'This Week' Transcript: Powell and Dudley

My question for the president is no longer -- he -- I think he showed up too late. I think he showed passion too late. But today it's no longer about press conferences, and it's no longer about visits. It's about fixing the hole in the ocean floor and cleaning up the beaches. If he does that well, he'll recover; if he doesn't do that well, then he can't recover from it.

TAPPER: Joan, you know who he's getting the most guff from is not even Republicans, in a lot of ways. It's -- it's -- it's liberals, it's Democrats.

Here is former Democratic Congressman David Bonior and James Carville.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BONIOR: They may have had this as their top priority, but they did not communicate that to the American people. You've got to show emotion. This is an emotional issue.

CARVILLE: Man, you've got to get down here and take control of this, put somebody in charge of this thing, and get this thing moving. We're about to die down here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Anyway...

WALSH: Yes.

TAPPER: ... what's your take? I mean, those are -- that's the president's supporters nominally.

WALSH: Nominally. Nominally. Look, I'm going to -- I cut James Carville a lot of slack. He is suffering. He lives down there. The whole other bunch, not so much.

I saw Bonior say that the other day, that he needs to be more emotional. I want to add to Clarence's point. We don't need just a president and a king. Apparently we need a daddy. There's this great call for a daddy, and especially among liberals. And I kind of -- I find it ridiculous.

You've got Maureen Dowd today calling him Spock again, calling the president Spock. She loves that. Arianna Huffington is calling him nowhere man, because he's daring to still have a state concert honoring Paul McCartney.

And I think it's really -- it's a stand-in for a sense of helplessness. When we sit here and as you -- the point you made in your interview earlier in the show, there really was a pattern of negligence and there really were warning signs on that rig in the -- in the months certainly -- months, perhaps, and that's what we need to get to the bottom of.

I don't care -- I don't care if he emotes. I don't care. I don't need a daddy. I had one. He was great.

WILL: That's what -- I think the danger isn't that this is his Katrina. It's that it's his Iranian hostage crisis. That happened to Carter in his first and, it turned out, only term. So it wasn't like Katrina, which was sort of beside the point. Bush was a spent force by then anyway.

And it reinforced the perception -- people said Carter is well-meaning, like him, intelligent fellow, but maybe he just isn't up to the job. And the jury's still out on that for Barack Obama.

TAPPER: Is that fair, Clarence?

PAGE: Yes, I said that in my column, in fact, that -- that President Obama needs to get ahead of this story without being held captive by it. One of President Carter's mistakes was he committed himself too early to saying, "I'm not going to rest. Every day, you're going to see me out here."

Well, suddenly now he's committed himself regardless of what else happens to reminding everybody daily -- in fact, there was an ABC program that rose up -- wasn't it called "Hostage in the"...

WALSH: "America Held Hostage."

TAPPER: "America Held Hostage."

(CROSSTALK)

PAGE: Right, right, you know, a nightly program that became "Nightline."

(CROSSTALK)

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