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Obama’s distance from Colorado fires recalls ‘hands off’ BP oil spill response

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

President Obama, faced with a Colorado wildfire in the midst of a busy fundraising schedule, appears to have taken the same “hands off” response to the fires that drew so much criticism in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

“The President has been updated regularly on these wildfires,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney maintained when pressed today to explain why Obama hadn’t spoken with Gov. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., in 15 days.

Obama called Hickenlooper about the fires on June 12. Obama has held 21 campaign events — including 18 fundraisers — since making that phone call, based on The Washington Examiner‘s survey of pool reports, the White House schedule, and WhiteHouseDossier.com. He made the call while heading to Baltimore for the first of six fundraisers that day (three of the fundraisers were in Philadelphia). He held four more fundraisers by the end of the week.  He attended one fundraiser last week. He held another seven fundraisers this week, before calling Hickenlooper again today after the briefing.

Cue James Carville criticizing Obama for “political stupidity”  in 2010. “It just looks like he’s not involved in this,” Carville told ABC. “Man, you got to get down here and take control of this, put somebody in charge of this thing and get this moving. We’re about to die down here.”

Carville was talking, of course, about the BP oil spill, which had begun over one month before. Obama called Hickenlooper again today, after the briefing, and scheduled a trip to Colorado, where 32,000 people have evacuated their homes as the fire threatens Colorado Springs.

 In an email yesterday, Obama told supporters that he would struggle to raise as much money as Republican rival Mitt Romney because “I’ve got other responsibilities I’m attending to.”

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