Obama has set his sights on BP CEO Tony Hayward:
President Barack Obama would have fired BP's CEO Tony Hayward over controversial comments downplaying the Gulf oil spill — if the executive had been working for him.
During an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC's TODAY to be broadcast Tuesday, the president added his voice to calls for Hayward's resignation amid claims from a former EPA lawyer that BP is a "recurring environmental criminal."
The BP executive last month complained about the amount of time he is spending dealing with the disaster, saying "I would like my life back," and also played down the spill's effect. The Gulf was "a big ocean," he said, adding "the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to be very, very modest."
"He wouldn't be working for me after any of those statements," Obama told TODAY.
Meanwhile, the BBC is reporting that Hayward's family is feeling the ire:
Maureen Hayward told the Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper, about the growing hostility towards her and their two children.
"Members of my family have had nasty phone calls and we have also had mail from groups," she was quoted as saying.
"Tony is obviously away and we are miles away from him so it's upsetting," she said.
There is an "ongoing police operation" involving Mr Hayward's family home, the newspaper quoted local police sources as saying.
BP - and in particular Mr Hayward - has received widespread criticism over the handling of the spill. At one point, Mr Hayward said "the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to be very, very modest".
The New York Daily News has called him "the most hated and clueless man in America".
So apparently Obama is reacting to the political winds.
Wonder how he's reacting to this news?
A month and a half after the spill began, 69 percent in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll rate the federal response negatively. That compares with a 62 negative rating for the response to Katrina two weeks after the August 2005 hurricane.
There are some who might see the President as the most hated and clueless man in America. And I can tell you that if I had my way, he wouldn't be working for me.