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Biden acknowledges message lapse on oil spill


Vice President Joe Biden gestures as he arrives for a plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels May 6, 2010. REUTERS/Thierry Roge
Vice President Joe Biden gestures as he arrives for a plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels May 6, 2010. REUTERS/Thierry Roge

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House has been deeply involved in the effort to staunch the Gulf of Mexico oil spill from the start but may have made a mistake by failing to communicate effectively about its efforts, Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday.

"I think if there's any mistake made (it's) that we haven't communicated clearly enough what the president has done on this oil spill from the beginning," Biden said in the transcript of an interview with PBS' Charlie Rose television show.

"We were there the first day, the first morning after that well ... blew and that platform collapsed. We were in the Oval Office," Biden said. "He mobilized everyone in the White House in the West Wing, made it clear that every single asset of the federal government should be made available."

President Barack Obama, facing one of the biggest challenges of his presidency, is under relentless pressure to stop the gush of oil and gas from the broken BP Plc oil well far below the surface of the Gulf.

The weekend failure of a "top kill" technique BP attempted to try to seal the well has unleashed a surge of anger and public criticism that poses a major domestic challenge to Obama and his fellow Democrats in an election year.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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