'This Week' Transcript: Powell and Dudley

TAPPER: All right. We only have time for one more question, but your company had a spotty safety record before this incident. Here is the administrator of OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, David Michaels, on Thursday, and I want to get your reaction to what he had to say.


MICHAELS: I don't understand why BP doesn't make these changes that we require. It may be a simple calculation. They see the cost of fixing the refineries in a way that would satisfy OSHA as being too expensive. They're going to wait until more people are killed or more explosions occur, and then they'll hope for the best, make the changes later.


TAPPER: I have never heard an OSHA administrator say about a company that they're going to wait until more people are killed or more explosions are going to occur. Do you have any response?

DUDLEY: There was -- he's -- he's referring to an explosion that happened in a refinery in Texas in 2005. Since that time, we've laid out a plan and have spent more than $1 billion making those changes. We are systematically taking -- and have taken that refinery apart, rebuilt it, and now we're going through our entire refining system and changing valves throughout the plant in a sequenced way, a plan that we've laid out and reviewed with them many times.

TAPPER: All right. BP managing director Bob Dudley, thanks for joining us.

DUDLEY: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: I was in the gulf earlier this weekend and caught up with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal for an exclusive Sunday interview. He had just met with President Obama, and I asked him what he told the president he still needs to battle the spill.


TAPPER: Joining me again, General Colin Powell. General, again, thanks for joining us.

POWELL: Thank you, Jake. Good to be here.

TAPPER: As a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, what do you make of this push-and-pull between the federal government and the states?

POWELL: When I was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as -- and as secretary of state and national security adviser, I have watched a number of these kinds of crises come and go. I've seen hurricanes, tornadoes, riots in Los Angeles, the tsunami.

And in every instance, what I have sort of learned from all these is that the national government, the federal government, the president has to get involved as quickly as possible. And if you don't, then public opinion starts to drag you, the media pushes you.

And so when something like this clearly is going to get beyond the capacity of whoever caused it, get beyond the capacity of local authorities, I think the federal government has to move in quickly and move in with -- to use my favorite expression -- decisive force to demonstrate that it's doing everything that it can do.

TAPPER: And you didn't see that in this case?

POWELL: I think the president correctly said the other day that he'd been monitoring and following it and essentially been on top of it from the beginning, but that impression was not conveyed to the American people, and the comprehensive speech he gave the other day, I think he would have been better served and the nation would have been better served if he'd given it a few weeks earlier.

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