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

New DNC ad blasts Barton; GOP

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/17/art.barton.061710.jpg caption="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. Linda

    Well Bob in Pa,
    Nice thought. Do you remember a little castastrophe called Exxon Valdez? Exxon said they'd do everything to make it right too. hahahahahahahahahaha. After a jury of their peers awarded $5 billion in damages to Alaska citizens (which didn't cover ALL of the destruction), lovely little Exxon went crying to the Conservatives on the Supreme Court (their motto follows the GOP new motto: "Corporations before Country") and got the award reduced to $500 million, pocket change. There are still a majority of small businesses and fishermen, etc., who are STILL waiting to receive any money (20 years after the fact) because Exxon has denied claim after claim. By the way, take a walk on ANY Prince William Sound beach and turn over a rock, and guess what you moron, you'll find oil. Exxon destroyed entire fish stocks, ruined the environment, and are now laughing their asses off at stupid Americans like yourself. Apparently, you hate everyone who lives and works in the Gulf Coast. You are pathetic.

    Thank you Mr. President for showing that the GOP is nothing more than corporate shills who hate everyday Americans and of course, we know they hate wildlife, fish, marshlands, etc. The GOP is pathetic!!!!!

    June 18, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
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