April 30th, 2010
04:55 PM ET

Political fallout for Obama amid oil spill disaster?

As the oil slick from the recent offshore oil rig disaster makes its way to Gulf Coast shores - expected to devastate the precious ecosystem and hurt struggling businesses - the seeds of political fallout for the Obama administration are beginning to sprout.

Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh said on his program that the oil slick disaster is "Obama's Katrina."

Not so, says Media Matters for America:

"Media conservatives have rushed to absurdly compare the Obama administration's response to a catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to the Bush Administration's botched response after Hurricane Katrina, a hurricane that left more than 1,500 dead," the liberal-leaning group said on its website. "This claim is undermined by a number of facts."

Another Obama critic, Joe Weisenthal of BusinessInsider.com, wrote Thursday, "Today the story got elevated to national emergency level, but the explosion on the rig happened eight days ago!"

White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod told ABC news Friday: "This is always the case in Washington - that whenever something like this happens, the political speculation sets in."

"The truth of the matter is we had the Coast Guard on the scene almost immediately after this accident. The deputy secretary of the interior was on the ground the next day, and we've been coordinating closely with the local authorities and [BP officials] from the very beginning."

Axelrod said that no additional offshore oil drilling has been authorized and "none will until we find out what happened here and whether there was something unique and preventable here."

Read the full CNN.com story

soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. J. Kohler

    There may be a silver lining as a result of this spill and the recent mine disaster. Hopefully, the government and business will conclude that fossil fuels should have no place in our energy policy for the future. We need to kick the oil habit now. It would also help our foreign policy...no more wars for oil.

    May 1, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Phil4us

    Well it might be a good timing to move any big oil investments over to green energy investments. Oh, wait, you don't have to move them, the biggest green energy industries are all backed by Big Oil already. How convenient.

    May 1, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Marie Perkins

    Humans will not quit until the whole earth has been polluted, wildlife decimated, and the earth unlivable. 5000 dolphins are birthing in this area now. I am sickened. We don't deserve the earth. We're destroying all that we were given. God help us.

    May 1, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kermit Roosevelt

    There is an interesting theory that I think should be out there more.

    Is it possible that this was the result of Iranian espionage?

    Look at the benefits:
    1) Iran's long-time enemy, British Petroleum, the entity behind the overthrow of the only democratically elected government in Iran;s history in the 1950s, suffers a devastating blow.
    2) Resumption of US drilling and our ultimate return to self-reliance regarding energy is a direct threat to Iran's core revenue commodity. This has set it back a decade at least.
    3) Calamitous environmental disaster to US soil.

    A trifecta for the Mullahs, and all without slamming planes into buildings or screaming like bearded or burqa'd fanatics. Major damage done to their enemies and they benefit quietly.

    Anyone think this is a crazy idea?

    May 1, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. annette

    If Obama had waited til the oil hit the coast and thousands of animals and birds were drenched in oil for a week before taking action I think we might have a comparison to make. I think the response has been appropriate. Now I just hope to see him reverse his position on drill baby drill..

    May 1, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BLUEBIRD

    IDIOTS ABOUND.....and make evil men like Rush Limbaugh rich....fools... you are all fools!

    May 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Paul

    time to pay the piper. with all the rigs it was just a matter of time. At least the devastation will be on the red states who block any progress (read change) on energy policy. Still, bummer for everyone.

    May 1, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joe

    There are rumors of a N Korean submarine attack on this oil platform. If this is a cover up and not being covered by the media, it will devistate the credibility of the media.

