June 2, 2010

Charge to Obama: 'Go off!'

Posted: 09:00 PM ET

President Obama goes one-on-one with Larry King on Thursday night to talk about the oil spill, economic turmoil and war.

(CNN) - In the weeks since an oil rig exploded and later sank into the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama has dealt with the tragedy with his signature cool, calm and collected approach.

But with the oil still gushing in what is now the worst spill in U.S. history and the environmental devastation coming ashore, the president is becoming a target of the anger that was originally directed only at BP.

"One time, go off!" director Spike Lee urged on CNN's "AC 360°." "If there's any one time to go off, this is it, because this is a disaster."

Lee's sentiment echoes the frustration of people who want to see Obama get loud, take charge and inspire them like he did during his presidential run.

Recalling then-candidate Obama's ability to rouse crowds into chants of "Yes, we can," presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said, "There was a feeling he was going to be one of these presidents that moved us with words the way John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan did in recent decades."

Instead, Obama has presented himself as the unflappable president, with the engineer-like approach of Jimmy Carter and the legislative astuteness of Lyndon Johnson, Brinkley said.

"But in a time of great crisis, people aren't looking for Johnson or Carter. They are looking for powerful rhetorical leadership - words that move the country in a positive direction," he said.


Filed under: Larry King Live • Obama

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Blake Chiszar   June 2nd, 2010 9:26 pm ET

Before anything is done it is approved by the administration. The same administration that took several months of deliberation to increase forces in Afghanistan, six months to pick a dog and has zero experience managing anything. Even his supporters are starting to realize he’s incompetent. So he’s approving everything BP is doing. What a joke!

Karen   June 2nd, 2010 10:05 pm ET

Obama knows Mayor Daley and like the rest of us can only imagine Daley's reaction if a similar oil spill happened in Lake Michigan. The yelling and screaming would be unreal. This is what we want to see from Obama. This is no small incident. It's time to blow sky high.

byoilorbytea   June 2nd, 2010 10:13 pm ET

Obama your president not a rough neck.But you did just fine bringing in NASA specialists.Now they connect a new pipe,That drill ship can put smaller pipe inside that one with devices that can seal any leaks.You focus on economy,international affairs,and be ready when storms blow this petro stormserge inland.Its comming.

ALEX   June 2nd, 2010 10:28 pm ET

Be reasonable, people, even a president of the USA, Obama is not a magician! Just because you want to, as he does too, he can not stop the disaster over a single day! Yes, it's been a month but who so far got an idea how to stop it? Or you think Sara would handle it better?

judy boone   June 2nd, 2010 10:30 pm ET

I still support Obama and I think he's the right choice for our time.
He's been facing exceptional challenges and problems since he's been in office.
He can't be blamed for the BP event. And remember, we elected someone who's cool and calm because we wanted it.
I'm willing to give the man my support throughout this terrible tragedy and hope he can make an impression to change almost impossible task.

Lynn   June 2nd, 2010 10:34 pm ET

Dear Larry, Please beg President Obama to fix the oil spill in the Gulf. This is a national tragedy!!!! He needs to lock up the BP greedy leaders, and get this job done. They are doing nothing. There are so many options that very smart people have created that could help, and they are doing nothing. The fisherman they paid to help are sitting around. Please President Obama, I voted for you, I trust you. PLEASE make someone accountable and fix this.
I am not from that area, but love the gulf and the beaches and the wildlife and the people. This is a huge tragedy that needs fixing. BP HASN'T EVEN APOLOGIZED TO THE FAMILIES OF THE MEN WHO LOST THIER LIVES THERE!!!! THEY HAVE NO HEART OR SOUL OR CONSCIOUS.
PLEASE FIX THIS PRESIDENT OBAMA, we are counting on you!!!
Signed, a very saddened American.

David Hoo   June 2nd, 2010 10:44 pm ET

To dramatically speed up the relief well effort, why not do it at a much shallower depth, like 3,000 feet in June, instead of 18,000 feet in August.

Either divert one of the two relief well drilings or start a third relief drilling immediately?

jeb   June 2nd, 2010 10:53 pm ET

I am nor 'for' or 'against' Obama, but we, THE PEOPLE, can not change him. He is who he is; calm, cool, collect. That is his nature.

I can understand why people want to see him 'rage', but 'raging' will not get anything done. I've been there, done that. For the most part, I am also a cool collected person. I am the leader, the power, thee man... and people respect me for what i do for them. It's business. There have been times where I've had to hide my 'rage' also. We all have to at one point in our life. Some people are good at hiding it, some are not. It's those that keep their cool under extreme stress that make it too the top. I know... I've been there.

