Apologetic and embarrassed.
That's how political analyst Dr Winford James summed up Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley's response to the country's soaring crime situation in a 90-minute interview at White Hall which was aired on Sunday.
The prime minister was questioned on several issues, ranging from crime, economy, the performance of his Cabinet since assuming office and the decriminalisation of marijuana.
Touching on crime which has become a thorn in the side of the ruling Government, James said Rowley admitted that his administration had tried its best to bring the crime levels and murder rate down.
"In fact, he was apologetic in his answers. In the matter of crime, for sure, and the inability of the Government to reduce it to acceptable levels. I think he was disappointed that despite his very good efforts the problem keeps escalating. I think there was disappointment that his Government could not reign in crime in the way he would have wanted to. I think there was a little embarrassment as well," James said.
Rowley admitted that his Government was facing an ongoing crime wave and hoped that the population will not judge fairly based on their overall performance as his administration prepares to ask the population for another term in office.
James said citizens will determine the Government's performance in the 2020 general elections.
"The population will decide whether we agree with your assessment, Dr Rowley! What he was saying is gives us another term in office. We are on a good path. Look at some of the good things we have done."
In retrospect, James said Rowley did not "concede failure" but one of "regret."
He said the PM pointed out that despite making some tough decisions, he was generally pleased with his Government's overall performance.
However, James said some of Rowley's answers to the tough questions were "vague and not specific."
Will citizens see the Government's management as a success heading into a general election?
James said PNM supporters will accept Rowley as their leader while others will not support him.
"That is the polarisation I am talking about. I can't say if the public, in general, will buy into Rowley's argument on the economic front and return his administration to power."
In the interview, Rowley expressed disappointment with former ministers Darryl Smith who was accused of sexual harassment and Marlene Mc Donald who was arrested last August on seven corruption charges.
James felt Rowley was "too accommodating of Smith and Mc Donald," stating that he gave Mc Donald three chances
"He could not go further with her."
James said he did not have sufficient information to speak about Social Development and Family Services Minister Camille Robinson-Regis' bank transactions.
Rowley said Robinson-Regis would stay in his Cabinet until there is a change in the facts before him.
Also weighing in on the interview was political analyst Prof John La Guerre.
La Guerre said the PM should have been much more informative and forthcoming with his answers.
"I think there are some deficiencies somewhere that he did not identify or could not identify. The message conveyed to the population on crime was to be lenient with him in an election year and that he has been trying his best with some marginal success."
La Guerre believed Rowley should have told the country far more about his Government's crime-fighting plans to allay the population's growing fears.
"The issue of crime and crime management is bound to have an impact on the way people see their future. This matter of crime involves life and limb and has been of concern to those who have been impacted one way or the other."
On the flip side, La Guerre said the message sent to the population by Rowley was one of "promise and that better days are ahead."
The fact that Rowley stated that his greatest failure under his stewardship was not engineering economic growth, La Guerre said the PM should have discussed more of Government's expectations and impact on the country's "natural gas reserves and oil explorations."
Many issues in the energy sector, La Guerre said were left hanging.
He said it would be difficult for the population to view the Government's economic management as a success following the closure of Petrotrin's refinery, thousands facing the breadline and a string of businesses shutting down operations due to a decline in economic activity.
La Guerre said the PM's response to his Cabinet's performance was not one of glowing tribute to them.
"It was an admission that the Cabinet was not performing as he would have liked them to perform."