Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani, whose tireless leadership in the days and weeks after 9/11 made him a national hero, has accused President Obama of doing everything wrong in his handling of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
“It couldn’t be worse,” Guiliani said Wednesday when asked by Fox News’ Sean Hannity to rate Obama’s performance.
“I mean, this would be an example, if you’re taught ‘Leadership 101,’ of exactly what not to do: minimize it at first; two days after or three days after it happened, go on vacation,” said Giuliani, who ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2008.
“He’s been on vacation more often than he has, by far, been to Louisiana or Mississippi, or any of the places affected,” Giuliani added.
And in a particularly stinging comment, the Empire State’s best-known Republican alluded to the criticism President Obama has been getting from one of the Democratic Party’s best-known strategists.
“He gives the sense that he’s very nonchalant and very lackadaisical about it – which I think are the words of Jim Carville, ‘lackadaisical,’” Giuliani said. Louisiana native Carville, famed as the “Ragin’ Cajun,” was the architect of Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 quest for the presidency.
Carville went into a near frenzy last week during an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” angry about Obama not spending more time in the Gulf Coast areas affected by the spill, which the White House concedes is the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.
“I have no idea of why their attitude was so hands-offy here,” Carville said. “The President of the United States could’ve come down here,” he charged. “He could’ve been involved with the families of these 11 people” killed in the rig explosion on April 20 that triggered the massive oil gusher.
“He could be commandeering tankers and making BP bring tankers in and clean this up. They could be deploying people to the coast right now,” Carville said. “He could be with the Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard...doing something about these regulations.”
An exasperated Carville, whose wife is Republican strategist Mary Matalin, said of Louisianans, “These people are crying. They’re begging for something down here, and he just looks like he’s not involved in this.”
Apparently addressing Obama directly, Carville exclaimed, “Man, you gotta get down here and take control of this! Put somebody in charge of this thing and get this thing moving! We're about to die down here!”
According to Giuliani, the president’s nonchalance delivers a “signal right into the entire bureaucracy, that they’re also very lackadaisical about it. But one of the things you understand as a leader is: your actions are going to energize your bureaucracy to do the best it can.”
The ex-NYC mayor charged that Obama exhibited a similar lack of leadership in the case of the Christmas Day botched airliner bombing last year, with a negative ripple effect as the result.
“He did the same thing on the Christmas Day bombing,” Giuliani told Hannity. “He stays on vacation for 11 days. So the other guys go on vacation.” That’s a clear reference to National Counterterrorism Center director Michael Leiter not cutting short a ski trip after the December 25 near-destruction of a Detroit-bound passenger jet.
“The reality is that the administration has made every mistake it could possibly make, right down to this criminal investigation of BP,” Giuliani complained.
“Why are you criminally investigating them until this is over?” he asked “Are you gonna distract them from the job of what they’re supposed to be doing? And if they’re being criminally investigated, then why are we allowing them to do it? If we’ve got a bunch of criminals doing it, they why are we allowing them to do it?” Giuliani wondered.
So far, as much as 45 million gallons of oil may now be in Gulf waters, already contaminating 125 miles of Louisiana’s coast, as well as coastline in Alabama and Mississippi, and currently within seven miles of the beaches of Pensacola, Florida.
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