    May 1, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kenneth Howald

    I own a house in Cabana Beach(Gulf Shores, AL.) that we have rented out for families to enjoy a vacation at the beach for the past twenty-three years. All I have at risk is about $500,000. The people that rely on the Gulf for their livelihood, some for the past four or five generations, are the families that my heart and soul go out to. That being said...there are many people posting here that in their heart of hearts have been of the opinion that the government must stay out of their business; now they are demanding that the government MUST step in and do something. I also had a friend this morning tell me "that if Mr. Bush was in charge things would have happened to correct the situation immediately" I am a retired firefighter/paramedic and went to New Orleans on my own two days after Katrina hit, I did not see Mr. Bush's presence until I had been pulling bodies out of the water and trying to meet the basest needs of the people I was trying to help(that is seven days after Katrina visited) I was retired so I was able to respond on my own...my fellow firefighter/paremedics that were working at the time and volunteered their time were sent to Atlanta for three days prior to being sent in to help learn about "harassment". Mr. Bush should have been tried for murder for the way he handled that crisis. The republicans posting their veiws here need to look in mirror and admit that they have,and are continuing to support a program of "no regulation", they can now reap what they have sown; just as they have in the banking, petroleum and airline industies.
    ken howald

    May 2, 2010 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mitch

    Personally I think these conspiracy theories are a bit ridiculous. The fact that there is a connection with Iran and BP is a mere coincidence and what business would North Korea have in the Gulf of Mexico? America can not afford to have the reputation of blaming other countries for their disasters right now. The blame should be placed on the two companies that caused the spill and the American Government. Anything and everything should be done to stop this thing from getting any worse but so far the best they've come up with is a de solvent to mix the oil and water together, thereby polluting the entire water table all together... brilliant.

    After this disaster and the like over the past 35 years, it's time we learn the lesson that clean energy is not a necessity for the future but necessary now. Obama... act like the liberal we voted by trashing your plans for offshore drilling. The billions of dollars that will be spent on that should instead be a payback to our environment in the form of cleaner energy.

    May 2, 2010 at 4:15 am | Report abuse |
  11. Sharon

    I feel sorry for the people who live in the affected States. However, as humans we are not helpless and we can take care of ourselves.......well most of us anyway. Yes the lives of those living along the coast will be forever changed, jobs lost, home values further diminished , qualify of life changed etc. However, the fate of the birds , fish and all wildlife in the area is my real concern. They are helpless, and at this time of year they are migrating , breeding, nesting and genrally at their most vunerable. I wish I could be there to help with the animal rescue effort but my family and job responsibilites here in Canada make that impossible. My heart is breaking.

    20 years ago this story would not have had much effect on me, but today in my 40's I am
    moved to tears.... I am no saint when it comes to oil consumption, but I think that having this happen to us in N America on such a large scale, with no end in site....maybe 3 months or more until this is capped says BP......will be a wake up call for a lot of people myself included, who would previously have felt very little about an oil spill event.

    We are truly killing our planet and each other. I doubt very much life will exist as we know it in 100 years.....and we honestly don't deserve it to.

    May 2, 2010 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
  12. Adam

    I'm sick and tired of people saying that this isn't the time for blame. This is EXACTLY the time for blame, because in the months and years that this environmental is going to effect so many, the voices begin to quiet and everyone goes on about business as usual.

    So, folks, while you're angry and need something to do, write your elected officials, Transocean, Haliburton and BP. Tell them you're pissed and want them to be brought to bear. Boycott BP.

    May 2, 2010 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ross

    Gary, you 'conservatives' disgust ME. Regardless of the "facts" – it HAPPENED and will happen AGAIN.

    ALL you republicans can see is 15 minutes into the future, never thinking at all about what will happen long term. You should all be put in jail.

    May 2, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  14. Rboniceville

    Obama dines with Hollywood celebs and corrupt news media in black tie with a smirk on his face while making jokes. The gulf coat is about to be devastated for decades with shore birds tortured to death, sea creatures poisoned and smothered, and millions of jobs lost as the environment is despoiled killing off the fishing and tourism.

    Obama doesn't seem to realize how this looks.

    May 2, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Pamela

    There is no super-hero suit big enough in Obama's closet for this disaster and pending environmental catastrophe. While he says that there needs to be more safeguards, and I agree, how does BP get away with doing open heart surgery and leave the patient gushing blood on the table with no plan B (C, D, E and F...) and we all stand by and watch. His comments, however, miss the point. I fear all the talk about "next time". The damage is done, the full impact has not been revealed yet. President Obama does not seem to understand the implications of the environmental impact. Each time something like this happens it is an exponential move towards not having a "next time". He just doesn't get it.

    May 2, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
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