One of President Barack Obama's staunchest Republican opponents said Wednesday his now-famous "kick ass" comment was "not very presidential."
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said Obama chose his words poorly when he said "[I] don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar — we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick," in an interview with NBC.
"Right now, I think the president made a mistake in the words that he used in an interview yesterday," he said in an appearance on KTOK radio. "I think that he lost a lot of credibility there when he used words that were not very presidential."
CNBC anchor Becky Quick was the first to make the argument on Tuesday after Obama's interview aired on the "Today" show.
"If you're the president of the United States and you go on the 'Today' show which is a morning show, where you're going to have a lot of kids sitting around watching this, I think you choose your words more carefully," Quick said. "Using the 'A word' when you are on the 'Today' show talking with Matt Lauer, yeah, that disturbs me.
"When you are the president of the United States, you should speak of the office, and there are events and time and places where maybe you get fired up about things," she added. "It sounded like he was using this to try and prove that he was mad, and I think that's silly."
Obama has been under pressure by media figures and some Democratic consultants to show more emotion in reacting to the BP oil spill, which he has called the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.
The president's defenders have said Obama was prompted to use the phrase by "Today" show host Matt Lauer, who asked him how he would respond to those who say he needs to stop talking to experts and "kick some butt."