My honest opinion, let the man do his job. He may not look like it to some of you, but i'm sure he's doing what he must do is. You must trust his judgement. When the time comes and you see his rage, I will bet 90% of you wish that you never had seen him do it. Think about it...

Cynthia Bartley   June 2nd, 2010 11:09 pm ET

1- there must be some law that lets the Federal government take over private property if National security is threatened
2- There is apparently a history of successful deployment of bombs to close leaks such as this
3-we now have the fire power with non nuclear bombs to close the well now per many who have access to this knowledge
4-only one reason not to- that BP is trying to protect their assets at the cost of everyone, people, plants, animals on the Gulf Coast and beyond.
5-BP is screening all options and not allowing second opinions to reduce liability. Only now do we have an independent think tank
No more delays
5-community service immediately daily for the executives- let them hand clean up the oil and be exposed to the toxic waste they caused. That may speed up the urgency in them

David - Ontario, Canada   June 2nd, 2010 11:19 pm ET

The Federal Gov"t must make all funds available NOW for the cleanup. Let BP concentrate on the technical aspect but the cleanup must not be delayed – pay the local workers & send in more help & BP can be billed later

Smith in Oregon   June 2nd, 2010 11:22 pm ET

For Decades Republican lawmakers deregulated Big Oil and subsidized Big Oil with BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars, charging Big Oil penny's on leases for huge swaths of land. And the State of Louisiana Republican lawmakers and those Republican lawmakers in Washington DC were whistling with sheer delight all those years.

AND NOW they want President Obama to jump up and down? Where the HELL was that trash talk when Republican's gave the green light to Drill Baby Drill all those decades?

Big Oil = Ecocide PERIOD.

Today President Obama began drawing up legislation to eliminate giving Big Oil BILLIONS of taxpayer dollar subsides and the Republican lawmakers are already screaming and yelling NO!

Vanner   June 2nd, 2010 11:29 pm ET


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Charles   June 2nd, 2010 11:34 pm ET

Yes I do. For one thing, she would have had you drilling where the water is much more shallow and this would not have happened. As for happening where it did, she would have been there immediately showing concern for the people and their livelihood. No, I do not think I would vote for her for President. But I do like to be fair rather than brainwashed.

Charles   June 2nd, 2010 11:36 pm ET

The problem is that he has no real life experience. He is a good internationalist. I think an ideal solution would be for him and Hillary to change positions.

Smith in Oregon   June 2nd, 2010 11:41 pm ET

While CNN's Dr. Gupta Toxic America was informative at times, the underlining reason ALL those Petrol-Chemical plants were concentrated in Mossville, Louisiana wasn't explored.

Republican lawmakers running the State of Louisiana's politics for years had a sweetheart deal with Big Oil and Petrol-Chemical plants to the apparent demise of the poverty level residents.

The Democratic lawmakers here in Oregon would NEVER allow such outrageous lack of regulation on the toxic dumping of hyper-toxic dioxin's into the area's water table. Oregon routinely tests all city water supply's for dioxins and immediately would shut them down if even a extremely tiny amount is detected.

Such tests and State regulations had to be entirely missing in Louisiana thru the Republican sweetheart deals with Big Oil and Petrol-Chemical plants which appears to have severely poisoned the ground and water table.

When are American voters going to learn, Republican lawmakers special interests do not care at all about the health, wealth and prosperity of American citizens.

Charles   June 2nd, 2010 11:42 pm ET

@Smith in Oregon,
Funny how you never talk about the repeal of Glass Seagull. The situation we are in pertaining to oil isn't just a Republican-driven situation. There is plenty of blame to go around, long before President Bush was in office. You know, it takes no intelligence to spew hatred with your brainwashed opinions.
Enjoy it while it lasts; some will be back at you in a couple of years my friend.

JamesB   June 2nd, 2010 11:43 pm ET

Are you Jeb Bush? I'm just trying to think who has enough experience to compare himself to the President.

Charles   June 2nd, 2010 11:49 pm ET

@Smith in Oregon,
Why do you never talk about the repeal of Glass Seagull? Balanced is not a word I would use to describe your position of any issue.

phyllis mager   June 3rd, 2010 12:45 am ET

I have to wonder why in this day and age of computers, technology and intelligent people, no one has yet come up with the right solution to the oil spill. Isn't there a computer program that can spew out the "correct answer:??? There should be "enough" money in the world, and enough environmental interest to get the job done!!

patty   June 3rd, 2010 1:19 am ET

i want to say that the oil spill, is terrorrism, stupid?, but people are selfish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, and where is my president????????????................. do something now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Roldan   June 3rd, 2010 1:48 am ET

Dear Larry,

I would like to send my question to you that is troubling my mind and I hope you will kindly convey this question to Mr. President Obama.

