Obama Says He’s “Furious” about Gulf Oil Spill but His Job Isn’t to Vent and Yell

ABC News’ Karen Travers reports:

Amidst criticism that he has not shown enough anger about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama said today that he was “furious” about the situation but that his job is to solve the problem, not yell at people.

“I am furious at this entire situation because this is an example where somebody didn't think through the consequences of their actions,” Obama said in an interview with CNN’s Larry King. “It's imperiling not just a handful of people. This is imperiling an entire way of life and an entire region for potentially years.

On Friday Obama will make his third trip to the Gulf region since the April 20 explosion that caused the oil spill. This is the president’s second trip in the last week. Today he said that ranting and getting angry is not going to fix the problem.

“I would love to just spend a lot of my time venting and yelling at people. But that's not the job I was hired to do,” he said. “My job is to solve this problem and ultimately this isn't about me and how angry I am.”

The president said that he has not seen as much of the “rapid response” he would like to see to resolve the spill but said that BP also shares that desire to solve the problem “because this is costing them a lot of money.”

Asked where he stood on the Israeli raid on the aid flotilla, Obama called the situation “tragic” and said there was “loss of life that was unnecessary.”

“I think what's important right now is that we break out of the current impasse, use this tragedy as an opportunity so that we figure out, how can we meet Israel's security concerns, but at the same time start opening up opportunity for Palestinians, work with all parties concerned -- the Palestinian authority, the Israelis, the Egyptians and others,” Obama said. “And I think Turkey can have a positive voice in this whole process once we've worked through this tragedy. And bring everybody together to figure out how can we get a two-state solution where the Palestinians and Israelis can live side by side in peace and security.

When pressed by King if it was premature to condemn Israel, Obama stopped short on that judgment, saying that “we need to know what all the facts are.”

But he added that it was not premature to say to all parties in the region that the status quo is “unsustainable.”

“We have been trying to do this piecemeal for decades now. It just doesn't work,” the president said.

“You've got to have a situation in which the Palestinians have real opportunity and Israel's neighbors recognize Israel's legitimate security concerns and are committed to peace.”

- Karen Travers
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...