Glenn Beck criticized President Obama's June 15 Oval Office address by falsely claiming that Obama has not prioritized ending the Gulf of Mexico oil leak and is instead focused on energy reform. Beck's claim repeats the false criticism previously offered by his Fox News colleague Sarah Palin.
Beck advances Palin's false attack that Obama has not prioritized stopping oil leak
Beck: Stopping oil spill "should be our priority, but it's not." On his Fox News show, Beck suggested that Obama's Oval Office address was part of a "war" on America's "very way of life." Beck subsequently said:
BECK: We saw it on the border. If you really wanted to protect us, you would fix the problem. You would fix the flood of illegal aliens coming across the border. Now we have President Obama. We didn't stop the flood of illegal immigrants. What are we doing now with the spill? If this were really about the spill, we would first work on, what? Stopping this!
Before talking about energy and taxes and cap and trade or solar panels or saying, "Don't tell me that we can't fundamentally transform the country into solar panels and green energy." You would stop the oil spill. You would get a tourniquet. This should be our priority. But it's not. [Glenn Beck, 6/17/10]
Palin debuted the falsehood immediately after Obama's Oval Office speech. During the June 15 edition of The O'Reilly Factor after Obama's speech, Palin said "we haven't had the assurance by the president that" the BP oil spill "has been his top priority."
Obama has called the Gulf oil spill "my top priority"
Obama from the Oval Office: "[M]ake no mistake: We will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long as it takes." During his Oval Office address -- the very address Beck criticized -- Obama said: "Because there has never been a leak this size at this depth, stopping it has tested the limits of human technology. That's why just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation's best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge -- a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation's Secretary of Energy." Obama added that "in the coming weeks and days, these efforts should capture up to 90 percent of the oil leaking out of the well." He further said:
But make no mistake: We will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long as it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever's necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy.
Obama previously called spill "my top priority." During a May 27 press conference, Obama said: "Those who think that we were either slow on our response or lacked urgency don't know the facts. This has been our highest priority since this crisis occurred." He also commented: "But here's the broad point: There has never been a point during this crisis in which this administration, up and down up the line, in all these agencies, hasn't, number one, understood this was my top priority -- getting this stopped and then mitigating the damage; and number two, understanding that if BP wasn't doing what our best options were, we were fully empowered and instruct them, to tell them to do something different."