He defended the administration’s response: “This has been our highest priority since day one.”
But here’s the catch. For him to make that claim, Obama is forced to claim authority over the BP response from the start — saying he could have stepped in at any time. That means defending everything BP has done.
Obama says: “BP is not running around doing whatever it wants with nobody minding the store.”
Those kind of lines will not go over well with a furious nation. In fact, Obama now finds himself going against Democrats in Congress who have pummelled BP.
Obama even defends BP’s lowball leak estimate: “It is legitimate to question whether it’s in BP’s interest to minimize the extent of the damage… But I’m not contradicting my prior point that people were working as hard as they could…On the flow estimates, being high or low didn’t matter to the effort to stop the spill, so the initial 5,000 gallon estimate wasn’t a problem.
“With respect to the metaphor that was used,” Obama adds regarding Salazar’s foot-on-the-neck imagery, “I would say we don’t need to use language like that.”
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