Today’s Qs for O’s WH – 6/9/2010

By Gregory

Jun 9, 2010 3:43pm

TAPPER:  In terms of the claims process and also in terms of the cleaning process – for Louisianans, the most important aspects of what's going on beyond plugging the hole down there –, why is B.P. in charge of that?  Why is the government not supervising?  I mean, B.P. is hiring contractors.  Why doesn't the government hire contractors and…
GIBBS:  Well, the government has activated members of the National Guard.  The government has activated, or has Coast Guard members, different branches of the government have different folks down there.  I — I would say we are — the relationship that we have in terms of directing them is the same as we have in the broader relationship.
TAPPER:  They're — they're failing at — at cleaning. B.P. is failing at the cleaning process.  They're failing at the claims process.
GIBBS:  Which is — which is, Jake, why Admiral Allen sent that letter and why Admiral Allen, again off of the meeting that the president had last week, has — has set up a meeting to — to fix this claims process.
TAPPER:  But why doesn't the government take over…
GIBBS:  Again, I — I don't want to — I don't want to come out of — not in the meeting, the claims meeting today.  I do think a series of remedies have been outlined that we believe B.P. must take will be discussed. And we'll move forward from there in order to make the claims process — which we know is going to be large.  Economic damages out of this thing certainly will swell into the many billions of dollars — and we will work in every way we can with the people of the Gulf and with the states affected to ensure that the process is one that is completely fair for them.
TAPPER:  OK.  The — in terms of the Iran sanctions, the three previous regimes since 2006 of sanctions were unanimous votes.  With that — I know you don't want to get into why Turkey and Brazil and Lebanon voted the way they did, but what reason can you think of that this would not be a unanimous vote as opposed to the three previous votes.
GIBBS:  It's hard to answer that question without getting into why the individual reasons that they did.  But I don't think anybody — if you have a sanctions regime that you can tighten, I don't think anybody would say, "Well, don't tighten that unless you get everybody to say we should tighten it."
TAPPER:  I'm not — I'm not…
GIBBS:  Look, that's — that's your question, my answer. Again, I think that regardless of 12 votes or more, we have in place now a stronger — stronger sanctions regime that's resulted in a country that's more isolated, based on a broader international commitment than we've ever seen.
TAPPER:  That's my precise point:  It's not more isolated; it's less isolated.
GIBBS:  How so?
TAPPER:  Well, the three previous votes were unanimous, and this one was not.
GIBBS:  Well, understand that the — I don't — I don't — I don't know whether the — are you saying the 15 members that voted on each of those times were the same, because obviously there's…
TAPPER:  They weren't.  But…
GIBBS:  … 10 people that rotate from…
TAPPER:  Iran can look at the vote and say, "We are less isolated now than we were last time…"
GIBBS:  Sixteen months ago, when the president took office, the resolution that was passed today could not have passed the United Nations Security Council.  We would not have gotten Russia.  We would not have gotten China. So there is a broader international coalition that is aligned against the pursuit of nuclear weapons by the Iranian government, unlike we have seen since this president has been in office. That — look, people can debate 12 votes, 15 votes, whatever. The bottom line is there is a greater sanctions regime on the government in Iran today than there was yesterday, than there has been at any other point. And that's what's important.
TAPPER:  I just have one quick question about Vice President Biden and Sudan.  Could you just — he's — he's taken an increased role in the peace process there, and I just wonder if you could elaborate a little on his trip.
GIBBS:  Let me get something from them.  I just — I have not — let me get something from them.

-Jake Tapper

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