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May 6th, 2010
11:27 AM ET

Fmr. FEMA chief: Obama administration hopes to use oil crisis for political gain

The man whose name is synonymous with the government's response to Hurricane Katrina has been making the rounds on cable TV this week about the Gulf Coast oil spill, and he's criticizing the Obama administration.

Former FEMA chief Michael Brown tells CNN's Anderson Cooper the Obama administration hopes to use the crisis for political gain.

Listen to the exchange and let us know what you think about Brown's comments.

Filed under: CNN Newsroom • Fredricka Whitfield
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Barbara Johnson

    "Brownie' a crazy man whose incompetence (combined with others) was responsible for the horrific death toll in the Katrinna tragedy. How dare he accuse President Obama, the President of the United States of political cronyism. Apparently when you are filled with dilusions of can accuse anyone of anything!


    May 6, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  2. Jeryl D

    Well, it was Rahm Emmanuel (Obama's chief of staff for those who have been hiding under a rock) who said "never let a good crisis go to waste." I have absolutely no doubt that our current President would use such a tragedy for political gain.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  3. Carl

    The Republican Party is dead. All they do is throw mud and hope it sticks. Americans who voted for them should know these gold diggers make $175,000 a year in salary that is taken out of our taxes....while we beg for jobs.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
  4. MR.AL

    If Mr. Brown is as effective in this bit of slander as he was during 2004 in Florida when four major hurricanes hit Orlando Fl within a month and a half. At that time I was living in orlando I never saw FEMA!!! I just see a blowhard

    May 6, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  5. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    This dude reminds of worthless trailer houses lost goods in ware houses and slow response he should stay in hiding before someone pays notice to him and throw's him in jail .

    May 6, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  6. Steve

    Come on people! Don't you think any politician would use such a thing for political gain? OB is the best Prez in a long time. You don't get that far without playing 'some' politics, and you don't stay there without it either.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
  7. Scott P

    So by doing his job he is gaining politically? I am ok with that. If I do my job I tend to move up in the ranks (polls) to. Lets look at the choices, respond and be blamed for political gain or don't respond and get blamed for not helping. Tough choice.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  8. dave

    Prior to the spill Obama opened up vast regions to drilling. So let me guess...that was "cover" for the real ploy. Obamas position is we needed more options short and long term to reduce our dependance on foreign oil and reduce greenhouse emisions. The oil spill might sway his opinion but I doubt he has a political ploy going here. More like there is a little egg on his face from endorsing drilling prior to the spill. I think the man ( the critic) should let his mind have a rest.

    May 6, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
  9. Carrie

    The Ex-FEMA guy is a very sick man, our President care about the Environment and what political use is there? When it comes to a disaster

    May 6, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  10. Lars Rimfalk Jensen

    Who can ever take Michael Brown serious
    – sitting dinning in fancy BTR-restaurants while people was dying in New Orleans

    May 6, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  11. Fernando McGregor

    Why the media even bother to give this incompetent loser exposure time. This is a horse trainer that did nothing when Katrina strike, and is indirectly responsible for the loss thousands of human lives, during the emergency, due to his incompetence.
    Brownie: shut your mouth!!!

