June 17th, 2010
11:35 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama, Hayward didn't talk one on one

BP CEO Tony Hayward did not have any direct one-on-one contact with President Obama during Wednesday’s White House meeting.

BP CEO Tony Hayward did not have any direct one-on-one contact with President Obama during Wednesday’s White House meeting.

Washington (CNN) - As BP CEO Tony Hayward gets grilled on Capitol Hill Thursday, a senior administration official acknowledged Hayward never had any direct one-on-one contact with President Obama during Wednesday's White House meeting.

In defending that decision, the official said there was nothing the president needed to say to Hayward that he didn't say to the entire group.

Obama met for 20 minutes with the group of BP executives, then individually in the Oval Office for another 25 minutes with Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg.

Asked if the president used strong language to scold the executives, the official insisted that the tone was "businesslike."

The official, who was present for part of the meeting, suggested the real arm twisting took place in the days leading up to the meeting and that while there were still sticking points, BP executives showed up aware of what they needed to do.

Filed under: BP • President Obama • Tony Hayward
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Texas-Lousianna-Mississippi-Alabama = Red states turning Black with oil

    Why are the Republicans apologizing to BP?


    June 17, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. Dave

    Not meeting and letting congress do the politics is classic Chicago!

    June 17, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    I'll take $20billion obtained via a 12-way conference call, with a caller on hold, than the measly $75 milliion that the "law" said they were liable for.

    June 17, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. David in Houston

    Hayward only cares about BP's stock prices. All these folks whining that Obama should have met with him directly/sooner have no concept how corporations such as these operate. Hayward has been dishonest from the beginning so I fail to see how his regurgitation of misinformation would have helped matters.

    In addition, I believe the folks on here rushing to BP's defense are reprehensible...defending a foreign oil company over the residents of the Gulf...for shame!

    Playing politics with an environmental disaster such as this is beyond the pale but I have learned to expect nothing less from the GOP.

    June 17, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  5. ggg

    Obama ...you have denied help from several others so you are the responsible for this!!! stop trying to put the finger somewhere else and push your OWN agendas...like your speech the other night...talk talk talk that is all you do..You are such a great dissapointment ...LIES LIES BLAME BLAME that is all you have done!!!

    June 17, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. sonny chapman

    If it would have been W., he'd of slapped him twice & showed him who was boss. OR, W. & Cheney would have served him tea using the best White House china.

    June 17, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  7. jbNYC

    of course not.. Obama is scared of people with executive experience.

    June 17, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. Steph

    What exactly would that solve?

    June 17, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  9. Al Freeman

    The main problem is that the leadership of BP does not have strong mechanical engineering background. Hayward is a geologist. he knows nothing about mechanical engineering, safety engineering, failure analysis, materials and structures reliability engineering, etc. Geologists know about structure of rocks, not structure and reliability of mechanical devices. How could they drill without having ANY IDEA about what to do if mechanical melfunction occurs??!! How could they keep on drilling when the signs of danger emerged? I will tell you how: TOTAL LACK OF TRUE ENGINEERING EDUCATION.

    June 17, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. dave

    CNN why don't you try reporting the news instead of making up phony issues.

    Why is it important if the President saw Hayward one on one or not? Why have you been suggesting in the past several weeks that the President should lose his temper?

    The President did the exact right thing, without listening to suggestions from CNN.

    Just go away CNN

    June 17, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  11. PalmReader

    To coin a phrase: Action speaks louder than words.

    $20 Billion louder.

    June 17, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. thor

    I 'm kinda amazed that president Obama kept all the money that he got from BP. while running for president and during his time while a Senator.And i guess it was all he could do to prevent himself from taking back that safety award that he gave BP. just last year.

    June 17, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. Renea

    THe president didnt have to meet with Tony Hayward all he need to make sure is the victims get paid rightfully. if they want to meet with him 1on 1 let them do it some of them is in bed with big oil co. anyway.

