Washington, Nov 13 (ANI): Bobby Jindal, the Indian origin Governor of Louisiana, has used his new book to criticise US President Barack Obama over the Gulf oil spill, alleging that he was more focused on the political aftermath than the actual impact of the crisis.
According to Jindal, on Obama's first trip to Louisiana after the disaster, the President took him aside on the tarmac after arriving to complain about a letter that he had sent to the administration requesting authorization for food stamps for those who had lost their jobs because of the spill, Politico reports.
As Jindal describes it in his book "Leadership and Crisis," the letter was entirely routine, yet Obama was angry and concerned about looking bad.
"Careful," he quotes Obama as warning him, "this is going to get bad for everyone."
He also describes how nearby on the tarmac, then-White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel rebuked his own chief of staff, Timmy Teepell, saying "If you have a problem pick up the f-n' phone."
Obama and Emanuel were probably angry with Jindal because he had released his food stamp request the previous day to the media and indicated that he wanted a response by the close of business. After Obama instituted a moratorium on offshore drilling, Jindal recounts that the president dismissed his concerns about the economic impact of the ban, the report said.
"I understand you need to say all of this, I know you need to say this, that you are facing political pressure," Jindal quotes Obama telling him. When the governor said he was concerned about people losing their jobs, he said the president cited national polls showing that people supported the ban.
"The human element seemed invisible to the White House," he writes.
On being asked to respond to Jindal's assertions, White House spokesman Adam Abrams pointed to the president's overall response to the spill saying, "From Day One, President Obama has directed his administration to work with state and local governments to respond to and help Gulf communities recover from the BP oil spill."
After losing his first bid for the governorship in 2003 and then serving two terms in Congress, Jindal has enjoyed wide popularity since winning the governor's mansion in his native Baton Rouge in 2007. (ANI)