Obama on oil leak: ‘I was wrong’

It doesn’t make up for the problems to date but it may be a start. The positive side here is that he can actually admit mistakes as opposed to the last government. Now that this has surpassed the Exxon Valdez as the worst spill in US history, there’s no time to waste. We still need to see a more deeply engaged administration though that appears to be doubtful heading into a holiday weekend. Everyone wants to believe that the administration is taking over though time will tell.

He strode into the East Room to mount a robust defense of his handling of the largest oil spill in American history, reassuring the nation that he was in charge and would do “whatever is necessary” to stop and clean up the BP leak in the Gulf of Mexico. But by the time he walked out an hour later, he had balanced that with a fairly unusual presidential self-critique.

He was wrong, he said, to assume that oil companies were prepared for the worst as he tried to expand offshore drilling. His team did not move with “sufficient urgency” to reform regulation of the industry. In dealing with BP, his administration “should have pushed them sooner” to provide images of the leak, and “it took too long for us” to measure the size of the spill.

“In case you’re wondering who’s responsible, I take responsibility,” Mr. Obama said as he concluded the news conference. “It is my job to make sure that everything is done to shut this down. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. It doesn’t mean it’s going to happen right away or the way I’d like it to happen. It doesn’t mean that we’re not going to make mistakes. But there shouldn’t be any confusion here. The federal government is fully engaged, and I’m fully engaged.”

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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31 Responses to “Obama on oil leak: ‘I was wrong’”

  1. Indigo says:

    Exactly.  I like to keep in mind that the Ark was built by an old man who had visions and a drinking problem but the Titanic was built by licensed engineers.  British ones, at that.  It helps me keep a perspective I think is sensible.

  2. Jophus says:

    I stand corrected.

  3. zorbear says:

    and the Hurricane will vacuum up the oil spill and everyone will be happy…I guess Limpyburger was right!

  4. zorbear says:

    Good Idea – then when someone comes in the room and stands in front of the desk, Obama can see that person with a little sign in front of them saying that the buck stops with them…

  5. zorbear says:

    “Whatsa behind you, doesn’t matter.” Italian Driver in Cannonball Run as he throws the rear-view mirror away…

  6. zorbear says:

    “ObamaRhama” – that’s great… I’m going to be using that!

  7. zorbear says:

    Uh, excuse me? “We told you…” isn’t the half of it. He RAN on doing those things. HE TOLD US he’d do those things.

    Saying “Why aren’t you doing what we told you we wanted?” is letting him off WAY too lightly…

  8. UnitedHealthDeathPanels says:

    Obama “says” he was wrong, fools a lot of liberals into thinking that he cares.

  9. vkobaya says:

    He was wrong and, he’s still wrong.

  10. sebastian says:

    Sounds like someone wants to look in the rear-view mirror! We don’t do that in this country!

  11. NotTimothyGeithner says:

    Jesus fucking christ, the President needs better speech writers. So far he has complained about red tape, listed some statistics without any context, praising everyone for all the great work, and pronounced how BP has been ordered to pay all claims.

    Oh fuck, he’s talking about volunteering and encouraging tourism Good fucking God, he’s a moron.

    Now, he says the media may get tired of the story, but he won’t. Well of course, he won’t get tired, since he only discovered it a week ago.

  12. Zorba says:

    Thank you, Jophus. You’ve expressed just how I feel, too. And many others. I am beyond angry.

  13. sonofloud says:

    What good is admitting mistakes if you don’t do anything to fix them or don’t learn from them?
    Obama cares more about getting re elected than about serving the people.

  14. ndbohlen says:

    This simply underscores the fact that we need to do what we can to hold BP accountable for the mess it has left in the Gulf region. And since BP only seems to be interested in the money it gets, we should boycott BP and its brands so that BP understands our message. Go to:


    This is Democracy for America’s campaign to put economic pressure on BP to clean up the Gulf. The more who get involved and pledge to boycott BP, the greater the impact on BP’s bottom line and the more heat BP feels to get this under control. This way, we don’t have to wait on Washington by taking matters into our own hands.

  15. Gray says:

    Hey, nobody could have predicted blah blah blah…
    Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

  16. monopole says:

    Barack “I’m not the president, I just play one on TV” Obama should find that “The Buck Stops Here” sign and put it back on the desk, facing him.

