May 28, 2010 11:36 AM by Melissa Canone
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Intent on showing firm command of the
deepening crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama flew
to coastal Louisiana Friday for his second in-person update of the
devastating oil spill.
Criticism of Obama is rising as crude continues to gush out of
the leak 38 days after the oil rig exploded and sank. Amid fears
the crisis that is endangering the Gulf region's wildlife and
economy could soon also engulf his presidency, Obama has launched a
campaign to step up public engagement and directly confront the
A day earlier, he held a rare White House news conference to
address the matter, saying "I take responsibility" for handling
what is now considered the biggest oil spill in U.S. history.
On Friday, he interrupted a Memorial Day weekend stay with his
family at their Chicago home for the Gulf visit, with his first
stop a beach south of New Orleans where protective booms have been
set up to keep oil from washing ashore. The president was then
traveling to the U.S. Coast Guard Station in nearby Grand Isle,
La., to attend a briefing by Adm. Thad Allen of the Coast Guard,
who is overseeing the spill response for the federal government.
Obama was being joined there by the governors of Louisiana, Florida
and Alabama. He was spending about three hours in the region.