May 28th, 2010
03:15 PM ET

Obama speaks about oil spill after tour of affected areas

President Obama addresses reporters after touring affected Gulf Coast areas.

[Updated at 3:10 p.m.] Obama directs Gulf Coast residents to www.whitehouse.gov for resources on filing claims regarding damages from the spill, noting that doctors and scientists are stationed across the Gulf to monitor the health of residents.

Obama vowed to hold BP accountable for clean-up efforts and financial  compensation related to the underwater gusher but warned there are "no silver bullets" to stop the flow.

Watch Obama speak

But, he said he ultimately takes responsibility for solving this crisis: "I'm the president, and the buck stops with me."

Addressing Gulf Coast residents directly, he promised, "You will not be abandoned, you will not be left behind. ... We are on your side, we will see this through."

Read full story on CNN.com

[Updated at 3:00 p.m.] President Obama took the podium and said he met with Gulf Coast state governors, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen and others to discuss latest efforts to stop the leak and mitigate damages.

Obama said 20,000 people are working around the clock in "the largest spill in American history."

"This has already been the largest cleanup effort in U.S. history," Obama told reporters in Grand Isle.

[Posted at 1:10 p.m.] President Obama is in Louisiana Friday for the second time since an oil rig explosion sent a historic amount of oil gushing into the Gulf.

He is expected to make a statement to reporters after the tour.

soundoff (156 Responses)
  1. Patricia

    What cleanup???? There is no one there cleaning up except a few dudes on the beach with rakes! Why isn't the Navy or tankers out in the sea sucking up the oil plume, flitering it and putting it back!! This stuff is going to come ashore, it's only a matter of time. There is not clean up in the marshes. They took some boom out there and left it. What's going on? This is ridiculous. They don't want to clean it, because it will cost money. They are hoping the dispersants will keep it underwater and it will eventually drift out to sea. It's so obvious.

    May 28, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • red

      Yeah sooo obvious. I guess you have been down there to see all the things you are talking about. No? Then be quiet.

      May 28, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Wendy FL

    The criticism of President Obama is not that he isn't going down to plug the well with his finger, it is that over 30 days after the disaster, there still are not enough people or equipment being deployed to prevent oil reaching the beaches nor to clean up the oil on water and land. To-day he realizes there are not enough booms available? Why didn't he know this sooner? Why is BP being allowed to control media access to the spill ? I gues if we don't see it, we won't demand action.

    May 28, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laurianna

      The oil slick could be over 20 miles long. How much boon would that take? Is it even possible? Really, I don't know. And what if the tons of sand they dump off the coast to stop the oil slick from reaching shore damages the ecosystem, or changes the direction of the current and sends oil along the coast, around the Keys, and up the East Coast? What then? Isn't it better to investigate some of these things before forging ahead? Displaced anger solves nothing and certainly won't prevent another disaster. New laws, or putting old laws back in place will. I find it odd, parish Presidents aren't demanding BP be held accountable, want them driven from the Gulf, or are demanding they be prosecuted. Their negligence killed 11 men and created the worst disaster in American history. Simply, when the clean up is done, BP will drill and the state of LA will prosper from BP being there. So, let's get angry with the President...

      May 28, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • red

      "why didn't he know sooner" and hwy should the President be made aware of every little thing that is going on with the clean up. Here is an exercise for your brain. Using your logic on this issue we will look at some other problems the President has to deal with (and remember this could be ANY President):
      1. Iraq – why doesn't the President know how many surplus M1 Abrams tank treads we have in Iraq?
      2. Pakistan – why doesn't the President know how many extra joy stick controllers we have in stock in case one of our drone pilots needs a backup?
      3. Afghanistan – why doesn't the President know how many scalpels the surgeons in the field hospitals have?
      4. illegal immigration – why doesn't the President know the exact amount of razor wire we have stretched along our border with Mexico?

      So go on and apply your logic to all the other crap A President has to deal with and maybe then you can understand that it is a thankless job.

      May 28, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Steve

    Amazing how much this has been focused on, yet nobody brings up Nashville... Let's see a catastrophe of this scale has never been thought of? Really? How hard is it to imagine a well blowing up and wondering where it would go? Did we all think this would just disappear? Some people are so ignorant, only wanting to put blame on "big oil"... However, this rig was given an award for safety by the government. So, if BP is such a horrible company, perhaps the governement that gave them satisfactory markings is also horrible.

    May 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • red

      Where is Nashville???