    May 6, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  12. Jason

    Has anyone even reported how this leak happened in the first place. Was the explosion a result of a freak accident? It could very easily have been detonated by one of our own. I don't believe the cause of the explosion was ever reported.
    Remember Obama's just a puppet and the real people in charge will do whatever it takes to make it happen because they want cap and trade. Why, because it will create a new global currency (carbon credits), empowers the creation of a new World Bank and allows the corporate elite to begin taxing you for every little thing that deals with carbon emissions: electricity creation, fuel for cooking, automobiles will be tracked and charged per mile driven, your house can be assessed for heat exhaust, you'll pay to exhale, etc). All this has been tried already under the guise of global warming due to human factors, which has been debunked. Now they are going to try it again by using this oil spill, which they probably intentionally caused in the first place.
    Obama will take advantage of every opportunity to use his persuasion to make it happen; whether the American people want it or not, or whether it's good for the nation or not. He is not acting in the people's best interest.
    America, stop being manipulated by his lip service words; pay attention to his actions, that is what counts.
    Ask yourself whether he has he fulfilled the campaign promises that got him elected. Do a little research, is Guantanimo closed, has he pulled out any troops from Iraq or Afghanistan, has he allowed the import of prescription drugs, don't families making less than $250,000 have new taxes, has he allowed five days of public comment before signing bills, has he allowed bankruptcy judges to modify terms of home mortgages, did they negotiate health care reform in public sessions or create a public option health plan for a new National Health Insurance Exchange? No, No, NO.
    Dozens of Americans have even filed suits to verify his citizenship and thus his eligibility to even be president and he jokes about it like we don't have the right to confirm his eligibility. This is not a race issue, this is an issue of national security. Who is he working for? Ask yourself who has been the most profitable by his presidency?
    I believe Mike Brown is spot on.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  13. maze1gerald

    As far using the oil spill crises for political gain I can't see that one.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  14. Al Root

    Yup, this administration will use everything they can for their political gain. They have no concience what so ever. Everything thing is a power struggle and be in control over everything. This is the most corrupt administration that has ever been put before the people. And most of them are crooks in the first place, so I guess there will be no change. Pray the people finally wise up and get it together before it is too late. Poor George Wallace is turning over in his grave. Not sure even God can help us now, because they do not allow him near their administration. Hello people wake up because there will be no coffee to smell.

    May 6, 2010 at 8:41 pm |
  15. WhatNextNow

    What is new, he uses everything for political gain, this is totally out of control and needs to be stopped now.
    The Borders need to be Secured NOW for the security of the us.
    Obama is promoting Division and Racism in this country.
    This is America, and a school made 5 boys leave because they wore American Flag T-shirts, But mexican children were allowed to wear their flag colors, A School in Detroit area, had a class trip for Blacks only, Whites were excluded, This is destroying our country, and teaching Children RAcism, it has to be nipped in the bud, what kind of president would do this to our Great Country. People must make their voices heard loud and clear to stop this division and teach our children to live together in peace, What the president is doing is WRONG. Also he says there is a point when you have made enough, well what about his friends, Oprah, his Czars, etc, I believe they have made enough too, what does he do about them, NOTHING>
    We want America back to being American, Land of the Free for all!

    May 7, 2010 at 7:18 am |
  16. Tom Joad

    Brownie, you did a "heck of a job "with Katrina. You should go back to your horses, with whom you probably have more intimate knowledge.

    May 7, 2010 at 8:01 am |
  17. michael nyc

    dome is not necessary and wasting time – oil floats to surface and can be pumped into takers/barges –

    employ a floatation of existing tankers/barges starting at epicenter of shaft leak to recover (pump skim off surface oil)

    possible "stop leak" would be explosion deep in old shaft using a missile

    thank you

    Michael Gruters – former faculty physics Princeton late 60'

    p.s. the use of dispersing chemicals make surface removal impossible and poisons the sea – really stupid....

    May 7, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  18. Michael in Scottsdale

    These people are starting to sound like the adults in a charle brown show.

    mwa mwa mwa mwa

    May 7, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  19. dave

    HE HAS A POINT!!!!

    Obama has had a week to prepare for oil devestating the coast and i have yet too hear of any extraodrinary measurements that the us gov has done.

    May 7, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  20. Smith in Oregon

    Brownie sat in a restaurant feeding his face while hundreds of New Orleans residents drowned and died. This man was in way over his head in the basic FEMA job requirements and admitted so in his resigning speech.

    Brownie has ZERO creditability in criticizing another administration in hopes of a Karl Rove re-spin on past and present history.

    Bush-Cheney were the leaders in creating the loophole of not having a cut-off valve on exploratory deep sea crude oil wellheads.

