June 17th, 2010
09:10 PM ET
12 years ago

Stupak: Hayward 'absurd and ridiculous'

Washington (CNN) – Rep. Bart Stupak, a leading Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said BP CEO Tony Hayward looked "absurd and ridiculous" giving non-responsive testimony at Thursday's Gulf oil spill hearing.

"It was frustrating, not just to me but to the American people," Stupak said in an interview on CNN's "John King, USA." The Michigan congressman pointed out that the committee had sent Hayward a letter outlining the lines of questioning they intended to pursue and yet he still did not answer their questions.

"There comes a point in time when you almost become absurd and ridiculous. Unfortunately, I think that's how Tony Hayward looked to the American people," Stupak said.

Separately, Stupak defended the White House for including Attorney General Eric Holder in a Roosevelt Room meeting with BP executives on Wednesday. Holder's Justice Department has an active investigation into the oil giant following the disaster.

"I think it was worthwhile having the attorney general [in the meeting]. He helped put some parameters there," Stupak said.

Filed under: Bart Stupak • JKUSA • John King USA • Oil spill • Tony Hayward
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. File under "Sarcasm"

    What's "absurd and ridiculous" is a bunch of political hacks performing on camera trying to make re-election points off this disaster rathering than trying to identify the solutions. No CEO is going to admit negligence on national TV and no CEO is going to know details down to the count of toilet paper rolls on every company drilling rig as the Senators seem to imply he should. All the politicans know about business is how to squeeze taxes or contributions from it.

    June 18, 2010 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  2. cd

    President Obama is pure genius. The way he gets company's that otherwise run amok to toe the line is fantastic. Bush gutted the regulatory bodies but Obama figures out a way to stitch it together. Another 6 years of Obama and America may have a chance to regain the greatness lost under Cheny/bush.

    June 18, 2010 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  3. J.V.Hodgson

    Dear Mr Stupak,
    If you ask silly or stupid questions, then don't be surprised if you get answers you 'd rather not hear especially when some of them and the response you either wanted to hear or some of your committee prompted what they wanted to hear would have made him criminally negligent or liable in other ways.
    The masterpeice of stupidity in this regard was the question about taking responsibility for the rig explosion and Loss of life etc when there is special government commission investigating to determine the cause(s). Which was his reply. He was then accused of being evasive. Sorry no, he is waiting for facts. This is not theatre to him its his and the thousands of BP employees livelihood. So stop asking him questions which in effect want him to plead guilty before is proved to be so. He wont. Nor would anyone else.

    June 18, 2010 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  4. russ

    The committee looked absurd and ridiculous first; one after another having their say, essentially repeating themselves, trying to look good, wasting time.

    June 18, 2010 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  5. Colorado Liberal--and Proud of It

    Right on, Congressman Stupak. You were superb today. Thank you for sticking up for those 11 lost men, their families, the people of the Gulf devastated by this mess, and the countless animals who are suffering because of BP's insatiable greed.

    Once more, Sir, you were superb.

    Sadly, the same cannot be said for the feckless Joe Barton who did Democrats (and all conscious Americans) quite a favor today. This man gave voice to what aware Americans know quite well: the GOP puts profits over people. This we will remember in November.

    Correct equations don't lie and neither does this:

    GOP = Corporations > American People

    June 18, 2010 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  6. William Hsu

    I think it's easy to jump on the bandwagon and blame everything on Mr. Hayward, however it's a fair point that he may not be able to fully comment or form an opinion 'until the investigation has been completed', until that is done, no one can have an informed opinion. As an executive of a vast organization, it is also probable that he was not involved with any decision making for that particular platform. The committee should have BP bring those people into the hearings so they can fully explain themselves and get an answer. Likening this to government, Governor's participate in state policy and laws, should they be held fully accountable for a police officer who wrongfully uses excessive force? All he can really do is set guidelines and try to enforce them. Until it is actually proven that Mr Hayward knowingly took excessive risk in this incident, the committee should not act like a lynch mob. We are still in a land where you are innocent until proven guilty.

    June 18, 2010 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
1 2 3