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Gibbs: 'Pounding on a podium is not going to fix a hole in the ocean'

By Spencer S. Hsu
At his daily briefing Thursday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs rejected the idea that President Obama has not displayed sufficient passion about the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"If jumping up and down and screaming would fix a hole in the ocean, we'd have done that five weeks ago. We'd have done that the first night," Gibbs said.

He said the administration expects to be judged on its response to the spill, the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

"Pounding on a podium is not going to fix a hole in the ocean," Gibbs said. "I think what the American people and the citizens of the gulf are expecting are results... I'll leave the emotional psychiatry to others."

By Spencer S. Hsu  |  June 3, 2010; 3:10 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Doesn’t matter. Flap, flail and attempt excuses till the cows come home.

According to the standards the Democrats implemented under Bush - ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that happens under a president’s watch is not only his or her fault - but it then becomes proof that the president and his party are EVIL and INTENTIONALLY did it! Deal with the standard you guys invoked.

The standard YOU guys invoked under Bush, doesn’t have to be fair. Doesn’t have to be logical. Doesn’t have to be just. It simply is what it is – a product and standard of DEMOCRAT creation that will now applied back on the Democrats with equal vigor. One bad turn deserves another.

The Democrats brag about what a superman Obama is. A "Messiah". They arrogantly bray they are the super party. Yet when this lame, incompetent, deer-in-the-headlights "Super majority" governement gets a Gulf Crisis of their own, they are no better than Bush and actually far worse.

The Democrat Hypocrites deserve to be taught a serious lesson in humility, fairness and justice.

Posted by: C0rrupt_0_Crats | June 7, 2010 2:25 AM | Report abuse

President Obama is not to blame for this accident. However, when I look at the news and the beaches I do not see People trying to stop t he oil or help the birds soaked in oil. I just see and hear them complain. Yes they should complain, however get out there and try to stop the oil from getting to the beaches in Florida. BP obviously could care less how much "life" it kills/ruins. I believe Obama's hands are
tied up in contractual agreements. Mostly made by The Bush admionistration.

It is sad to read in here, all the people blaming Obama for this mess. BP has complete control, the only thing I am surperised about is that the millions of people that live in the south are not doing more to save their own lives/beaches/wildlife. The population down there could make a huge differance in clean up and in saving their beaches. You all need to get more creative.. You need to get out there and have your local scientists save the species that are getting killed as I write this note. I just see and hear people complaining and they should but action needs to be first..

Posted by: rlarkin2 | June 4, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Tell me this is a joke. All Obama has done is talk from the podium or should I say prompter. They are right the American people are expecting results. All Obama has done is service hot air and we have quite enough thank you from this spewing well. This administration has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING except talk. So where is the orchestrated cleanup? Why, Obama is leaving that up to BP. i am not one to blame Bush for the weather or Obama for this explosion but it was under Obama's watch that safety measures were ignored. Hard as he might, it is really a stretch to blame Bush.
It is maddening to watch this administration use this crisis for their supposed political gain. What they do not realize is that we realize that too. This may well have be his Waterloo mounting right up there with Bribes for Jobs.
I hope the people of these southern states realize how expendable they are to this administration. Look how these Democrats will use you for their agenda. You are useful to them in your suffering.
This is really making my blood boil and I cannot wait to get this know nothing group of hypocrite Democrats out of the WH and Congress. They are watching you suffer Louisiana. Get an eyeful. I hope there is something left to save after Obama is out of office. It is beginning to look more doubtful daily.

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Posted by: itkonlyyou100 | June 4, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Moving to the Gulf beaches and ignoring every other problem that faces the nation is an idiots idea of a solution.

Commenting from emotion rather than reasoning what is possible is the reaction of children.

Is it possible that many who are commenting here have not attained the ability to think as adults?

Posted by: waggoner41 | June 4, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Pounding on the podium was something that the Great Communicator did while not ever saying anything.

President Obama was allowing the "free market" to take care of the problem first.

And we all got a real clear view of how BP plans on handling this mess - doing nothing for as long as possible.

Posted by: em_doyle | June 3, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I do not want the President micro-managing every decision that needs to be taken. Being elected to that office does not give him some universal skill set to personally do all things. He has to rely on the advice of a variety of experts to plot the correct course in any situation. The buck does stop at his desk, but he should have access to a variety of inputs. That does not mean that every wingnut witn idea deserves to be sitting at the table with a vote. It is a good sound bite to demand that he "take charge". However, I do not see any useful suggestions as to what that actually means. And, I suspect, that if he did attempt to control the process from the White House, we would hear the same voices demand that he get out of the way and let the "experts" do their job. If the most qualified persons to correct the problem also are the cause then that's who needs to be there on site.

Those who are demanding that the military be put in charge and replace BP seem to be ignoring the fact that the military has repeatedly stated that they do not have the tools or expertise to do the job. Wishing it so does not make it true.

IF there are actual experts who are not being heard from I would hope they are allowed through the crowd of those who keep waving their hands to be called upon and allowed to present their ideas. What is needed here is not more ideas, but better ones.

Finally, since it apparent that no one was able to predict this disaster or have any workable plan to fix it, if it were to occur, I hope that any future drilling be only approved after a workable plan to prevent any chance of of it happening again. We are obviously out of our depth on this one.

