June 18th, 2010
12:03 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney rips Obama's handing of BP oil spill

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/18/art.romney.0606y.gi.jpg caption ="Mitt Romney accused President Obama Friday of mishandling the BP oil spill."]Charleston, South Carolina (CNN) - Mitt Romney accused President Obama Friday of mishandling the BP oil spill, and specifically charged that the president had a dangerous hands-off approach in the early days of the crisis.

Romney, appearing a campaign stop in South Carolina for gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley, called the Obama administration's response to the spill "ineffective" and said the White House has relied too heavily on BP to cap the oil leak.

"In this kind of a crisis situation, the president's response should have been to step in, bring in the experts, people from various oil companies, from leading institutions, academic and engineering firms and look at the options for actually capping this oil spill and then actually making those decisions," Romney said.

He added, "That is something which he has delegated to BP. As the company responsible for causing the spill in the first place, I think it was a mistake to rely on BP for 60 days or so to make the decisions on how to cap the oil spill. They have been ineffective in that regard."

The former Massachusetts governor and possible 2012 presidential candidate would not comment on a controversial remark by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas. Barton apologized Thursday for saying that BP's $20 billion fund to pay for oil spill damages was the result of a "shakedown" from the White House.

Romney said he is "pleased that funds are being put aside" to help Gulf residents affected by the spill.

Filed under: BP • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. REG in AZ

    Critics are a dime a dozen but always without constructive merit and only seeking to find fault without giving due recognition to the severity of the problems or the quality of the earnest efforts. In other words, the critics try to serve their own purposes without any conscientious or honest concern, just taking advantage of the situation at hand. That is called subterfuge aimed to manipulate public opinion.

    June 18, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  2. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    The U.S. government does not have the equipment and know-how to cap this well. It has to rely on industry. I guess Romney would want Exxon to do the work. Obviously, Exxon and the other oil companies would like to stay out of the limelight. I think too many people who want a smaller government turn around and want the government to work miracles – free of charge.

    June 18, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  3. Syphon Filter

    Mitt Romney is a joke. I am sure if he was the President, he would have not gotten one dollar from BP for the American people in the Gulf. It is very easy to get behind a microphone and 60 days later criticize Obama, but truth of the matter is that all the Republicans care about is their own lobby money and financial contributions from large multinational corporations. No one should be surprised by the comments from Texas Republican senator Barton, in which he was defending and apologizing to BP. And what a joke for Rudolph Guliani to go on to Fox News and say that Obama was on vacation more times than in being in the Gulf and in trying to fix the oil spill. But when the 911 transcripts were looked upon Rudolph Guliani went to see the New York Yankees play more times than Obama having time off. According to Politco Guliani was also traveling to see the Yankees on the road for a total of 56 days, which is twice as much as Obama has been on vacation. And for those who missed the Ms. Bendy Straw Appearance on the O'reilly Factor, Sarah Palin was asked if she could plug the hole, and when she couldn't answer it she says that the obama administration should have received help from the Netherlands and the Dutch. According to the washington post, in late may the obama administration accepted Mexico's offer of 2 skimmers & 13,779 feet of boom; a Dutch offer of 3 sets of Koseq sweeping arms, which attach to the sides of ships and gather oil; and 8 skimming systems offered by Norway. So what is the Republicans solution? Having Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh mock Obama's 11 year old daughter. Having tea party candidates go into hiding and not do any interviews or appearances on any News cast except for Fox news. I am a registered Republican in Florida, and I am sick and disgusted with the Republican party. They are acting like children. and they are showing their true colors, and that is that all they care about is their own bank account, and they don't care about their constituents. It has been the worst behavior I have seen by any party. Don't get me wrong, the Democrats aren't angels either, but they are showing that they do care about the American people, and that they will do whatever it takes to defend and care for their Constituents. The Republicans haven't done anything, nor proposed any solution to any of America's problems. and they should be ashamed of themselves for it.

    June 18, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  4. notabushwhacker

    Mr. Romney is right on. The fraud in the white house has been hiding behind his skirt afraid to take a position that would make it look like he didn't know what he was doing..................clearly the case.

    June 18, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. Duck Fallas

    Why is Mitt (funny name) waiting until now to criticize and second guess a situation he knows little to nothing about? He should have been out there from the beginning drawing attention to what a smart gut HE is.

    June 18, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  6. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    I forgot to mention, the President did all the things Romney says he didn't do, including getting expert opinion from all over the world. They may not have been in one room (a rather old-fashioned way of doing business), but they were in communication with each other.

    IMHO, every time a well is drilled, relief wells need to be drilled at the same time. The only way of stopping this mess is by shooting concrete down the relief wells and we have to wait until August for them to be completed. Everything else BP is doing is just a band aid until that happens.

    June 18, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. ed fl

    Looks like another GOP politician is losing money from his BP Stock. Hopefully they can get to the money Romney and Hatch made from the winter olympics years ago. Heaven forbid some GOP'ERS may have to get a legitmate income.

    June 18, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. James, AL

    Romney has too much wax in his ears. He's talking about things the President has already done. For republicans this is just something they want to make look bad for the president. Everyone should know by now, the government does not have the tools to stop the leak. No one want to enlarge government, or want government period, but they want the "Government" to handle this!
    We have a very intelligent, astute, decisive, prudent, and caring president. Its about time we show him, we support him. I have never agreed 100% with anybody, but I think it is lunacy to disagree with the president just to be disagreeable. I am a true independent, and I can say the republicans are just making me sick with their "just say no" campaign. Rather than just being against the President's policies, put your ideas out there and give us something to rally behind. It is easy to say NO, but show us something to say YES to!

