Today on Fox News during an interview with Karl Rove, host Jane Skinner noted that many in the media (and on the right) claim that the oil rig explosion in the Gulf is President Obama’s “Katrina.” Rove said he “wouldn’t compare this to Katrina,” but he then ran through a timeline of the events as if to accuse the White House of having a delayed response to the disaster. However, Skinner didn’t buy it, noting that the White House was involved from the beginning:
SKINNER: Before we get too far in this time line, I just want to read because the press secretary Robert Gibbs has been asked so many questions about this and this was his response, “The morning after the Secretary — the Interior Secretary deployed his deputy to the region to coordinate it all and on the 22nd when it sank, the national response team was activated and later that day the President convened a meeting in the Oval Office with all those involved.”
I mean at some point in the beginning they were relying also on the oil company BP, this was a disaster that people didn’t have a lot of information about, it’s all happening a mile under water.
Rove then complained that the Interior Department Secretary’s chief of staff went on a work vacation after the oil spill, suggesting that it was somehow indicative of a hands-off approach from the Obama administration. Skinner promptly knocked this argument down as well:
SKINNER: Karl I know a lot of people are making a big issue about that but, first of all, he’s not the Interior Secretary, he’s not the Deputy Interior Secretary, those are the bosses of the department. He’s a chief of staff. You know, I know well what the job of a chief of staff is. … It’s not like the country, the Interior Department can’t run without the chief of staff.
A flustered Rove claimed the White House is “trying to rewrite history and say ‘we were engaged right from the beginning.’ No they weren’t!” “I just want to point out again is they do say they had the Deputy Interior secreteary down there, that he was the one that was actually in charge, tasked with organizing this,” Skinner replied. Watch it:
Similar to Rove, other conservatives are trying pin blame on the administration or to make the spill response “Obama’s Katrina.” “I think the parallels to Katrina are very real,” Newt Gingrich said yesterday. Today, MSNBC host and former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough called such a comparison “absolutely obscene,” adding that “anybody that draws that analogy is an idiot.”
Many on the right aren’t buying the delayed response argument either. Charles Krauthammer, the Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes, and even Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) have all noted that the Obama administration responded appropriately to the Gulf oil spill. “What could [Obama] have done? … This is insane,” Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly said of the administration’s critics.