    June 17, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. beth

    What is this whole "scolding" business. First of all, what good would that do. Secondly, why put a President in a "scolding" role? After all, he's not their father. Thirdly, how receptive are corporate executives going to be to "scolding" anyway!!! They could just turn and walk away from a stupid approach like that. I think a businesslike tone was the best plan and it worked!!

    June 17, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. rob

    The Administration has been so busy demonizing BP to take the heat off of the horrible response to the disaster they arrogantly never reached out to any and all of the experts in the Oil business to either help BP cap the leak or to help in the massive cleanup thats needed. In the meantime, States and local authorities are starting to act on thier own against some laws and regs because the Obama Admin is floundering around with no overall command and organization of the clean up. He makes speeches and tries to sound tough but it seems he is way over his head and has no clue what he's doing.

    June 17, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    Plenty of time to look into Haywards eyes and see his soul, yes?

    Give it up already.

    June 17, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. Are you kidding me?

    Our President does not need to talk directly to Mr. Hayward. He did his talking on TV the night before and mostly in the meeting at the White House! And did he ever talk!! Congratulations Mr. President, looks like you did it again!!!!!!!! Keep up the good work, America is sooooooooo proud to have a intelligent, working man on the job. This is going to be HUGE for the people in the Gulf and their future. Please continue to do what YOU think is right and when YOU want to do it and we shall continue to keep you, your family and staff in our prayers.

    June 17, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. Rick J.

    What is with this need to see a cussing match between Obama and BP's CEO? Were we so use to the Bush chest-thumping rants ("Mission Accomplished") that we can't deal with a Pres. who can actually have an intelligent discussion aimed at getting results?

    June 17, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Someone has to be the fall guy. And guess what Mr. Hayward??? You're it!!! This will eventually turn into a criminal investigation. The President can't be seen associating with legitimate criminals.

    June 17, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. alicia

    To be expected by this administration, all show, no action!

    June 17, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. jenn, philadelphia

    I agree that BP needs to be held accountable for this accident. However, watching our elected leaders posturing is embarrassing. Because they didn't do their jobs making sure the oversight agencies did their job, they get to yell at the BP executives? They should take seats right next to those executives and let us citizens yell at all of them.

    June 17, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. The Weatherman

    BP made a mistake. BP is trying to clean-up the mess. Everyone needs to shut-up and give them a chance to do the right thing. The press and public pinheads have turned freedom of speech into pandomonium that only creates more chaos.

    At the end of the day, BP has legal rights and the mealy-mouths need to turn-down the volume. Politicians are gutless to do anything but pander to the pinheads. Where's the rational thought and oversight?

    The Weatherman

    June 17, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Enough of the Neo-Confederate propaganda. Who cares...what is Hayward going to say that hasn't already been discussed a million times? Get real.

    June 17, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. WA resident

    If there are Drama Kings, it surely be Obama and Hayward. Come on, be gentlemen. People died, people's livelihood is crushing, peoples in coast are dispirited and are crying out for IMMEDIATE solution. Obama needs to be a man - not a blamer, not a legislature, not a whiner – but Obama must learn to lead and be the president of the United States. He's wasting time and money of tax papers traveling coast-to-coast, partying and jamming with Hollywood. After monhts int he Oval, please Mr. President, turn your attention to the need of gulf people. THIS IS UNITED STATES OF AMERICA for God sake not a third world country! So, Mr. Barack Obama, be the PRESIDENT OF THIS COUNTRY stop hinding any shells.

    June 17, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  25. Johnny DC

    It's called leadership, Obama. That's what you do. You meet one-on-one with your adversaries, and you meet one-on-one with your allies.

    This is yet another example of on-the-job learning for the least-experienced executive on the planet. At least Reagan the actor got his training leading the people of California. This Chicago clown is learning as he goes - or more accurately, failing as he goes.

    June 17, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
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