      May 28, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dede

    For the first time today I could see how media try to shape the news. No sooner than the President spoke did Rick Sanchez, Candy Crowley and Anderson Cooper start going negative. I have no idea what they expect of the President, but you can tell they've made this all so personal. Barack Obama is not going down there with fake tears and emotions. He went to New Orleans to knock a few heads around and let the people know if the Coast Guard or others aren't doing what they are supposed to call me directly. And he spoke a great truth, until the well is fixed and the clean up is done people are not going to be satisfied. I'm so sick of the fake media and their fake news stories.

    May 28, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laurianna

      My thoughts exactly...so obvious. I particularly liked the Bush with the bull horn comment...I guess Rick forgot what happened before Bush showed up, and apparently what ensued after 911...And the men that have died because the air was unsafe..and those that still suffer. Maybe Obama would prefer not to use the disaster and the sorrow of the people of the region for a photo op and a popularity contest. And as James Carville pointed out in his tirade (even though I felt bad for him)...a political opportunity. Apparantly they aren't used to seeing someone with class and humility.

      May 28, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • red

      How old are you? If you are older than 12 and have just now realized how the media manipulates things you have not been paying attention. Please just go back to ignoring ife and play with your dog or cat, you will be MUCH more happy.

      May 28, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jesse McManus

    I'm disgusted with all the pundits and critics. The second the President finished his report in the Gulf, CNN was complaining about the issue of the resignation of the head of MMS, and carrying on about how lacking in passion he seems. This President is not an actor, nor does he seek to exploit every opportunity to portray himself as the country's savior. He works very hard, every single day, and has been working on solutions since day one. Does anyone really think he doesn't care what happens to the people and ecosystem of our Gulf states? Americans and their media have forgotten that a superman personality is not required to be a good leader. REally, no one has any idea what he's been up against or how to quickly solve this problem. If you want to be thrilled by a leading man, go to the movies.

    May 28, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • red

      Thank you. I was wondering if anyone out there really understood what goes on in the White House and what a person that is President has to deal with.

      May 28, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Laurianna

    This is a massive man made disaster, one of which has never occurred. Never being the operative word. The media is picking and creating and fanning the flames. The hole is being plugged, 10 hours 14 hours 2 hours what difference does it make who is calling who? They're trying to plug the hole. The president has been on top of the situation, the job is getting done and the clean up will take years. But put things in perspective, sometimes the most reasonable solution to you or I may cause even more harm in reality. If the solution were that easy, the thing wouldn't still be leaking and there wouldn't be an oily mess along the shore and in the wetlands. The president's not running around with a bull horn and a hard hat telling everyone it will be ok.....and the air is safe, come on in. He's being cautious. The more people out on the water being exposed to toxins, the more dangerous it would be. And if the parish presidents want control, then why didn't they have a plan in place to begin with? Where is their responsibility in this? Why weren't they prepared? And it's just too coincidental, now the media and the GOP are deflecting the blame to the President. BP had over 700 violations, lied about their qualifications for such a disaster, ignored warning signals prior to the explosion, and murdered 11 men. Yet the GOP wants us to be angry at the President because he's not in LA with his arm around everyone for a photo op. Angry... so we forget who's really responsible...which is why the big corporations get away with what they do....deflect and accuse...and drill baby drill

    May 28, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. larry

    you know and I know where ever He was scheduled to go there were people cleaning up, booms going out, blah, blah, blah. Wendy said it right like all of us wonder, where were the people, booms, cleanup, at least something at all the last 2 weeks as this stuff came onshore. No doubt BP is in coverup mode, any company would be thinking of long term costs but shame on them to be doing it to this extent. This administration has showed time and time again to just not get the American public. We just don't "understand" He has flat out lied to us, not allowed us to know alot of what is going on throughout the world. Obama will go down as a much worse President than Bush was. The problem with that is we will be paying for His decisions for years.

    May 28, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      He lied to us? Really? Where? When he said there was no silver bullet, where he said this will take a long time to fix. Where he said that there was no quick fix to 30 years of neglect to our economy and infrastructure? For once we have a president that speaks to people like they are adults and what happens. Whine Whine Whine.

      May 28, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • red

      larry: "Obama will go down as a much worse President than Bush was. The problem with that is we will be paying for His decisions for years" You sir are a fool. If you want to nitpick then the deregulation of the oil industry and the decisions made by Dick Cheney while leading Haliburton caused this mess. Yes larry Dick knew about the faulty BOP's while he was at Haliburton, and that was before he was VP. So they have known about faulty BOP's for at least 10 years and nothing was done. I don't blmae George Bush for this but using your logic he is the ONLY one responsible. Think about it and you will eventually understand. Get your cat to help you with the logic, you need it.