Professor Peter Erlinder, a lawyer from St. Paul, Minnesota who went on trip to Africa – Rwanda to defend an opposition politician to Kigali regime. First he was thrown in jail and now he is in hospital due to poor conditions over there. It is in my understanding that the US Embassy in Kigali is not doing enough nor the White House for the safe return of Professor Erlinder.

Is Mr. President aware of this incident? If so, what has been done to save Professor Erlinder whom I heard that he is now hospitalized due to poor condition in Rwandan prison?

Patrick   June 3rd, 2010 2:04 am ET

I would like to write something regarding the ongoing oil spill discussion that makes me really upset: Everybody is pointing the finger on BP. But we should also take one step back and ask the key question how it was possible that companies like BP were able and given the permission to set up oil platforms and pipelines in the sea without having effective and efficient emergency plans for such incidents. The root of the problem (sine qua non) are the governments and authorities allowing such hazardous platforms and pipelines worldwide without any control! They have to be held accountable.

Is it really so surprising that a catastrophe like Deepwater Horizon happened? With a little bit of common sense, a blown-out well below the ocean surface and oil flowing out of certain infrastructure is a pretty realistic scenario. When the catastrophe happened it was not clear what to do and who should do it. After 44 days there is still oil going into the sea – what a shame!

And what is the government doing? Instead of acting and admitting own mistakes the government is discussing who to blame and focusing on BP as the scapegoat. It is so easy to blame others. Stop pointing fingers!

With first priority all resources must now be focused on solving the problem (stop the oil flowing out and then work on the environmental and economical damage – which will take many years). Then the responsible people must be found and called to account (and this is – as I pointed out not only BP but first of all the government and authorities). Finally, all effort has to be done how such situations can be effectively handled in the future (there are many other oil platforms in the world!). Catastrophes can always happen, but if we are not capable of rapidly solving incidents like Deepwater Horizon, then we must look for other solutions.

The public and political discussions must focus on the (national and world-wide) authorities! They gave the admission but didn’t do their job properly. There is too much money involved in this business. The oil industry is too influential and government/politics not strong/independent and upright enough (the “Sex And Oil Scandals Of The Minerals Management Service” fits very well in this picture).

maryln48   June 3rd, 2010 2:21 am ET

Why didn't we start fining the oil company from day one. How about one million a day. Maybe they would have stopped the spill in the first few days, it appears they are not worried like the people around that area. Everything should have stopped the parties at the white house, entertaining that good for nothing Mexican president who comes over here and critizes our laws. It's embarrasing, I am getting tired of this and hope these next two years go quickly.

patty   June 3rd, 2010 2:23 am ET

and by the way", larry, my dad alway's had your program on,and very into it. im sorry that i was too young, to understand how he felt. but i do now ,"and i have to say, that i believe you,. i think you are blessed to be able to get the word out, in the way that you do. ive been watching you , and and Anderson Cooper every night, for almost a year now! I love both of you. yes, getting anderson in on this, also, to me you guy's really make the whole difference,in communications!!!!!!!!!!!!! i love you both!, you guy's rock!............... i wish you both everything that you need, to keep on, because i need you guys. with all do respect", love, me.

Beverly Qureshi   June 3rd, 2010 3:07 am ET

continuing – Plus I think everybody is forgetting that there is an ex-
Nazi sitting over there in the Vatican right now. He may have gone
AWOl, but he was in Hitler's army at one time. Thanks.

Idzan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   June 3rd, 2010 4:04 am ET

Some called the BP= Bad People
Small called BP= British Polluters
and Some regard them as British Plume.
But the world is concerned that Louisiana and the Gulf Coast do not become LOSEsiana .
The world is indeed not an oyster for them right now.
President Obama please save the Americans.

mikeal   June 3rd, 2010 4:17 am ET

The repubs always manage to get Obama entangled in every mishap- Who was shouting "Drill, baby, drill? We are not hearing that anymore.
Who is against government regulations and "take over"?
Today, shell's blunders are Obama's and the pontificating repubs are firing. Are repubs not Americans?- Get your idea to stop the spill!!
You know what, send Sarah Palin to go and stop the spill with her bare hands- Go Sarah, Go!! or Glen Beck

Brent Tuttle   June 3rd, 2010 4:39 am ET

I hope Larry's staff sees that is adds it to Larry's list of questions for President Obama. I have talked to several engineers that have presented a process to BP executives known as bioremediation (using oil-eating microbes) and to date BP has done nothing. The Texas Land Office tested these microbes on live oil spills off the Texas coast. They 'ate' the heavy crude oil in just days with no side effects and leaving only a natural waste product that is not harmful to marine life or humans.