  17. Steve_in_CNJ says:

    ObamaRhama was also wrong to try to buy off Joe Sestak in the PA primary. Sestak should now campaign on the promise to block the Rahm Emanuel republican agenda.

  18. ezpz says:

    “In dealing with BP, his administration “should have pushed them sooner” to provide images of the leak, and “it took too long for us” to measure the size of the spill.”Pushed them sooner?Is he serious?He didn’t push them at all.Au contraire! He colluded with them to withhold it from the public.

    The White House allowed BP to hide its video feed of a gushing oil pipe in the Gulf of Mexico from the public for three weeks, all the while that same video played live in the White House Situation Room, ABC reports.This startling revelation comes just as Obama prepares to get really angry in public about the spill – just in time to cover up his administration’s collusion with BP to hide the true extent of the massive disaster in the Gulf.


  19. Jophus says:

    You know what you are wrong for? Ignoring the left. We voted for you. We told you this. We told you we wanted to bust up too big to fail. We told you we wanted equal rights. We wanted single-payer. We told you we don’t want war. We’ve told you we want green jobs and energy initiatives. Fucking listen to us. You are working for US! Next we’re going to tell you to leave.

  20. tim says:

    This is so distressing, if this catastrophic capitalistic leak both metaphorically and substantially is not stopped then it will destroy and kill most of the planet. The threatening ecological and likely outcome is truly unthinkable. Hurricane season is starting next week, a tropical storm is expected Tuesday.

  21. Indigo says:

    Right. And the Titanic was unsinkable. How refreshing.

  22. tim says:

    Ok seriously I just gotta chillax, man oh man does this stuff get to me…serenity now, serenity now.

  23. NotTimothyGeithner says:

    I would be happier if he claimed there was a major chain of command snafu. Admitting that he believed an oil company would do the right thing shows he is thoroughly unfit for the Presidency.

  24. tim says:

    Oh ok, so the lying, incompetent bigot now admits he’s wrong on ONE issue, great, I can sleep much better now.

    What a whining baby, he really lacked a strong male figure in his developing years, it’s becoming more obvious by the moment.

    MEN don’t act like the POTUS has since he went into office, they just don’t, pussies do, but not MEN and the REAL MEN know it, that’s why he has been BB without so much as a reach around. since he got into power.

  25. normanite says:

    5 weeks after the largest environmental disaster in US history starts, he finally talks to the American people?
    this administration so far is a series of blown opportunities:

  26. Griffon says:

    “He was wrong, he said, to assume that oil companies were prepared for the worst as he tried to expand offshore drilling.”There are two types of ‘leader’ who assume such a craptacularly disingenuous position. One receives several million dollars in industry cash to make such an assumption and has no business being president, the other is too spineless to be effective and has no business being president.Obama’s whining about a full plate, not shaking things up fast enough, etc., is about as believable as “Mission Accomplished.”Obama knew full well coming into office that his predecessor had diminished every regulatory agency he touched. Further, Obama’s preoccupation with extending executive power, preserving Constitutional violations and backroom deals for screwing the public over Single Payer and the Public Option has come home to roost.The stupendously asinine claim of believing the oil corporations’ preparedness would not survive the most cursory Google search, much less an administrative review, if such a thing took place after the cheques went through.Obama’s scripted mea culpa, after very public and justified walloping, is every bit as genuine as Tiger’s.

  27. vkobaya says:

    Talk good don’t he?Okay, so he’s better than George Bush. Brother! That’s a majestic standard to measure one by. Got news for you though, every other occupant of the Oval Office was also better than George Bush. Even Bo, Socks the other presidential pets were all better than George Bush.

    Everyone wants to believe that the administration is taking over

    I’ll believe it when I see it. As far as the needed expertise, close down BP and hire their engineers and other experts.

  28. zorbear says:

    So now on days he’s not channeling Dub, he’s channeling Carter?

  29. caphillprof says:

    Gee, that took only 37 days. Lucky for us that it wasn’t a real emergency.

  30. Gridlock says:

    Admitting the obvious is not some kind of grand gesture, even in comparison to the last administration.

  31. Gray says:

    Ok, ok, there is a bit of difference between Obama and Dubya. Can’t remember Bush ever saying something like “I was wrong”…

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