Sarah Palin criticized President Barack Obama Tuesday night for not accepting oil spill aid from countries that have experience in dealing with maritime disasters, seemingly having overlooked the fact the US recently began to do just that.
Palin told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly Tuesday night that “stopping the gusher” should be “the number one priority of the nation. We haven’t had the assurance by the president that that has been his top priority. Instead, what his top priority is, Bill, is cap and tax.”
Palin spoke to O’Reilly shortly after Obama’s address to the nation on the oil spill. in which the president declared that “we will fight this spill with everything weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got for as long as it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whateverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy.”
O’Reilly appeared taken aback by Palin’s claim that the Obama administration doesn’t see the leak as its number-one priority. “Obama obviously doesn’t know how to stop the leak,” he said, “do you know how to stop it?”
After a moment’s pause, Palin responded, “Well then what the federal government should have done was accept the assistance of foreign countries, of entrepreneurial Americans that have had the solutions that they wanted presented.”
She continued: “They can’t even get a phone call returned, Bill. … The Dutch, they are known, and the Norwegians they are known for, um, for dikes and for cleanup water and for dealing with spills. They offered to help and yet no, they too, with the proverbial can’t even get a phone call back, that is what the Norwegians are telling us and the Dutch are telling us….”
To be sure, Palin was correct that the administration was accused of stalling on accepting foreign aid — of the oil spill clean-up variety, not the dike construction variety as Palin seemed to suggest.
But, as the Washington Post reported earlier this week, the US has now begun accepting foreign aid, and has already placed two requests with the European Union for specialized equipment to deal with the spill.
And the two countries Palin mentions — the Netherlands and Norway — are indeed part of the aid effort.
“In late May, the administration accepted Mexico’s offer of two skimmers and 13,779 feet of boom; a Dutch offer of three sets of Koseq sweeping arms, which attach to the sides of ships and gather oil; and eight skimming systems offered by Norway,” the Post reports.
This video is from Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, broadcast June 15, 2010.