Obama wants to know ‘whose ass to kick’ over oil spill

By David Edwards
Tuesday, June 8, 2010 9:03 EDT
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President Barack Obama would have already fired BP CEO Tony Hayward if it were up to him.

Critics have called for Hayward to be canned following a string of insensitive and clumsy comments.

“The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume,” Hayward was quoted as saying. Hayward also said that he was tired of presiding over the spill and he wanted his life back.

“Family members of those 11 people who died on the rig and the people whose lives are going to be changed for years want their lives back, too. He doesn’t work for you. But if he did, would you want him out?” NBC’s Matt Lauer asked the president in an interview that aired Tuesday.

“He wouldn’t be working for me after any of those statements,” Obama replied.

Obama followed criticism that his talk was not tough enough by saying he spoke with fishermen and experts on the catastrophic spill not for academic reasons, but “so I know whose ass to kick.”

Though Obama has traveled to the Gulf three times since the April 20 rig explosion, some critics charge he has been slow to lead.

But the president insisted that on his first visit a month ago, he warned “about what a potential crisis this could be,” according to excerpts of the interview.

“I don’t sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar. We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answer so I know whose ass to kick,” Obama said as he bared a spot of raw emotion over the disaster.

This video is from NBC’s Today Show, broadcast June 8, 2010.

(with AFP report)

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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