James Carville Slams Obama on Oil Spill Response

james carville CBS

AP

Democratic political strategist James Carville, a resident of Louisiana, slammed President Obama this morning for the "political stupidity" of his response to the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"The president doesn't get down here in the middle of this... I have no idea of why they didn't seize this thing," Carville said on ABC's "Good Morning America." "I have no idea of why their attitude was so hands off here."

The White House has been on the defensive about its response to the spill, which began when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20, killing 11 people. Millions of gallons of oil have already spilled into the Gulf, and government agencies are still working with BP to try and cap the leak.

The administration is stressing the fact that it has sent thousands of response vessels and thousands of personnel, including top cabinet officials, to the scene. However, the president himself has only made one brief appearance in the region since the spill began and has only spoken publicly about the incident six times in the past five weeks, according to CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller.

A CBS News poll released yesterday shows 35 percent of people approve of the administration's handling of the spill, while 45 percent disapprove.

"The president of the United States could've come down here, he could've been involved with the families of these 11 people" who died in the explosion, Carville said. "He could've demanded a plan in anticipation of this."

He added, "It just looks like he's not involved in this. Man, you got to get down here and take control of this."

Mr. Obama will head back to the Louisiana Gulf Coast on Friday. On Thursday, he is scheduled to receive a report from Interior Secretary Salazar on the spill and will take questions from reporters on the situation. He is also expected to announce new, strengthened inspections for offshore drilling, the Washington Post reports.

CBSNews.com Special Report: Disaster in the Gulf
Obama Primed to Take More Active Role on Oil Spill
Is Blame Shifting From BP to the Government?

Watch the interview below:

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.