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Obama Gulf Oil Spill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Monday he’s been talking closely to Gulf Coast fishermen and various experts on BP’s catastrophic oil spill not for lofty academic reasons but “so I know whose ass to kick.”

The salty words, part of Obama’s recent efforts to telegraph to Americans his engagement with the crisis, came in an interview in Michigan with NBC’s “Today” show.

He strongly defended his role in dealing with the crisis that began with the April 20 explosion on a BP-leased oil rig in the Gulf, killing 11 workers and starting the nation’s largest-ever oil spill.

“I was down there a month ago before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the Gulf,” Obama told NBC’s Matt Lauer. “I was meeting with fishermen in the rain talking about what a potential crisis this could be.”

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