June 15th, 2010
07:38 AM ET
12 years ago

Poll: Obama not tough enough on BP


 A new national poll indicates that most Americans don't think President Barack Obama's been tough enough on BP. (PHOTO CREDIT: Mark Oswald/CNN)

Washington (CNN) - When it comes to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a new national poll indicates that most Americans don't think President Barack Obama's been tough enough on BP.

According to a USA Today/Gallup survey, 71 percent of the public says Obama hasn't been tough enough in dealing with BP, with one in five saying the president's response has been about right, three percent saying he's been too tough, and six percent unsure.

The poll's Monday release came as Obama began a two day tour of the region, the president's fourth trip to the Gulf coast since since the environmental disaster began on April 20. Obama's visit comes as federal authorities are jacking up the pressure on BP to start containing the spill more effectively, as well as to compensate Gulf residents and businesses harmed by the oil. Tuesday evening, after returning to the White House, the president is scheduled to give a prime-time address to the nation on the crisis.

Twenty-four percent of people questioned in the survey rate the president's handling of the spill as very poor, up five points from last month. Twenty-nine percent say Obama's handling of the crisis is poor, with one in three rating it as good and 11 percent terming it very good.

Other recent polls also indicate that a minority of Americans approve of the job Obama and his administration are doing in dealing with the massive spill.

Nearly half of those questioned in the USA Today/Gallup survey say BP's handling of the oil spill is very poor, with another 32 percent calling it poor and just 18 percent saying it's good or very good. And nearly six in ten say BP should pay for all financial losses caused by the spill, even if those payment will put the company out of business.

The poll was conducted June 11-13, with 1,014 adults questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

Filed under: BP • Polls
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Marilyn

    He has been holding them accountable. He doesn't need to put on a show.

    June 14, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  2. Dave

    Obama is not tough! Period.

    June 14, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. Willy Brown

    Obama has not got the go ahead from George Soros yet to get tuff. He's got to selll a tax hike tomorrow night.

    June 14, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. Steph

    Who are the 18 percent who thing BP has handled this well? BP executives???

    June 14, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Stacie

    But, but the tea party darling, Rand Paul, thinks Obama is being to hard on poor little BP. By the way, Rand thinks states, not the federal government, should regulate off shore drilling because a spill off the coast of Luisiana couldn't possibly affect Alabama or Mississippi or Florida, right?

    June 14, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. Mesa Mick

    And that's why 71% of Americans should never be placed in a position of authority.

    The great American tradition of lynch mobs is a live and well thanks in large part to the "punish, punish, punish" that is seething just below the surface of christian teachings.

    Ain't bein' a "christian nation" the greatest! (snark snark)

    June 14, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. Connie in Tennessee

    I simply can't understand people. Obama does not work in the oil industry and he is not able to stop this disaster. Only BP Oil knows the best action to take to stop the flow of oil. There are plenty of regulations if only they will be enforced. Now the people of La. are mad because the oil drilling has been stopped. You can't have it both ways!

    June 14, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |

    I wonder if the GOP has read this poll? They were critical of the President when he wasn't tough enough with their oil buddy, then they were critical when he got tough with them. Let's admit one thing, no matter what the President does, the GOP will say it's wrong, even when it's right for the country. The GOP only wants one thing, for President Obama and the country to fail. How un-American can the GOP get?

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.

    June 14, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. normajean

    It's true that large numbers of the population stand behind the president , but I admit that we wonder if all that can be done is being done. What we forget is that we don't KNOW what is going on. There are many actions being worked on that we don't hear about and so we shouldn't be so quick to judge.This man is smart enough to work with every available idea and accept all feasible help, so maybe we should shut up and let him get this done.

    June 14, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. Stacie

    Hey conservatives, should he behave like Bush Sr did with the Exxon Valdez spill? Bush never, ever went to Alaska, never spoke to the CEO of Exxon and didn't do anything to oversee the cleanup (that lasted for a decade plus). According to the behavior of his predecessors, President Obama is doing an amazing job, but you wouldn't dare grade him against Bush Sr. or, heaven forbid, Bush Jr., right???? They make President Obama great!

