Dodd blames Bush for oil spill

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) on Tuesday said partial blame for the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico lies with the Bush administration.

Asked on the "Imus in the Morning" program on Fox Business Network if the Obama administration is to blame for the damaging fallout of the spill, the Connecticut senator took aim at the previous administration.

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"Well, you know, they come into office a year ago with all of this. And so, after the last eight years —" Dodd said, until being interrupted by host Don Imus, who said "Oh, come on."

"It was 'drill, drill, drill.' I think you were quoting 'Drill, drill, drill' a few months ago," Dodd fired back.

"Don't try to lump me with Sarah Palin," Imus responded. "And don't use that lame excuse to me about the Bush administration. Have you lost your mind?"

Many lawmakers and some senior Democratic strategists have criticized the administration's response to the spill, saying it has not acted with enough urgency and it has not been tough enough with BP.

The spill, caused by an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig leased by BP, occurred in the Gulf more than a month ago.

Since then, oil has been pouring out of an underground pipe damaged in the explosion, threatening the shoreline of Louisiana, causing harm to wildlife and restricting the activity of commercial fishers in several states. 

Obama "energy czar" Carol Browner on Tuesday called the spill the worst in U.S. history.

Obama administration officials have pushed back against allegations that they haven't been tough enough with BP. They have cited legislation they put forth to raise the liability cap for oil companies that cause spills, and the work of federal agencies in trying to stop the leakage.

Dodd said that the rig was built years ago and the damage is the result of decades of poor regulation.

"To lay this at Obama's doorstep, in light of years and years of regulatory permissiveness when it comes to these kinds of operations occurring, it didn't occur in the last year and a half," he said. "I mean, you know that as well as I do. You can't lay this all at Obama's doorstep anymore than I can say — go ahead. I'm sorry."