    And Cheney's former employer and best friend Haliburton was at the doomed Deep Sea Drilling Rig injecting cement into the well head when the explosion occured. In nearly ALL Oil rig explosions, improper cement injection was found to be the CAUSE.

    Bush-Cheney and Haliburton figure to be prominent people in this disaster and the extent of this unfolding ecologic blow to the entire Gulf of Mexico.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  21. Paul Harris

    Hey Mr. Brown, wish you were with us inside the Superdome instead of whining that you had to wait too long for your lobster dinner in Baton Rouge.

    Let's see, the oil spill is Obama's Katrina. The underwear bomber was Obama's Katrina. H1N1 was Obama's Katrina. Haiti was Obama's Katrina. The Ft. Hood shootings were Obama's Katrina. Even the Kentucky ice storms were Obama's Katrina. Hasn't the right wing ever heard the story of the "Boy Who Cried Wolf"? What's almost as bad is that the so-called liberal media seems complicit in this spin.

    I can't tell you how many times in almost 5 years that I've heard conservatives and libertarians yell that Katrina was something that should have been handled by the locals. This in spite of the fact that it was larger than 9/11, the Oklahoma City Bombing, the Northridge California earthquake and the San Diego firestorms combined.

    Now these same folks, many led by Rush Limbaugh are saying that the oil spill, which is the fault of a private corporation IS suddenly the responsibility of the Federal Government. How hypocritical can they get? And to think in 2008 how many right wing media members lied that Katrina didn't cause any oil spills and therefore we should be expanding oil drilling in the Gulf.

    Paul Harris
    Author, "Diary From the Dome, Reflections on Fear and Privilege During Katrina"

    May 8, 2010 at 2:08 am |
  22. claude heater

    Brown's point was that Obama didn't impliment a plan that was in place since the 90's. The question is, did that plan just deal with oil spills or one that involved a gushing hole in the bed of the sea 5,000 feet under water. In the 90's no one was drilling at that depth.

    May 8, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  23. Smith in Oregon

    I imagine family's with homes along the once pristine Gulf Coastal region where the home prices will drop to mere pennys of what they once were worth, will be rightly upset. Just breathing in the horrible pungent smell of creosote would be enough to drive away most residents across that entire multi-state region for years to come.

    It appears the long shot of the never tried before deep sea crude Oil collection box failed. Deep sea crystals called hydride's apparently formed which plugged the exit and Ocean crews have swung the useless at this time collection box some 600 feet to the side of the erupting spill.

    Expanding on a very bad situation in the Gulf of Mexico is the pre-existing Dead Zone which extends for THOUSANDS of miles where no sea life exists and is thought to directly result from the run-off from pesticides and fertilizer chemicals migrating down the Mississippi Delta region out into the Gulf of Mexico.

    This enormous heavy crude Oil spill is entirely likely to join and greatly expand the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Currently the Dead Zone is one of the largest of its kind in the entire world.

    May 8, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  24. Lary

    Brown is not the person to trust with anything, let alone an opinion. Nobody has forgotten his incompetence with the Katrina disaster along with his boss, the ignoble George Bush. These people should just go away and shut up. It's now time for a real leader and not some Rove puppet empire.

    May 8, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  25. No Brownie Points

    The last person the right should be sending on the talkshow circuit is Michael Brown. He's an embarrassment!

    May 9, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  26. No Brownie Points

    Heck of a job, Brownie! LOL!!!!

    May 9, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  27. john doe

    Can BP get to the end of the pipe??? If so can they try to pinch the end of the pipe to slow the flow or on a good day stop it altoghter!!! USA is the way!!!

    May 9, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  28. Linda

    Is there any way a ship similar to the ones they use in Dubai to suck up sand................???

    Be used to suck up oil and transfer to a tanker...........?????

    Like a vacuum cleaner to suck up oil on the surface and under water.........?????

    I mean there are ships that do all kinds of things and this doesn't seem so impossible......does it.....????

    May 15, 2010 at 3:42 pm |