June 18th, 2010
03:31 PM ET
5 years ago

New DNC ad blasts Barton; GOP

The DNC will begin running a political commercial blasting Rep. Joe Barton for apologizing to BP.
The DNC will begin running a political commercial blasting Rep. Joe Barton for apologizing to BP.

Washington (CNN) - The Democratic National Committee is taking their campaign against Texas Rep. Joe Barton to cable TV.

A top DNC official said the committee will begin running a political commercial as early as this weekend on national cable television that says "Republicans apologizing to BP? Tell Republicans: Stop apologizing to big oil."

The senior Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee ignited a political firestorm Thursday, during questioning of BP chief Tony Hayward, when he called BP's agreement to set up a $20 billion fund for spill victims "a shakedown" by the Obama administration. And Barton apologized to BP.

Barton's remark drew immediate criticism from Democrats and even some Republicans. Barton later retracted his apology to BP and said he was sorry for using the term shakedown.

Read the script after the jump:

In an email Friday morning to supporters, the DNC asked for donations to begin running a television commercial ad targeting Barton's remarks.

"We're whipping together an ad as fast as possible to make sure voters know exactly whose side Barton and the GOP are on and to demand they stop apologizing to big oil, but we need your help to get it on the air," DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse said in the email. "If you're as furious as I am, will you chip in $5 to help us fight back?"

A Democratic source said that how long the ad will run depends on how much money is collected from this new fundraising effort.

The DNC said the campaign is not just directed at Barton, but at the GOP in general.

And it points out that the Republican Study Committee used similar language the day before Barton's controversial comments.

"Barton's comments highlighted a Republican culture of apologizing for the oil industry that was evident in their belief that holding BP accountable is 'shakedown,'" said DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan.

The Republican National Committee immediately fired back at the DNC upon learning about the ad.

"For 58 days, as Barack Obama hung out with celebrities, played golf and shot hoops, the Democrats planned to politicize this tragedy – as evidenced by political appeals from OFA, the DNC and this latest ad," said RNC Communications Director Doug Heye. "But let's be clear, we agree with Democrats like James Carville, Terry McAuliffe and Sen. Bill Nelson that the Obama Administration was asleep at the switch, and have one priority – capping the leak."

Narrator: "BP caused the worst oil spill in American history. Now, at President Obama's direction, BP's set aside 20 billion for recovery on the Gulf coast. But if Republicans were in charge, this is the guy who'd be overseeing BP
Barton: "...I apologize"
Narrator: He apologized to BP and called the recovery fund a "tragedy"
Barton: "So I apologize"
Narrator: Republicans apologizing to BP? Tell Republicans: Stop apologizing to big oil. The Democratic National Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising

-Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: DNC • Joe Barton
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Eric

    Oooh, yes... Biiiiiiiiiig Oil! (Dunt-dunt-dahhhhh!)

    Are you scared yet?

    EEEEEEvil big oil is who we depend upon to fuel our autos, deliver our products, drive our children around, fly to different town and countries, warm and cool our homes, light our homes...

    You can dance on "eeeeevil big oil's" grave only when you're ready to park your car and hike it like Euro-Communists do... ready to pack loads of groceries on your bike?

    Nah? Then have a nice cup of STFU and let the grown ups handle this. Barry, you can go back to coloring rainbows and unicorns in your Hopenchange coloring book.

    June 18, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. gt

    quick deflect to some one else..its obama m.o.

    June 18, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. Pat F

    I expect this garbage from Democrats – due process of law is recited only for the reparations dance – just to get mo' money, mo' money.

    But for Republicans to join this dance is shocking. It is EXACTLY this cowardly behavior that makes the Republicans lose elections.

    Barton expresses a Constitutionally required, principled statement – that BP should pay what it LEGALLY owes, but should not be subjected to shakedowns, intimidation tactics, threats and other actions by Hugo Obama-Chavez.

    We still have the rule of law in the country, for a little while still anyway. Barton swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States, which gives DUE PROCESS OF LAW TO ALL. The Obamessiah swore the same oath – but another lie is all in a day's work for him.

    June 18, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    Barton became so arrogant and thnks he's powerful enough to sell the entire country to the Oil Companies for the money the have given him for his campaigns ($1.4 million total).

    Over the years, Big Oil has donated 66% to republicans, 33% to demcrats. They think they can buy the votes. Mine isn't for sale.

    Renewable energy NOW. At least start so we can be there in 10 or so years.

    June 18, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. mike

    I guess the old saying is true and that is the only thing in texas are
    queers and steers

    June 18, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    BP must've paid him well to commit hari kari like that. There goes the wingnut hopes for Nov. These guys and the teabaggers are gold for President Obama.

