June 8, 2010
It’s becoming clear why BP CEO Tony Hayward has been so arrogant. The President of the country he is fouling with oil hasn’t said a word to him. Our alleged Commander in Chief talks about the fishermen and the 11 men who were killed and their families and he doesn’t even have the simple courtesy to talk with the man responsible for their misery.
He’s interested in actions not words.
Said it with a straight face. No worries though. If he “starts seeing BP nickel and diming folks down there then they are going to have to answer” to him.
Day 50. BP should have been answering to him on Day 1. But there’s no need to provide answers when no questions are asked.
Today Show with Matt Lauer (text/video)
LAUER: Have you spoken directly to Tony Hayward, the CEO of BP?
OBAMA: I have not spoken to him directly. And here’s the reason, because my experience is when you talk to a guy like a BP CEO, he’s going to say all the right things to me. I’m not interested in words. I’m interested in actions. and we are communicating to him every single day exactly what we expect of him and what we expect of that administration.
MR. LAUER: In all due respect, that feels strange to me; that here we’ve got the CEO of a company that’s responsible for the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, and I think — I’m just curious why you didn’t pick up — you wouldn’t pick up the phone and in some ways just give him a piece of your mind.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, the — look, this has sort of been — this has been the main critique of the administration is giving a piece of my mind to these guys. Look, I would love to vent. I would love to just shout and holler, because I’m thinking about this day in and day out. But my main job is to solve the problem.
MR. LAUER: To solve the problem, you have to have a reliable partner. Let me read you some of the things that Mr. Hayward has said over the course of this disaster. He said, “The Gulf of Mexico is a big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we’re putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume. The environmental impact of this disaster is likely to be very, very modest.” And then he said, “There’s no one who wants this to end more than I do. I’d like my life back.”
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Yeah. Well, the — I think the –
MR. LAUER: The 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?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: He wouldn’t be working for me after any of those statements. First of all, we’re going to have to find out why this thing went in the first place. And the fact of the matter is that there’s going to be a thorough review. And I don’t want to prejudge it, but the initial reports indicate that there may be situations in which not only human error was involved, but you also saw some corner cutting in terms of safety, and that BP is a multibillion-dollar corporation. It’s talking about paying $10.5 billion in dividends just for this quarter.
MR. LAUER: Right.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: We are going to have to make sure that not only do they shut down the cap, we are not only going to have to make sure that any deepwater drilling process that’s out there is, in fact, fail-safe and oil companies know what they’re doing, but we also have to make sure that every single person who’s been affected by this is properly compensated and made whole. When I went down there last Friday –
MR. LAUER: Can BP do that? Can they do all that?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Absolutely. They can afford it. If I start seeing BP nickel and diming folks down there, then they are going to have to answer to us.