Florida Congressmen Sound Off on Obama Speech
Reactions are coming in on President Barack Obama’s speech on the oil spill in the Gulf and, not surprisingly, they are echoing party lines. Two congressmen from Florida provide an excellent example.
“The American people, and especially those living along the Gulf Coast, are extremely frustrated with the lack of urgency by the Obama administration to respond to this disaster,” said U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, a Republican. “So am I.”
“The oil spill is a war, and it’s a war we must win,” added Mack. “That means pulling out all of the stops to fix this – with the costs paid by BP. They caused this disaster and have proven they can’t fix it. But not all of the resources we have available have been used to respond to this disaster, and that angers me. When you have boom sitting in a warehouse unused, or when offers from other nations to help go unrecognized, that shows a lack of leadership.
Mack ended with a blistering attack on Obama. “The American people don’t want more speeches or photo ops,” said Mack. “They want someone who can lead and achieve results. When are we going to see that from this president?”
Democrats, on the other hand, are praising Obama and attacking the Republicans -- even invoking Sarah Palin's chant on offshore drilling from the 2008 presidential campaign.
"As I have said time and time again, offshore drilling has always posed significant threats to our environment and economy,” said U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate. “I have always stood steadfast in my opposition to drilling off the coast of our beaches. Permitting drilling so close to our shores is and always has been bad policy, plain and simple. Florida, the Gulf states, and the nation are now paying the price for the 'Drill, Baby, Drill' mentality of trying to solve long-term problems with short-sighted solutions.
"Tonight, President Obama spoke of the necessity of exploring clean-energy solutions in the wake of this environmental catastrophe,” said Meek. “I stand wholeheartedly in support of the president when it comes to decreasing our dependence on oil and other fossil fuels. As a member of the House, I voted in favor of comprehensive clean-energy legislation to break our dangerous addiction to oil, and I hope to continue that fight in the United States Senate. Opponents of this landmark legislation try instead to propose the same old, tired policies that reinforce our dependence on oil. We must use the spill in the Gulf as a moment to step forward into the future instead of getting left behind in the past."