Some Call Obama’s 9/11-Gulf Remark Insensitive


obamaPresident Barack Obama tried to strike an upbeat note on his latest tour of the oil stricken Gulf Coast on Monday. But it’s something he said before his trip that has some 9/11 victims’ families upset.

The president arrived with his sleeves rolled up, wanting to convey an optimistic message to skeptical Gulf Coast residents.

“We are going to do everything we can 24/7 to make sure that communities get back on their feet and in the end I am confident that we’re going to be able to leave the Gulf Coast in better shape than it was before,” President Obama said.

He even ate local seafood for lunch hoping to ease fears about safety.

“Seafood from the Gulf today is safe to eat, but we need to make sure it stays that way,” the president said.

But it was his words from a recently published oval office interview that have angered some 9/11 victims’ families.

Attempting to describe the impact of the oil disaster he said: “In the same way that our view of our vulnerabilities and our foreign policy was shaped profoundly by 9/11, I think this disaster is going to shape how we think about the environment and energy for many years to come.”

Charles Wolf, who lost his wife on 9/11, found the comparison offensive.

“It shows that the president has an insensitivity to the fact that 3,000 people were killed,” Wolf said.

On Monday night near ground zero some agreed with Wolf.

“It might still be a little too early to talk about 9/11 like that,” Manhattan resident Jane Miles said.

Others thought the analogy was right on the money.

“Sept. 11 was a milestone in American history and this is a milestone in American history,” Jan Ross said.

Wolf and other victims’ families said they understand the president’s point, but they’ve grown tired of their grief being used in political rhetoric — no matter what the subject.

Today the pres will address the nation. On Wednesday he will talk to BP executives.

{WCBS-TV/Noam Newscenter}


  1. When you refuse to acknowledge “terrorism”, this is a fitting comparison. When you recognize terrorism for what it is, this is a poorly chosen analogy – and indeed highly insensitive.

  2. Only shows how little he understands 9/11. That’s why it’s ok to be friends with terrorists. Maybe the BP leak was caused because we don’t understand BP well enough.