June 9th, 2010
11:44 AM ET
11 years ago

Steele: Why will Obama talk to Ahmadinejad, not Hayward?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/08/art.steelernc.gi.jpg caption =" Steele is taking aim at Obama for not speaking with Tony Hayward."](CNN) – Republicans are continuing to put pressure on President Barack Obama for not speaking directly with BP CEO Tony Hayward during the ongoing oil crisis in the Gulf Coast.

Speaking on Fox News, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Wednesday that he doesn't understand why the president is apparently willing to talk face-to-face with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but not Hayward. In a 2007 presidential debate sponsored by CNN, Obama suggested he would be open to meeting with Ahmadinejad, a comment that drew heavy criticism from his Democratic and Republican opponents. Obama later said that he is willing to meet with Iranian leaders, and that such a meeting "could include" Ahmadinejad.

"I don't get it - you tell the American people that you want to sit down and talk face-to-face with Ahmadinejad, but you don't want to talk face-to-face with the guy that has a hand in creating the mess in the Gulf right now, and to try to figure out from him what needs to get done," said Steele.

The comments come a day after Obama told NBC he has not spoken with Hayward because "when you talk to a guy like a BP CEO, he's gonna say all the right things to me – I'm not interested in words, I'm interested in actions."

Former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin took a swipe Tuesday night at Obama for his remarks about Hayward, writing on her Facebook page that he should take a more active role in consulting experts who lived during the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill – including her. Palin was 25 years-old at the time of that spill and writes in her book that "most everyone we knew was directly affected, knew someone affected, or went to help clean up the spill."

Speaking on Fox, Steele said it is imperative Obama speak with Hayward "to impress on him what you as the president of the United States think he as the CEO of B.P. should be

Filed under: Michael Steele • President Obama • Sarah Palin
soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. Fed Up!

    How stupid can Michael Steele be?

    As of now, President Ahmadinejad has far more credability than CEO Hayward.

    June 9, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. Ken in NC

    mr steele you should pull your nose out of other peoples butts where it does not belong and sick it up your own butt. Your house got a lot smelly stuff in it that you need to clean out. You need to tell your Republicans how to stay out of strip clubs and Gay & Lesbain Bars and you should instruct hem on being faithful to their spouses and not to the spouses of others. Clean your own house Mr Steele.

    June 9, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  3. Donnatella

    Ohh please when will this stupid token realize that nobody really cares what he or his backwards republican cronies have to say, what are they doing to help, all I ever hear republicans do is sit back and do nothing but complain, do they really think this is what we want to vote for, they had better think again. Steele why don't you and you boys stop complaining and do something possible like help.

    June 9, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. mike

    steele needs to get a life the republican butt heads are in bed with the oil companies and for Obama talking to Hayward is a waste of time lets
    be honest even Hayward can't do anything about the spill it is way
    over his head people want Obama to do something what crap a plug
    out and stick it in the pipe come on there are two type of people in the
    gulf the ones that work for the oil companies and could care less about
    the gulf and the other person who sole living is in the gulf lets face it
    when you keep drilling and not having the balls to stand up to big oil
    and making sure that the gulf is safe for every american to enjoy then
    you deserve to live in texas tea and instead of the oil companies moving
    to another country then i will be vacationing to another country

    June 9, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. Fed Up

    Maybe because blood is thicker than water?????

    June 9, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Tom M

    Attorney General Eric Holder would be a more appropriate choice to be talking to Tony Hayward

    June 9, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. george cook

    That's a REAL GOOD question for Sean Hannity to ask the President should he finally break down and interview with Foxx News...maybe he fitures Iran will "Cut Him an Oil Deal!" Ha Ha Ha

    June 9, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. hobart

    Why are Republicans such blatant liars?

    The Republican mantra, "Drill, Baby, Drill!!", which specifically referred to deep water offshore drilling, combined with VP Cheney's secret meetings with the oil companies who got to write their own regulations, combined with the Bush/Cheney/oil company hacks who infest the Minerals Management Service, who don't enforce what few regulations there are, are what created this fiasco.

    The very same Republicans who created this fiasco now have the audacity to somehow blame it on liberals, to criticize any and all Democrat attempts to fix it, all the while offering not one single helpful suggestion. And through all their howling and screaming to keep protecting the oil industry that created this mess by telling us how many jobs they create, they turn their backs on all the rest of the Gulf Coast dwellers who make their living off the sea.

    When did the Party of Lincoln transform itself into the party of race-baiting, lying, secession threatening, heartless bastards?

    Why do Republicans Hate America?

