"I'm absolutely devastated, something I never wanted to see," he said. "Something we fought really hard not to happen."
He admitted that the oil has now caused a "major environmental issue," backtracking on his claims in recent weeks that he thought the environmental damage would be modest.
Many along the coast angrily blame Hayward, holding him responsible for the devastation. Today, he acknowledged that frustration and said he shares in it.
"We can't change the past, but we can do everything in our power to make the future better, and that's what we're going to do."
In Washington, the White House attempted to push one message today -- that the administration is on the case. The administration has dispatched cabinet secretaries to the Gulf, released a photograph of President Obama on the phone with Gulf Coast governors, and even brought Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen to the daily briefing at the White House today.
"We are going to stay on this and stay on BP until this gets done and this gets done the right way," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said.
But the White House is walking a fine -- and sometimes contradictory -- line.
In recent days, even some of President Obama's strongest supporters have expressed concern about whether he has shown a lack of leadership in plugging the leaking hole.
On ABC's "This Week" Sunday, Democratic operative Donna Brazile said, "One of the problems I have with the administration is that they're not tough enough."
Democratic consultant James Carville echoed that sentiment, saying on CNN, "They're risking everything by this 'Go along with BP's strategy' they have that seems, like, lackadaisical on this."
On Sunday, the administration seemingly threatened to commandeer BP's operation at the bottom of the sea.
"If we find that they're not doing what they're supposed to be doing, we'll push them out of the way appropriately," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said.
But "pushing" BP out of the way is not the position of Allen, the man in charge of the federal response.
Allen said today that it makes no sense to get rid of BP's expertise, equipment and personnel, and said other oil companies he's checked with would be taking the same steps.
"To push BP out of the way, it would raise a question: Replace them with what?" said Allen.
He also responded to Jindal's complaints, saying that boom is being distributed according to continency plans that each Gulf Coast state signed. The governor's plan for new barrier islands are being evaluated, he said, but after approval they could take up to nine months to construct.