Karl Rove doesn't shoot straight in addressing Obama's oil spill response
Research ››› ››› MATT GERTZ
Criticizing President Obama's response to the Gulf oil spill, Karl Rove said Obama "should have shot straight" and acknowledged that the "only sure way" to stop the spill was to drill relief wells. In fact, Obama has repeatedly offered very similar comments about the spill.
Rove says Obama "should have shot straight," describes what Obama "should have" said
From the June 7 edition of Fox News' America Live:
ROVE: Here's my point about President Obama. He should have shot straight. He should have said, "You know what, this is a very difficult thing to deal with, we've never had to deal with it before. The only sure way of guaranteeing that this will stop is to drill these relief wells. It will take three months up to three months to do so. In the meantime, we're going to do everything we possibly can, working in concert with BP, to test out different ways to bring this to an early conclusion."
Obama repeatedly made comments similar to those Rove suggested
On May 14, Obama called stopping leak "extremely difficult" and discussed using the "most advanced technology that exists to try to stop the flow of oil as quickly as possible." In May 14 remarks in the Rose Garden, President Obama stated:
OBAMA: Now, the most important order of business is to stop the leak. I know there have been varying reports over the last few days about how large the leak is, but since no one can get down there in person, we know there is a level of uncertainty. But as Admiral Thad Allen said today, our mobilization and response efforts have always been geared toward the possibility of a catastrophic event. And what really matters is this: There's oil leaking and we need to stop it -- and we need to stop it as soon as possible. With that source being 5,000 feet under the ocean's surface, this has been extremely difficult. But scientists and engineers are currently using the best, most advanced technology that exists to try to stop the flow of oil as quickly as possible.
On May 27, Obama called the oil spill an "unprecedented disaster" that would be "very difficult to stop," and said it may "last until the relief wells are finished." At his May 27 press conference, Obama called the spill an "unprecedented disaster" that will be "very difficult to stop," and said that "we're exploring any reasonable strategies to try and save the Gulf from a spill that may otherwise last until the relief wells are finished -- and that's a process that could take months." From the press conference:
OBAMA: Yesterday, the federal government gave BP approval to move forward with a procedure known as a "top kill" to try to stop the leak. This involves plugging the well with densely packed mud to prevent any more oil from escaping. And given the complexity of this procedure and the depth of the leak, this procedure offers no guarantee of success. But we're exploring any reasonable strategies to try and save the Gulf from a spill that may otherwise last until the relief wells are finished -- and that's a process that could take months.
The American people should know that from the moment this disaster began, the federal government has been in charge of the response effort. As far as I'm concerned, BP is responsible for this horrific disaster, and we will hold them fully accountable on behalf of the United States as well as the people and communities victimized by this tragedy. We will demand that they pay every dime they owe for the damage they've done and the painful losses that they've caused. And we will continue to take full advantage of the unique technology and expertise they have to help stop this leak.
I'll close by saying this: This oil spill is an unprecedented disaster. The fact that the source of the leak is a mile under the surface, where no human being can go, has made it enormously difficult to stop. But we are relying on every resource and every idea, every expert and every bit of technology, to work to stop it. We will take ideas from anywhere, but we are going to stop it.
On June 1, Obama called the oil spill the "greatest environmental disaster" in history and said it may last until "the completion of the two relief wells." In June 1 remarks after meeting with the two co-chairs of the National Commission on the BP oil spill in the Gulf, Obama called the spill the "greatest environmental disaster of its kind in our history" and stated that "we'll ensure that any and all responsible means of containing this leak are pursued as we await the completion of the two relief wells":
OBAMA: I just met with these gentlemen, former Senator Bob Graham of Florida and former EPA Administrator, Bill Reilly. They will lead the National Commission on the BP oil spill in the Gulf, which is now the greatest environmental disaster of its kind in our history. Their job, along with the other members of the commission, will be to thoroughly examine the spill and its causes, so that we never face such a catastrophe again.
At the same time, we're continuing our efforts on all fronts to contain the damage from this disaster and extend to the people of the Gulf the help they need to confront this ordeal. We've already mounted the largest cleanup effort in the nation's history, and continue to monitor -- minute to minute -- the efforts to halt or capture the flow of oil from the wrecked BP well. Until the well is stopped, we'll multiply our efforts to meet the growing threat and to address the widespread and unbelievably painful losses experienced by the people along the Gulf Coast. What's being threatened -- what's being lost -- isn't just the source of income, but a way of life; not just fishable waters, but a national treasure.
There are now more than 20,000 men and women in the region working around the clock to contain and clean up the oil. We've authorized more than 17,000 National Guard members to respond across four states. More than 1,700 vessels are currently aiding in the response. And we'll ensure that any and all responsible means of containing this leak are pursued as we await the completion of the two relief wells.
On June 5, Obama said that "we are prepared for the worst," and warned that there would be "spillage until after the relief wells are completed." In his June 5 radio address, Obama said that "regardless of the outcome" of BP's attempt to cap the well, "there will still to be some spillage until the relief wells are completed":
OBAMA: Now, over the last few days BP has placed a cap over the well, and it appears they're making progress in trying to pump oil to the surface to keep it from leaking into the water. But as has been the case since the beginning of this crisis, we are prepared for the worst, even as we hope that BP's efforts bring better news than we've received before. We also know that regardless of the outcome of this attempt, there will still to be some spillage until the relief wells are completed. And there will continue to be a massive cleanup ahead of us.