Jun 8, 2010 12:51 PM by Greg Boyce

President Obama defends oil well handling

President Barack Obama is taking issue with those who say he hasn't been involved enough with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In an interview recorded yesterday for NBC's "Today" show, Obama says he has understood "from Day 1" that "it was going to be a major disaster." He says he was "down there a month ago before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the Gulf."  He was also critical of BP's chief executive, Tony Hayward, for saying he wanted his "life back" and predicting that that the environmental impact of the spill would likely be "very, very modest."

Obama says, "He wouldn't be working for me after any of those statements."  Polls have suggested that most Americans think Obama has handled the crisis poorly, but Obama says he's "not concerned" about politics right now.  He says television images of spewing oil, sullied beaches and soaked pelicans are adding to people's frustration.


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