Posted by: bs-intolerant | June 3, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Let's not lose sight of the fact that during this disaster, before the dam thing is even capped or stopped, Obama's "Gangster Government" is trying to use it to get their Cap & Scam bill passed, or should I say "Rammed Down our Throats"

Posted by: jjoyce6018 | June 3, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

The arrogance gets worse. Between doing nothing, and pounding on the podium, of course, there is "competent leadership"

Posted by: jjoyce6018 | June 3, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

As for this hard working President's “unemotionalism” these pundits and media guys are really off base. Everyone doesn’t express his depth of feeling like the “ragin’ Cajun” or with theatrics and photo ops patting a little black child on the head. Each President has a way of dealing with the constant crises and killing stress of the job that enables him to “keep on keeping on”. Many of us have no problem with his and are reassured by his focus, steadiness, perseverance and calmness in the midst of the unprecedented storms besieging the ship of state he’s been elected to steer.

No one with any reasonable insight into human character can question his sincerity and depth of feeling for people’s pain and the gravity of the catastrophe facing us. Fault him for not preventing the disaster by more quickly cleaning up the scandal ridden in-bed-with-the-oil-industry MMS he inherited, if you must, but you can’t rightly fault him for his lack of theatrics, or for not doing everything humanly possible to try to get this under control – not if you want to be fair. You do, don’t you?

Posted by: PREMSHANTI | June 3, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Obama is infuriating because, in the face of this oil spill,he appears as alarmed as he would be, if he was watching paint the Delta marshland dies. Even Louisiana Democrat James Carvell, tries very hard not to be too critical of Obama but, from the interviews I've heard, I think Carvell would throttle him for Obama's apparent foot-dragging, if he got close enough.

Posted by: roanns | June 3, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

First of all, if you remember when Bush was in office, Darth Cheney held secret energy meetings that we, the public, still don't know what agreements were made in those meetings.

It might be the case that President Obama's hands are tied because of some legally binding agreement made between the U.S. and BP (and who knows how many others!) during the Bush/Cheney administration.

That being said, my personal feelings are that President Obama should declare this oil leak a national disaster. Hopefully, that would take precedence over any legally binding agreement made by his predecessors - unless, of course, Darth Cheney thought of that avenue and has tied Obama's hands, to that effect.

Until we know what agreements were made by Bush/Cheney and the energy corporations,, we really don't have all the facts.

From what I hear, there are currently efforts to find out just what those agreements were, just in case they are preventing Obama from effectively handling this environmental and financial crisis.

But, in general, I agree that the administration has NOT handled this matter in a way I would like to see it handled.

We just don't know the reason/s why - and so I have to wait to know all the facts before condemning Obama for failing to act in a timely and sufficiently decisive manner.

Posted by: kentuckywoman2 | June 3, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I think true leadership would be Obama setting up a desk on the beach so he could be hands on, johnny on the spot. Now that would show real involvement and probably make a lot of people happy. But then some would complain about him taking a vacation at the beach.

Posted by: rsleonard9 | June 3, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Take a chill pill, Gibby. Don't shoot the messenger.

Reality is what the polls say it is. The majority of Americans wanted (needed?) a more passionate response from Obama. Unfortunately, although so far an adequate president, passion is one characteristic that Obama has a very short supply of.

Posted by: lithium452 | June 3, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs, Gibbs , Gibbs you poor excuse for Human life!!! You just don't get it do you?? But then you nor the Majik Klown ever held any kind of job that demanded action, Management practices, and basic Human Common Sense did you????

Posted by: redhawk2 | June 3, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs is the worst excuse for a press secretary since is no wonder that Obama is falling in the polls...I am not a fan of the president, mind you, and I hope Gibbs continues as his press go Gibbs and let the approval rating continue to fall.....I can see November from my back porch!!!!

Posted by: pickles1 | June 3, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse


Obama should not be blamed, he has never held a real job.
Obama should not be blamed, he has more important things to do - more photo ops
Obama is to busy teeing up more taxes like
Cap & Trade
Obama is to busy trying to give away our most precious asset US Ctizenship to every law breaker.
Obama is to busy bribing otehr politicans to stay out of certain elections.

Obama is not concerned about creating an enviroment to create more jobs.

He promised a dream and delivered a nightmare.

Posted by: EdwardKennedy | June 3, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect, the issue isn't whether the President has been screaming or banging his fist on a podium. It's whether he let a foreign corporation decide how and at what pace they're to stop the leak. The perception is that he's let a foreign corporation call the shots and soil our precious Gulf. We're not fools who are placated by someone banging on a podium acting tough--we are smart, deeply concerned persons who are stunned that our government would think its role is to send out cleanup crews instead of telling the foreign oil company how it's going to be. Having a "boot on the neck" is no substitute for taking charge.

Posted by: fbgraham2 | June 3, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The White House Press Corps' need for emotional displays is rather pathetic. Most of the folks out in the real world are not looking for a tantrum or a macho display. We had 8 years of cowboy leadership. Most of us are relieved that this president does not need to engage in emotional posturing.

I'm with minnie2: Well said, Mr. Gibbs.

Can the press quit feeding this nonsense now???

Posted by: pbkritek | June 3, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Well said, Mr. Gibbs, finally someone with maturity and common sense.

Posted by: minnie2 | June 3, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

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