      May 28, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Benjamin Mwangi

    PLUG THE DAMN HOLE.
    JUNK SHOT, TOP KILL STUFF........BLAH BLAH. BP NEEDS TO STEP UP THEIR GAME.

    I APPLAUD THE PRESIDENT FOR SHOWING UP, EVEN WITH A VERY TIGHT SCHEDULE.

    May 28, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • red

      All Americans should be proud that he showed up to show that he is behind the efforts of professionals to get the mess fixed and cleaned up. I know that some here will never be satisfied because you all know how it SHOULD BE done.

      May 28, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • garyfan

      Yep, those guys at BP need to step up their game. I'll bet for the last month they've been laying back, playing dominos and watching their 401k's collapse cuz they don't give a hoot about anything. Those lousy engineers, the fact that they work for an oil company makes them greedy, careless and cold hearted. Just bad people.

      May 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Frank

    I understand accidents do happen. Like Larry King said it, you don't close an airline when a plane goes down, but I'm exremely shock that a company like BP did not have a contengency plan in case of accidents like this. It makes me wonder if other companies like Shell, Mobil, Exxon do have an emergency plan. Maybe if we decide to drill our coasts, it is only logical to have a government emergency response to accidents like this. I won't vote for offshore drilling unless we have something like this in place.

    May 28, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • red

      I believe that they are working on those plans now......

      May 28, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Frank, I think your bring up some good points.

      Kevin Carney
      http://www.soleragroup.com

      May 28, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bradley Matson

    If you want to know what BP is probably going to do, check out 60 minutes full episode on Alaska and the oil spill up there. Their was a 5 billion settlement for damages and not one penny has been paid to this day. They just create an extension for a new reason every few months and this will go on indefinitely and even the Judge on the case admits they are evading payment. This just shows how screwed up the judicial system is and, how it is set up so big companies can manipulate the outcome in their favor no matter war the crime is.

    May 28, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christine A Jubic

      ..and the settlement to 20 years I heard, cause BP fought it on appeal

      May 30, 2010 at 4:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. anon

    Would it be possible to IMPLODE the blowout preventer and do some underwater welding using the robots to finish the job?

    May 28, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • red

      Yep that may work. May not either. *SHRUGS*

      May 28, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Boob

    Was just wondering.... if BP is to pay the cost of clean-up and lost to individuals.... are they REALLY going to take this as a lost??? Or are they going to pass the cost along as a business practice like everyone else... so that WE in the end will be paying for it. Paying with higher energy costs (gasoline, fuel oil etc) Surely their stock holders are not going to want to see a loss ! Just a thought

    May 28, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • red

      Well, Boob, if that is your real name, they probably have insurance for some of this. Yes they will probably be able to write off some of it, and yes they can make all kinds of claims about their contractors and suppliers failing. The bottom line is that they are responsible. the Problem is proving that in court, which is where this will be for many years. BP will ba bale to make profits up until the day they have to pay a penny in damages. And they will be in business making profits well after that as well.

      May 28, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • garyfan

      They are already paying damages to people and to the states and a bunch of other folks.

      May 28, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. larry

    no doubt CNN is biased. all news is biased one way or the other. The people of Louisiana are not. They have been asking for help way before this hit the beaches and marshes. They are still waiting for help. Yes some help if finally getting out there, but the frustration shows that they feel they have not been helped in a timely manner. This has nothing to do with Democrats versus Republicans, He is the President. It shows that the people he has appointed to get him info has been a very bad choice. That is his "fault" That is not coming from CNN that is the truth that has been going on since he took office and appointed his staff.

    May 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • red

      Ok what is timely? It is all relative. Supplies must be produced, bought, shipped, deployed, and used. Any delay in any of that will be a delay in the clean up. Do you whether there was a boom surplus prior to this? Were there enough materials on hand to do the job? Whose business is it to make sure that a supplier of something is prepared to change their production line in order to increase production in a disaster situation? How is all that stuff going to get where it needs to be? Trucks? Trains? Planes? Think about the situation, the logistics, and then make your judgment on how fast it can be done.

      May 28, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. warren smith

    GOOD JOB MR PRESIDENT

    May 28, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TT

    BRAVO Jesse! Eloquently spoken (er, typed)!

    May 28, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
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