Since the Gulf Coast oil spill, former Vice President Cheney has been conspicuously silent. His refusal to speak out comes despite the fact that BP has hired his former press secretary to be the company spokesperson; his former company, Halliburton, is partially responsible for the rig explosion; and the disaster is being dubbed “Cheney’s Katrina” by many critics.
Yesterday, he gave his first speech since the April 20 disaster, addressing a largely friendly sold-out crowd of more than 1,200 people at the Manufacturer and Business Association convention in Erie, PA. While there’s no video of the full event because media were forced to leave five minutes into the one-hour speech, the NBC affiliate in Erie reports that at one point, Cheney did finally address the oil spill — by criticizing President Obama’s response to the disaster:
Cheney told the audience he is currently writing his memoirs. He also touched on President Obama’s performance in office.
He pointed to the President’s lack of action in the Gulf oil leak. He said Obama doesn’t have enough executive experience, or experience in Washington, to make things happen.
Watch an NBC news report on the speech:
If “executive experience” and “experience in Washington” helped the Bush administration in its disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina, then Obama is probably better off without it.
“The association declined to say how much Cheney charged for his speech, but members and guests paid either $185 per seat, or sat at tables costing $1,000 to $1,500 each to hear the former vice president,” the Erie Times-News reported. There was also a small protest organized by the Erie Peace and Justice Center outside of the venue.