Tim Pawlenty tries to blame Barack Obama for BP debacle

Tim Pawlenty talked politics on "Good Morning America"

Tim Pawlenty talked politics on "Good Morning America"

He got to mix wonk with wisecracks last night on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart, but this morning, Gov. Tim Pawlenty put on a necktie and did a little breakfast-time jousting with "Good Morning America" host George Stephanopolous.

Pawlenty used the opportunity to say that BP, not taxpayers, should pick up the cost of their massive oil spill's damage in the Gulf of Mexico. But he repeated the meme that the Obama administration was at fault, even though it wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary -- which is to say, making life easy for Big Oil.

"In April of 2009, on this adminsitration's watch, the relevant federal agencies approved categorical waivers for environmental review for this operation," Pawlenty said. "That's a significant decision."

"Following the practice of past administrations," Stephanopolous reminded him.

"Yeah, we should also be fair and say. The notion that all administrations had these kinds of operations going and had no plan for really responding to this kind of disaster is horribly disappointing, a significant failure of government broadly, but we also know during this administration's watch, they had the final say, up or down on this operation."

Fair comment?


BP, by the way, has hired former members of Team Bush to drum up better PR. They probably know what they're doing, since the Bush administration put BP beyond the reach of a criminal probe after a March 2006 pipeline rupture at the company's Prudhoe Bay in Alaska spilled more than 200,000 gallons of oil.

Meanwhile, Juan Gonzales, at the New York Daily News, reminds that BP's Gulf of Mexico rigs were spilling crap into the seas long before Obama moved into the White House.

Watch the GMA video here.

And here's what the spill looks like from space, courtesy of NASA: