- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 2, 2010

Speaking just miles from where a deadly oil rig explosion sparked an environmental disaster, President Obama on Sunday reassured the nation his administration is doing everything in its power to contain the massive spill but warned it could be a long process to plug the “unprecedented” leak.

“I’m not going to rest and none of the gentlemen and women who are here are going to rest or be satisfied until the leak is stopped at the source, the oil on the Gulf is contained and cleaned up and people in this region are able to go back to their lives and livelihoods,” Mr. Obama told a small crowd of reporters in Venice, La.

As his Cabinet officials did earlier in the day on the Sunday talk-show circuit, Mr. Obama laid out the federal response in extensive detail. He also stressed that rig owner British Petroleum “is responsible for this leak” and the cost of fixing it, but he vowed to use all federal resources at his disposal to respond to it.

“Your government will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to stop this crisis,” he said.

Mr. Obama’s trip to the Gulf region is part of a full-court-press by the White House to combat criticism it has been slow to respond to the disaster, which began with the oil rig explosion on April 20. Though Mr. Obama waited nine days to make his first public statement on the matter, he and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano emphasized that the administration has been engaged since “day one.”

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Earlier on Sunday, Ms. Napolitano hit back against comparisons of Mr. Obama’s response to former President Bush’s handling of Hurricane Katrina, over which he was widely excoriated.

“I think that is a total mischaracterization,” she said on “Fox News Sunday.”


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