was all healed, he visiously bit the little girl. When she asked him why, the snake replied, You knew I was a snake when you picked me up. BP has shown it's true colors, now that it's facing criminal prosecution and heaven knows how may lawsuits, it has to play nice.

    June 2, 2010 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  24. R.Lord

    So the chairman of BP is having dinner with Admiral Thad Allen. We were told that Admiral Thad Allen would be handling public affairs and there would be no more joint press conference with BP management. Now it seems that the Admiral is buddy buddy taking marching orders from BP management for the price of a Lobster dinner. What a corrupt pile of crud.

    June 2, 2010 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  25. frank

    Cozy as two bugs in a rug. I feel like a fool, how about all the other americans who are watching our gulf of mexico destroyed by BP.Hey thad was your boot to tony hayward's neck during dinner?

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