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OBAMA: I can't just dive down there and plug the hole. I can't suck it up with a straw. All I can do is make sure that I put honest, hard-working, smart people in place, like Thad, to implement this thing.
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TAPPER: Congressman, this is the president being confronted with the limits of his own abilities, even though he's been a big proponent of government and the ability of government, but here he is saying, "I can't do this. I can't suck up the oil with a straw." This is a dilemma for him.
DAVIS: It is. You know, I did the Katrina report, too, the same kind -- it was an unforgiving storm. And even if you did everything right, there was going to be a lot of anger, a lot of disappointed people. You have the same circumstance here.
But you have to ask yourself, where was MMS? We've known this has been a dysfunctional organization for years.
TAPPER: The Minerals Management Service.
DAVIS: Absolutely. I held hearings on this when I was in Congress, calling for reorganization and moving it back and forth. There's probably more culpability here than we see. We haven't gotten to the bottom line. It's easy to just blame BP, put it all on them, but I think a thorough investigation is going to show that there was a breakdown all through.
WILL: Well, if there is a breakdown all through, I don't know why he thought it was a propitious moment to start a criminal investigation of a company that is in charge of this and that Bob wants the government to take over on the principle that the government will run another corporation well. I don't understand any of what's going on.
The president -- and I don't know why he's coming back to talk to us again. He's been talking about this nonstop for five weeks.
BRAZILE: Well, some people believe that he hasn't said enough, George, and that this is his fourth visit.
TAPPER: What could he possibly say, though?
BRAZILE: Well, I -- I do believe that he needs to answer some of the questions that have been raised about the containment of the current spill, whether or not there are enough federal resources to contain what has already been in the gulf, to make sure that the states have the proper boomers, the skimmers, and all of the other resources they need -- they need in order to contain the spill.
I think he needs to update us on everything he understands. Look, he may be able to split the sea, but I don't think he can cap the well. And I think it's even foolish to think that the president can -- can split the sea, but politics is in this, and it's draining his political capital, so I think he needs to address this and talk about our addiction to oil, because there are some longer-term issues here, including a moratorium, that needs to be addressed.
TAPPER: Bob, I want to turn briefly, if I could, just to the other crisis that the country is facing. That's the economic crisis. Retail sales figures came out, and I know you wanted to say something about this. They're actually down 1.2 percent during this time that the economy is supposedly recovering. What do you think the significance is?
REICH: Well, this is very unusual, Jake. Hopefully, this is just an aberration, but we have this on top of 41,000 private jobs being created in May...
TAPPER: Not a lot. Not a lot of jobs.