Vitter: Obama avoiding oil spill

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) criticized President Obama for not visiting the Gulf Coast since June.

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace, Vitter said the president is trying move the Gulf oil spill out of the media spotlight by not returning to the region to oversee cleanup operations. The Louisiana senator said that move by Obama was politically motivated.

"I think he has tried to deal with this problem politically by not coming back and moving it off the front page," Vitter said. "I get the impression that is the president’s political motivation. That is how he is dealing with it."

Vitter noted the president has not been in his home state since early June.

"He hasn’t been here since June 4. That is personally disappointing for me," Vitter said.


Vitter also criticized the deepwater drilling moratorium that the Obama administration put in place for six months after the oil spill.

"Chris, it already has been a huge job-killer. If it continues for six months or more, it will kill more jobs than the oil ever would," Vitter said. "I’m really, really concerned about this moratorium issue."

He estimated the drilling ban could end up causing jobs losses of 140,000 or more. Vitter said he has sponsored legislation to end the moratorium and has been in talks with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and other administration officials on what safety measures offshore operators can put in place now to get up and running again.

"For the good of jobs, for the good of the nation and national security, I think we need to do that," Vitter said.

Vitter was pleased though with BP capping the blown-out oil well earlier this week. The Louisiana senator said that was "big, big news."

"We don’t want to declare victory prematurely," Vitter said. "But hopefully, we have turned the corner."