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Obama defending Gulf effort in Oval Office address

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WASHINGTON – National anger rising, President Barack Obama is defending his efforts against the country's worst environmental disaster and hoping his first Oval Office address Tuesday night will stoke confidence that he can see the job through until the gushing oil is gone and Gulf Coast lives are back to normal. "We're going to fight back with everything that we've got," Obama said in Pensacola, Fla., capping a two-day inspection tour of the stricken region before flying back to Washington for his evening address to the nation. Eight weeks to the day after an offshore oil rig leased by BP PLC exploded, killed 11 workers and sent tens of millions of gallons of crude flooding into the Gulf of Mexico, Obama's high-stakes speech came during a week of constantly unfolding drama. Lightning even struck. A bolt hit the ship siphoning oil from the still-spewing undersea leak — injuring no one but halting containment efforts for five hours. Back on land, as long as the oil keeps flowing, no one seems happy with what anyone is doing to deal with it, from Obama on down. An Associated Press-GfK poll released Tuesday showed just as many Americans — 52 percent — are now feeling negative about Obama's spill response as did about President George W. Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Also, as then, a majority of the public is angry about what they call a slow government response.

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