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Bill Nelson offers qualified support for President Obama's oil efforts

Asked on MSNBC to rate the White House's response to the Gulf spill, the Florida Democrat said "the president is doing what he can in an impossible situation. But this thing is going to go on ... it's going to change our way of life. The administration has got to do better.."

Obama in remarks after a Cabinet meeting sought to assure Gulf residents that the coast would recover: "The one thing I'm absolutely confident about is that, as we have before, we will get through this crisis," he said, adding that "not only are we going to control the damages to the Gulf Coast, but we want to actually use this as an opportunity to re-examine and work with states and local communities to restore the coast in ways that actually enhance the livelihoods and the quality of life for people in that area.

"It's going to take some time. It's not going to be easy. But, you know, this is a resilient ecosystem. These are resilient people, down on the Gulf Coast," he said. "And they bounce back. And they're going to bounce back this time."