I posted an informative video on Youtube under the key word 'oil eating microbes'. You can't miss it as it is getting 20,000 views a day now.

Wini   June 3rd, 2010 5:44 am ET

Why aren't oil tankers with containing holds surrounding the oil spill using some type of suction machines ... sucking up what oil they can, pouring it onto their holding containers ? It may not be the final solution, but AT LEAST IT'S A START to DOING SOMETHING NOW instead of destroying our gulf coast. As one oil tankers holds are full, bring in the 2nd, then the 3rd tanker. The filled tankers can sail off to BP's staff who can sift off the oil from the water, since oil is lighter than water and floats to the surface.

Sitting around and doing nothing is beyond ridiculous and cruel.

"Y"   June 3rd, 2010 6:59 am ET

I still support President Obama. He is NOT a magician. Basically this is BP's fault, which they do need to fix. These yet to be United States of America want to blame everything on Presidnet Obama, just because he's Black. Bottom Line!!!!

As for you Spike Lee, you need to sit your azz down. You should know better!..President Barack Obama is a Brilliant Man, and regardless of how you or the world feels he is still what???..The President of the United States. He should not and will not act like you Spike , "the angry Black Man".

Ted   June 3rd, 2010 8:26 am ET

A great leader never shouts, never loses his cool, but makes decisions with a deliberation and considers the results of his decision on a longe range.
Hitler kept shouting, Mussolini kept shouting and banging on the table, Kruschev took off his shoes to pound with them!
Do you want that kind of President or the one we have??!! He has the admiration of the world.

The blame lies with the oil industry, specifically by BP, who admitted that they had no solution for such a disaster, because they just not thought that it can happen.
Blame Elizabeth Birnbaum, head of the MMS, who was bought by the Big Oil and let them do what they wanted.
Blame Bush and Cheney who changed most of the regulations and now we are collecting the reward.
Blame the Congress, republicans and democrats, who blindly agreed to anything that they did not consider and understand.
If you find them quilty, coming fall throw them out of office!!
You are the souvereign, you appoint your representants in Washington. If you screw up and send duds, you are the one to blame.

Lisa   June 3rd, 2010 9:04 am ET

Can we ask him why he is not ORDERING BP to hand out respiratory gear? Tell him to MAKE that happen.

Charles   June 3rd, 2010 10:05 am ET

Per your last sentence, we screwed up so we are to blame.

Donna Bishop   June 3rd, 2010 11:18 am ET

Larry please ask MR. Obama tonight when is he going to step up the clean up. flyng over site doesnt do a thing, blaming BP isstupid at this point. OUR shores are in major danger now let the president declare a state of emergency.That might show to the american public that MR.Obama and our goverment does indeed care about our nation

Donna Bishop   June 3rd, 2010 11:19 am ET

Larry please ask MR. Obama tonight when is he going to step up the clean up. flyng over site doesnt do a thing, blaming BP isstupid at this point. OUR shores are in major danger now let the president declare a state of emergency.

Donna Bishop   June 3rd, 2010 11:21 am ET

CLEAN UP our shores be3for its too late

Algie Pino   June 3rd, 2010 6:10 pm ET

As I was saying on a previous comment (cut myself off accidently), you can't have it both ways. Some say the government is taking over business in this country if it trys to regulate BIg Business, yet when BIG BUSINESS bites the little guy in the butt, he Hollers for help! from the government.
The Governor of Louisiana stated during the Presidential Campaign and during the Obama administration that the federal government should not try to control business by too much regulation.and that states should be allowed to take care of their own, but now he is crying out for BIG GOVENMENT ON A DAILY BASIS. So does that mean that his talk was really just political rhetoric?

You can’t have it both ways. This is a wake up call about how much big business really cares about mainstreet America, the environment, safety, and lives of the “little people”. And since government is the only entity in this country that is bigger than most big business, it is the only entity big enough to make big business listen and take heed.
The same regulations from the Bush Administration were in place when this spill happened and it could have been avoided, had the regulations changed and the cut off valve in place.

linda in Seattle   June 4th, 2010 1:40 am ET

I suppose some of you actually think Obama should slip on some flippers and a mask and swim down 5000 feet with a bottle cap and fix this problem? The only people who can fix this are the professionals who know anything about the rigs, etc.

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