Obama says he is 'furious' over spill, but anger won't plug well

President Barack Obama on Thursday said he is "furious at [the] entire situation" surrounding the BP oil spill but that his anger will not stop the leak.

In an interview with CNN's Larry King on Thursday night, Obama expressed disappointment with the lack of preparedness to deal with a spill of this magnitude.

ADVERTISEMENT
Asked if he is angry at BP, Obama said, "You know, I am furious at this entire situation because this is an example where somebody didn't think through the consequences of their actions. It's imperiling not just a handful of people. This is imperiling an entire way of life and an entire region for potentially years."

The full interview will air later Thursday night on CNN.

The president has been pressured by some observers, including Democratic strategist James Carville, to show more emotion over the spill and play a more active role in the response to the spill, which Obama has called the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. 

Obama said BP has "felt the anger" and he would prefer them to have a more "rapid response" to the spill. 

Both the government and BP have struggled to find a fast solution to stop the leak. The "top kill" procedure to stem the flow last week failed, and workers are now focusing on drilling two "relief wells" to halt the oil from leaking from the underwater well that is a mile deep.

The president's comments come one day before he makes his third visit to the Gulf Coast to assess the damage to the environment and local economies. 


The Obama administration has taken heat from members of Congress in both parties who have said the administration was slow to realize the magnitude of the spill and also to reform the agency that is supposed to oversee oil drilling. 

But Obama hit back at that criticism, saying he "realized right away this was going to be a big event, a big problem, and that we had to put everything we had into it."

Aside from the impact on marine life in the Gulf of Mexico, commercial fishermen in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida have been hard-hit. 

Obama said he would "love" to spend a lot of his time "venting and yelling at people" but said that it is more important to find a solution to plug the leak from the underwater oil well quickly. 

"My job is to solve this problem and ultimately this isn't about me and how angry I am," he said. "Ultimately this is about the people down in the Gulf who are being impacted and what am I doing to make sure that they're able to salvage their way of life. And that's going to be the main focus that I've got in the weeks and months ahead."