    I am tired of the foolishness!

    June 18, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Debbie

    It's easy to play Monday morning quarterback. The good Mormon needs to go home!

    June 18, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. Sue

    "In this kind of a crisis situation, the president's response should have been to step in, bring in the experts, people from various oil companies, from leading institutions, academic and engineering firms and look at the options for actually capping this oil spill and then actually making those decisions," Romney said.

    Romney must have been on vacation the last 60 days – because this is what the President has done and been criticized for. Next Romney will be apologizing to BP like other Repubs.

    June 18, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  11. katiec

    President Obama is dammed if he does and dammed if he doesn't.
    No matter what he accomplishes the republicans will tear him down. I do hope the American people realize that the republicans will continue their undying love and support of Wall St regardless of the consequences to us and our country.
    They are a disgrace to our political system and our great nation.

    June 18, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. cassandra

    this is a dangerous man who belongs to a wacko religious cult...if he becomes president, it is safe to say he would pass a law to marry 13yr old girls...and legalize polygamy.

    June 18, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  13. Remember the Alamo

    "The big oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is bad enough in itself. But politics can make anything worse. Let's stop and think. Either the government knows how to stop the oil spill or they don't. If they know how to stop it, then why have they let thousands of barrels of oil per day keep gushing out, for weeks on end? All they have to do is tell BP to step aside, while the government comes in to do it right. If they don't know, then what is all this political grandstanding about keeping their boot on the neck of BP, the Attorney General of the United States going down to the Gulf to threaten lawsuits - on what charges was unspecified - and President Obama showing up in his shirt sleeves? Just what is Obama going to do in his shirt sleeves, except impress the gullible? He might as well have shown up in a tuxedo with white tie, for all the difference it makes. This government is not about governing. It is about creating an impression. That worked on the campaign trail in 2008, but it is a disaster in the White House, where rhetoric is no substitute for reality. ... This is not about oil. This is about snake oil"

    June 18, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. Robert

    typical phony conservative republican. so are they for or against big government powers? first, they were against it saying government is doing too much and intervening in the private sector. now they are saying it isn't doing enough and did too little and that it should do more. these conservative phonies need to own up and hold the private sector BP accountable for this disaster for a change instead of just being anti-democrat.

    June 18, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. kari

    There are no "options for capping the spill." No one, not the gov't, not BP, no one could have stopped the leak then and no one knows how to stop it now. Obama has consulted with all the experts If there is a solution to this, no one has figured it out yet. So zip it Romney.

    June 18, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. ray

    this man is nothing more than a wanbe president. this guy should start dressing like aclown which i think he is. why dont you take some of that money you have and help the poor people ????

    June 18, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. GL

    CNN you got any new news. This news about Republicans attacking the President is getting just as old as you story about Sara Palin. This is why your rating is going down and down. This same Republcans for two years have been critizing the President on everything and it is starting to get old and not news worthing.

    June 18, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. Kyle

    Armchair quarterbacking by another ex-presidential hopeful. Typical...

    June 18, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. Some thing to think about

    Mitt would have done the same thing. Please be quiet party of no.

    June 18, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. GL

    The only things people is going to remeber is President Obama gets things done – not how it gets it done. As long as people see progress, it really don't matter the avenue it took getting it done. Keep running your mouth Republicans becasue they is all you have left to offer the American people.

    June 18, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  21. Video Guy

    Gov Romney Message brought to us by the wonder folks at BP and their American Political Party the GO(B)P.

    June 18, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. ladybug

    Romney, President Obama has handled this, and the governing of America better than any Republican president ever could, given the enormity of his issues that must be tackled for the American people. All that you and the GOP have to offer or bring to the table is a resounding "NO", and Barton, who favors BP Corporation over the American people. All Republicans support the rich over the struggling "little people" in America. Remember, lives were lost and all you can do is another pathetic act of taking cheap shots at President Obama, who you will never be able to go head to head with. If he wiped out an entire room full of you, I can see him gobbling you down in one felt swoop in a head to head match up. You are running for president and I can't wait to watch the landslide that President Obama will win by. Good luck with the "little boy" name calling as Americans already know how devoid the Republican party is of ideas. All you have are racial insults, bigotry, and hatred for the few who still follow you. You are pathetic.

    June 18, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. Joe

    What an opportunistic hypocritical horse's behind. Obama has in fact done everything Romney says he should have done. The problem is that NO ONE KNOWS WHAT TO DO? So, unless you can swim a mile down and clog the hole with BS, shut up.

    June 18, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  24. Beauty

    What do you expect him to say? Thank you President Obama for using common sense approach to understand the magnitude of the problem and making an effective decision? Naa, that would be politically incorrect.
    He couldn't stand the fact that President Obama's approach actually produced better relief for the people who are hurting. Romney and his GOP nuts were grasping for straw because they don't know how else to criticize this cool headed, result oriented, hard working president. Shame on them!

    June 18, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  25. Hammerer

    Romney is just pilling on. obama has taken command by declaring war on the oil spill. He has appointed a commission, appointed a czar and everything. So where is he? On the road again selling snake oil in Ohio or some place or after the basketball game last night he is probably setting up a meeting with the Lakers to go play some hoops and then off to the golf course.
    Tough job but someone has to do it!

    June 18, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
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