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Obama on BP oil spill: administration "on top" of crisis

WASHINGTON–President Obama, in a rare press conference his team called for him to lay out the administration response to the BP oil spill, said Thursday his administration fell short in anticipating the tragic consequences of a major off shore drilling accident.

“And — and part of the purpose of this press conference is to explain to the folks down in the Gulf that ultimately it is our folks down there who are responsible,” Obama said, addressing critics who say his administration has not taken firm charge of the effort to cap the drill.

In a 63 minute East Room session–with an 11 minute opening statement–Obama took responsibility for the disaster, triggered by an April 20 explosion–but rejected any comparisons to the slow Bush administration government response to Hurricane Katrina.

“And when the problem is solved and people look back and do an assessment of all the various decisions that were made, I think people can make a historical judgment. And I’m confident that people are going to look back and say that this administration was on top of what was an unprecedented crisis.”