President Obama today took on the oil industry execs who testified before Congress this week, calling it a "ridiculous spectacle.
"I did not appreciate what I considered to be a ridiculous spectacle during the congressional hearings into this matter," Obama said from the Rose Garden after a briefing with Cabinet officials. "You had executives of B.P. and Transocean and Halliburton falling over each other to point the finger of blame at somebody else.
"The American people could not have been impressed with that display, and I certainly wasn't...A full investigation will tell us exactly what happened. But it is pretty clear that the system failed, and it failed badly. And for that, there's enough responsibility to go around. And all parties should be willing to accept it."
That includes, he said, "the federal government. For too long, for a decade or more, there's been a cozy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency that permits them to drill. It seems as if permits were too often issued based on little more than assurances of safety from the oil companies.
"That cannot and will not happen anymore. To borrow an old phrase, we will trust, but we will verify.