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
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