There has been a lot of criticism hurled at President Obama over his handling of the BP oil spill. Some on the left are upset the president hasn’t been more forceful with the oil giant. Those on the right generally argue Obama’s leadership has been inadequate.
Rarely has the president been criticized for specific actions on this issue. But on “Closing Bell” June 16, CNBC’s Matt Nesto was asked whether BP acted appropriately by agreeing to the White House’s terms by cutting its dividend payments and agreeing to a $20 billion escrow account.
Nesto argued that the administration was circumventing the legal system with such acts.
“I don't think they [BP] had a [choice],” Nesto said. “In cutting the dividend or in joining up with that fund? I mean, cutting the dividend – yeah it is smart and prudent to save cash in the face of an unknown liability, but I'm very troubled by the fact, uh, that the President has once again created his own sense of, of a legal system.”
Nesto cited previous instances where Obama has acted in an unprecedented ways to back up his claim and explained Obama was operating outside the presidency’s intended function.
“He fired the CEO of General Motors. He circumvented the rights of bond holders in the GM situation and now he’s confiscated $20 billion from a private company – wait a minute – to set up, quote, ‘a financial and legal framework’ that already exists,” Nesto continued. “It's not his job to create laws. It’s his job to enforce laws.”
“They are doing that,” Nesto said. “Why do they have to have a gun to their head? There is a thing called due process my friends. There’s gonna be a lot of litigation, as there should, right?”