    June 18, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. Kate in San Diego

    It wasn't much of an apology. All he really said sorry about was for using the term "shakedown." He isn't the slightest bit sorry and simply reflects what the republicans really think. In his own way, he was being honest and the rest of them are lying. The only thing republicans care about is the almighty dollar – and only as long as theirs are the only pockets capturing those dollars.

    June 18, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. Michelle

    Both parties seem downright gleeful at the opportunites to score points off this horrific disaster. I don't think any of them care at all about the people of the Gulf coast, just the next election and the $$$ they can raise to put in their election coffers. Makes me sick, the whole lot of 'em.

    June 18, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  9. Syphon Filter

    The truth must be told to those Americans who work hard and have no time to keep abreast to the true political climate. The Republicans and Big oil companies don't care about the environment nor you. All they care about is their own pockets. The grand oil Party. GOBP.

    June 18, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    What can one expect, Barton is from Texas and all Republican politicians from Texas support BP and they are dancing to the music of their big oil tycoons, Bush/Cheney.

    June 18, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. zaza

    Since he's bought and paid for by gas/oil, over 1.5 million given to him since 1990 this guy is a nightmare waiting to happen.

    June 18, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    Looks like he's hung over – must have been wined and dined by Big Oil the night before.

    June 18, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. Linda Colkitt

    My guess is that the Republicans are hoping this all blows over in a few days. Mr Barton will probably receive a Washington DC style slap on the wrist, while money from Big Oil will keep flowing their way.

    June 18, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  14. jeff davis

    unbelievable. nothing even subtle about how much this guy is in the tank for oil companies. and people in his district actually vote for him?

    June 18, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. Donnatella

    I've beem waiting for that flunky Michael Steele to come out an make are comment, what happened Mike it's one of your guy this time. All this man did was show the world just what the republicans are really about, big money and business, people are not worthy of their respect. They could care less about the people in the gulf.

    June 18, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. Harry

    Barton was correct despite the terrible impact on the gulf states. Our system has courts that decide culpabilty and financial responsibility. BP never said they would not pay costs associated with the spill. Obama's "blackmailing" BP was unamerican to say the least. BP was giving into public opinion when they agreed to set up the fund. Moreover, paying for Obama's moritorium affects on incomes was well beyond what even the courts would probabaly agree with.

    June 18, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. Tina in PA

    I love it! The Republicans are so busy opposing everything President Obama does that they'll shoot their own foot off. It doesn't take high intelligence to see what t they're doing, but it does take low intelligence to try and blame Obama for an oil spill. And so far nobody has the the answers to stop it , especially the republicans. If they do what are they waiting for? Tell what are they waiting for? We could use some answer right about two months ago. The party of all blame and no answers.

    June 18, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    Meh...he deserves it. I'd spit in one of his beady little eyes if he came within range.

    June 18, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. GL

    Good ad I will donate today. These Reublicans need to be stop in their trap. One mintue they are screaming SOCIALIST for helping out the Banks and Auto Industry and now they are screaming President Obama is not doing enough to help out the private sector, and last of all when President Obama do something they scream and apologized to their Corp. oil friend for President Obama for getting BP to set aside 20 billion for the people hurt by the oil spill. Republicans and not have it both ways.

    June 18, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. Jim In Miami

    don't be fooled people – THIS is the face of the republican party...

    June 18, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  21. Moderate

    He might be wishing that a hurricane doesn't come through and blows all that oil up on the Texas shoreline. Then he would have to apologize to Texas and President Obama while asking for some of those shake-down dollars.

    Really these people are a joke!

    June 18, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. Erl

    Poor Joe, time to go and spend all the money the oil industry has paid you. Loyalty to corporate interests should not come below loyalty to the citizens who employ you.

    June 18, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  23. geecee

    I hate to get personal, but this guy really does look like a beady-eyed weasel. And while I'm at it, Rush Limpbag is a loathesome, hateful creature. How his new wife can live with herself and get into bed with that beast each night is beyond me. But I guess she just puts a paper bag over his head and one over hers, too, in case his falls off, and then she shuts her eyes and thinks about the money he's making off all the braindead fools who listen to him.

    June 18, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. Erl

    Correction: take out the word "not" in the second sentence.

    June 18, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. Steve, New York City

    Yes – this is just a small example of the incredible damage that rich lobbyists can inflict on US policy – we might as well declare big oil, the AIPAC and others as ENEMY COMBATANTS!

    June 18, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
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