The Obama administration should quit turning the gulf oil spill disaster into another blame-Bush opportunity and shoulder responsibility for its lackadaisical response, Dick Morris tells Newsmax.TV.
The administration has chosen to blame lack of oversight during the George W. Bush years for the spill, says Morris, a Newsmax contributor and longtime political analyst.
“What’s he going to do, posthumously blame Bush?” he says.
Obama’s “ratings actually rose in the first four or five weeks of the spill, but now that it’s nearing the beaches and it’s becoming clear that nothing is stopping the oil from coming out … all that rhetoric is actually turning against Obama,” Morris says. “People are saying, ‘All you’re doing is blaming Bush and blaming British Petroleum, you’re the president . . . solve this problem.’ And he’s not.
“The populism he used weeks ago to exploit this issue is now coming back to bite him.”
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Asked about how the president’s weak approval numbers could affect the midterm elections, Morris says they could have a clear impact. The president’s numbers could go down to 42 percent or lower then jump back up again.
“It’s a little bit like the seaweed on the beach,” Morris says. “It tells you what the high-water mark was at some point in the previous period. Right now, it might not be at the high-water mark, but you know sooner or later it’s going to reach up to where that seaweed was.”
Morris believes many Obama voters will find it difficult to reach the point of saying they disapprove of his job performance, but once they do switch their view, it will hasten the collapse of his approval numbers.
“These aren’t abstract numbers,” Morris says. “He got 52 percent of the vote, and now he’s got 42-percent approval, so 10 percent of his vote — one-fifth of those who voted for him — have now turned against him.
“This isn’t the fat of Republican support or the gristle of independent support,” he says. “This is the tenderloin of Democratic support.”
The Newsmax contributor also answered questions about the festering controversy surrounding Democratic Pennsylvania Senate nominee Rep. Joe Sestak’s claim the White House tried bribing him to drop out of the Senate race against Sen. Arlen Specter. Republicans have called on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to examine the case.
“I think this could rise to the level of impeachment because it’s clear that it is a crime to offer someone ‘something of value,’ as the statute reads, in return for entering or dropping out of a race like this,” Morris says.
It would have been nearly impossible for Sestak, a former vice admiral, to have been offered a significant position such as secretary of the Navy, as some reports have it, without the president’s being aware of it.
“So Obama may well be implicated in this,” Morris says. “Secondly, the person making the offer would have to be a pretty high up person, or otherwise it wouldn’t be perceived as credible — maybe someone like Rahm Emanuel. Thirdly, when he got the offer, Sestak’s first question must have been, ‘Does the president approve of this, otherwise why are you offering me a job in his administration?’”
“In any case, Sestak is going to have to come clean,” Morris says.
Sestak faces bipartisan pressure to reveal details, with the No. 2 Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, and Pennsylvania’s Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell calling on him to make the names public.
Also during the wide-ranging interview, Morris predicts that:
- Florida Gov. Charlie Crist probably will lose to likely Republican Senate nominee Marco Rubio in spite of his bump in the polls after he left the GOP.
- Arkansas Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln will lose her runoff race against Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, but Halter probably will lose to GOP businessman John Boozman in the fall general election.
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