    June 9, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. Ancient Texan

    All through the 2008 presidential campaign, it was said often that Obama had never managed anything, even a lemonade stand. It was so then and is so now. The fake outrage and refusal to even talk with the BP CEO is not a manager's approach to getting anything done.

    June 9, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Both Steele and Palin sound like idiots. Steele or any Republican can sit down with Hayward, there is no blockade stopping them. Palin, well poor Palin, in 1987 she finally graduated after 5 years in 8 different colleges and in 1988 she eloped pregnant with her eldest and Exxon Valdez oil spill happened March 24, 1989. Palin is a fraud and a liar about everythng, I feel sorry for her children because she has set a poor example for telling the truth. I'm just waiting for her to announce her divorce from Todd any day which anybody can see she is slowly distancing herself from him, he serves no purpose to her.

    June 9, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. JonDie

    Typically stupid comment by Steele.

    June 9, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. strikerF2

    Obama is a Coward,that is why. Just look at the way he kissed the ring of the Mexican Presidente.

    June 9, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. dave

    i never gave Tom steele much credit, but now it seems he can make somthing out of nothing

    June 9, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. Jim

    First, the President has never said that he wants to talk face to face with Ahmadinejad. He has stated that he wants the US and Iran to deal with each other.

    But my question is, why are Steele and the rest of the Republican party so willing to tell lies and criticize the President at every turn, but they never lay their own plans on the table? What would the Republican party do differently with this crisis? They have no plan and their entire political agenda consists of whining, lying and mocking.

    June 9, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  15. Rand Palin Kentucky equals great education

    Why dont you shut up

    June 9, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  16. will

    Because Hayward has done far more damage to the U.S. than any imagined threat from Iran.

    June 9, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. Victim of GOP Taliban

    "Speaking on Fox" – enough said. Keep drinking that lunactic-fringe kool aid Steele.

    June 9, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  18. MikeH

    It's the difference between international diplomacy and contractual negligence.

    In diplomacy one engages one's opponent. In contractual affairs one's lawyer does the talking. Tony Hayward is a lying sack of poo, why should Obama waste time talking to him. Have the Attny General handle Hayward, perhaps with a criminal indictment or two, and see just how 'special' our relationship with Britian is.

    Besides, CNN just played a major Racist Card/Dog Whistle with it's article about the "Angry Black Man", hinting that CNN is surreptitiously pandering to racists. Good job CNN, why don't you just come out of the closet and endorse the Tea Klux Klan party.

    June 9, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. chad

    this headline suggest that obama has talked with ahmadinejad. he hasnt. steel is a pupet.

    June 9, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  20. Willy Brown

    Barry only talks to fools

    June 9, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. Marry

    Speaking on Fox, Steele said…Well, speaking on Fox says it all about the quality of what Mr. Steele has to say! Could he please not compare apples with oranges? What has to be impressed on BP is obvious and does not have to be discussed in a “personal meeting”! By the way, I am sure that BP is trying everything to stuff that catastrophic leak. Not because they are so “nice” but simply because of future business. I cannot believe that there is one person that is not heartbroken about this disaster. What should be realized is that risky operations driven by greed and profits irresponsibly just have to stop altogether. That should include nuclear energy as well. Go, read up on the dangers connected with that…

    June 9, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |

    Between the GOP, Stupid Palin and her Teabaggers they are never satisfied. POTUS is absolutely right to say the Hayward is going to say whatever he thinks POTUS wants to hear. BP didn't and still has no idea how to control and stop this GEISER of oil spilling into the GULF states that is evident by the stunts they pulled out of their butts. For Sara to think that POTUS should call her, what a arrogant B–ch!. Who is she, nothing but a money hungry monger who sells herself like a prostitute to anyone who will listen, and with her TEABAGGERS there are a lot of equally stupid people listening. Michael Steel needs to show some respect, who in the hell does he think he is to criticize POTUS, he is nothing but a Token you know what for the GOP. You don't get why POTUS will meet with Ahmadinejad, I know POTUS foreign affairs experience was limited @ best but not to minimize the Oil spill being a great disaster for years to come but the middle-east crisis is huge as well, besides seems like BP exec has pretty much replaced Hayward anyway. Steel shut the hell up.

    June 9, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. J.T.

    Steele need to talk to Hayward. Because I know that he's not going to have a job pretty soon.

    June 9, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. John

    Mr. Steele you are an idiot just like Ms. Palin, or are you saying the same as Palin to try and get the people that like her and support her to support you. It will be a total waste of time to talk to Mr. Haywood remember HE WANTS TO GET HIS LIFE BACK.

    June 9, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. SH

    Just a tool

    June 9, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
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