    June 14, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. Johnathan

    Damned if he does
    Damned if he doesn't
    It's raining outside right now.... Damn you Obama!!!

    June 14, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. obama victim

    wonder who the 29% who still like JIm...uh, er, Barry are??

    June 14, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Calling on that 71% for their solution to the oil spill shouldn't be a tough call either. When things are going our way we complain when things aren't going our way we still complain. Life is not full of roses.

    June 14, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. Sherry

    It would seem to me that the President cannot win no matter what he does . . . according to the media. If he acts too quickly, then he is trying for a photo op or aiming to gain political ground and if he doesn't act quickly enough, then he is not tough enough. Let's face it. This President has had one disaster or serious problem after another. In a "drive-through and Instant fix" mentality that we Americans have come to expect, I feel that this President is not being given fair chance at dealing with any of the issues. Thank GOD that McCain and Palin didn't win. It is so very easy to say what could and should be done when you are not in the hot seat. He does care and he IS trying. To the media? Give it a rest and stop micro-analyzing and over-analyzing everything. It gets a bit wearing.

    June 14, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. JES

    This is hat happens when you don't have a leader.

    Obama your 15 minutes are up move over so someone can show you what should be done.

    June 14, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. Mark from Louisiana

    Why does obama call BP "British Petroleum" when the name was changed NINE years ago?
    Did the British torture his grandfather in Kenya many years ago and now it's time for payback?

    June 14, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. Four and The Door

    I don't know that tough is really the answer to all of the problems here, but what is most important is "effective". But the same thing...it would be very difficult to classify anything that has happened in response to this explosion as "effective". It should be embarassing for both BP and the regulators who try to convince us they were doing their jobs. Apparently nobody was prepared for anything like this. Why not?

    June 14, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. billybob 'n NC

    Well, let's see... Rand Paul the Jim Crowe expert and secessionist Perry of Texas told us he was tooooooo tufffff and should leave them alone! They both concluded...."accidents will happen." Gov Perry even called it "an act of God."

    Obviously, the Gov doesn't know much about God. I don't thinbk God would have taken short cut risks in order to make an extra billion; and run the risk of screwing up the world.

    So, how is it folks? What exactly do you want the president to do?

    June 14, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. Marty, FL

    In other words, Rand Paul was wrong.

    There is certainly more that needs to be done to hold BP accountable for their responsibility, as well as creating an imperative for progress in alternative energies.

    June 14, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. Eric in Denver

    He can't be since they are a huge contributor to the DNC and they are also a big part of cap and trade con.

    June 14, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. WOW!

    What a boob and idiot this guy is - 365 days a year!

    June 14, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  22. geecee

    Last week he was getting criticized by all the Republicans because he was talking too tough (whose a** to kick) and hurting BP's feelings and threatening their profitability, and even Great Britain was upset with him for making their stock value go down and stockholders' dividends were diminishing. Ewwww. I though they were going to declare war on us, again!! Maybe burn down the White House like they did in 1812. Wow, now he's not tough enough. Okay, talk about a no-win situation. Obama just can't please anyone, can he? If I were him I would tell everyone to go to hell, and just quit like Sarah Palin did. Does he need this aggravation, really???

    June 14, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  23. Tom

    Media and the ignorant people who is giving their opinion without knowing the story . How can you say President not tough on BP. You give me one good example what BP will do any extra even talking tough, my friends the task is not that easy what you and media are thinking, talk is cheap just keep your mouth shut and let Mr. President to handle this situation you all should know who allowed this co to drill without regulations (GOP) has created this mess. If you have andy good idia to plug this than say so , just be angry will not help.........................

    June 14, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. ATL Guy

    Hmmm, I thought Rand Paul was upset about Obama keeping his feet on BP's neck? Why is the drill baby drill crowd so quiet on BPs massive screw up?

    June 14, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. hypocrisy ftl

    @Stacie, it's funny you should bring up Bush senior because him, his son, and Obama are very similar in that none are really that conservative. The only thing I like about any of the 3 is the way Bush Sr. ran Desert Storm and many true conservatives would agree

    June 14, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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