By JENNIFER LOVEN, AP White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven, Ap White House Correspondent
Tue Jun 15, 10:12 pm ET
.WASHINGTON – Vowing to "make BP pay," President Barack Obama accused the oil giant of "recklessness" in his first address to the nation from the Oval Office Tuesday night, eight weeks to the day after the catastrophic oil spill began destroying waterways, wildlife and a prized Gulf Coast way of life.
"We will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long it takes," declared Obama, whose own presidency has been stumbling because of the gushing oil. A new Associated Press-GfK poll even indicates as many Americans disapprove of his handling of the crisis — 52 percent — as felt that way about President George W. Bush's handling of the Katrina aftermath.
Obama offered no immediate remedies for a frustrated nation. Rather he announced he had asked former Mississippi Gov. Ray Mabus to develop a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan — to be funded by BP PLC — in concert with local states, communities, fishermen, conservationists and residents "as soon as possible."
He did not detail what this effort — he called it a "battle plan" — should include or how much it might cost, a price sure to be in the billions of dollars. Whatever the bottom line, he declared to his prime-time television audience, "We will make BP pay."