Two Governors and the Gulf: Crist and Riley Strike Different Tones as Oil Approaches

May 4, 2010 8:11pm

ABC News' Brian Hartman reports: Two Gulf Coast governors struck much different tones today on the oil creeping toward their coasts.

Gov. Charlie Crist, R-Fla., was aggressive. He said the spill looks much worse than a week ago and will inevitably hit his state hard. Crist said Florida will need  “a ton more money” from BP to help protect his coast now and he’s probably going to sue later.

Gov. Bob Riley, R-Ala., was optimistic. He said the weather is great, everyone’s doing a great job and it’s too early to talk about lawsuits. In fact, he believes continued good weather and hard work make it entirely possible to prevent the oil from ever reaching his coast.

But in a moment to remember, Riley was asked whether he’d drop his support for offshore drilling if that rosy scenario doesn’t play out and the oil destroys his state’s coast.

Pregnant pause…

”That’s a great question. After we get through this, I think all of us can make a better determination than we can now. Because with the resources that have been employed, and if we can do what I hope we can do in Alabama to mitigate any potential environmental damage here, especially in our estuaries, then I will have a completely different attitude about whether or not it is controllable after something this dramatic happens.”

The two GOP governors spoke to reporters today at separate events in Mobile, Ala.

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