June 22nd, 2010
09:51 AM ET
10 years ago

DNC out with second 'Barton-BP' ad

The DNC on Tuesday released a second ad that highlights Rep. Joe Barton’s controversial apology to BP.

The DNC on Tuesday released a second ad that highlights Rep. Joe Barton’s controversial apology to BP.

Washington (CNN) - The Democratic National Committee is putting out a second television commercial that highlights Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton's controversial apology to BP.

The new ad includes video of GOP Senate nominee Rand Paul of Kentucky, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia, and Barton apparently sticking up for BP, saying the Administration should "stop demonizing BP," that holding the oil company accountable is "un-American" and that the escrow fund is "extortion" and a "shakedown."

Barton, 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 Republicans. Under pressure from House GOP leaders, Barton later retracted his apology to BP and said he was sorry for using the term shakedown.

In an e-mail Friday morning to supporters, the DNC asked for donations to begin running a television commercial ad targeting Barton's remarks. The DNC says those contributions led to the airing of a first commercial on national cable TV, which said "Republicans apologizing to BP? Tell Republicans: Stop apologizing to big oil."

The DNC says the new ad, titled "How Republicans Would Govern," will also run on national cable. Democratic officials say the message of the ad is that the Barton apology to BP was not a gaffe or isolated incident but rather the Republican approach and an indication of how the GOP would govern if it wins back control of Congress in November's midterm elections.

"Apologizing to big oil? This is how Republicans would govern," says the announcer in the ad.

A Democratic source says the decision to move forward with a new commercial came "after the tremendous response the party received from grass roots, low dollar donors and Democratic Party activists who see this as a golden opportunity to define the choice voters are facing this fall."

But a top Republican Party official disagrees with the Democrat's strategy.

"Since Democrats can't talk about job creation and can't talk about President Obama's failure for weeks to meet with BP officials, they are desperate to talk about anything else. But politicizing the issue won't help clean the Gulf Coast anymore than President Obama's dogged work on his long and short putt," says Republican National Committee Communications Director Doug Heye.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: BP • DNC • GOP • Joe Barton
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. andy

    DNC continues to target Barton to cover its own failures. The failure of the Obama admin to do anything until the polls told him do. The DNC is a pathetic group that offers nothing but cover ups and excuses for Obamas failures.

    June 22, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    Got the Republicans running scared. Good.

    The comparison between this commerical and the RNC commerical is priceless.

    June 22, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. Slick William

    I love it, " This is how Republicans would govern", like in accordance to our laws and courts? Have any of you dimwitocrats figured out the 5 billion a year for 4 years wont touch the costs for the economic and environmental disaster that this has created, and that legally the cap on Big Oil costs for clean up remains. I applaud BP and Obama for setting up the escrow account but now let's watch how fast that money disappears and see what bang for the buck comes out of it. This is a fumble by Obama in the sense that the well is still flowing instead of an immediate mandatory implosion of the well head, they did not have every leading expert in the Whitehouse the day after it occurred for consultation on how to STOP the leak and for not waiving the Jones Act and other Federal regs to bring in every bit of help that was offered to save our Gulf. It is amazingly transparent and revealing of the inability of this Administration to show leadership, yet instead he has politicized the disaster for yet another agenda...

    2010/2012 TEA for FREEDOM from this two party crap!

    June 22, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  4. Capt. Snarky

    A shakedown? Yeah, it was a shakedown. When you are limited by law to a certain level of liability, and .GOV steps in and says you need to pay more than the law allows (without legislation being passed to change your liability level) – that is a shakedown. Pure and simple.

    Should BP be required to pay 20 Billion- well they should be required to pay whatever it costs. But shaking them down for the funds isn't the right way to do it. That is what we have a Congress for..................

    June 22, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |

    Notice how the RNC doesn't refute the claim....they instead take a cheap shot about golf.

    We all know the GOP is in the pocket of big oil. Duh.

    June 22, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. Ben

    The Dems are desparate. They'll do anything to save their power. Too bad it won't work. They'll be looking for jobs come November.

    June 22, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. Four and The Door

    It seems kind of awkward doesn't it, for the DNC to take time to speculate about how the Republicans would govern...while the oil still flows into the gulf?

    June 22, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. Riley

    The dems are trying to distract from their horrible record. They will seize on any opportunity they can find to try to get the attention away from them.

    June 22, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. mh

    Hey Democrats – you are in charge! What are you doing?????

    June 22, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. Frank

    Rush Limbaugh has now made it clear that he agrees completely with Joe Barton's statement and apology to Big Oil. Since Rush is the de facto head of the GOP, this ad is exceptionally truthful. Circular firing squad, anyone?

    June 22, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. New Age Independant

    The Republicans have taken a much harder stance on the comments made by Barton than Democrats. Coupled with the fact that Obama has failed to adequately deal with the situation, it makes Democrats look ridiculous. Their tactic of deflecting responsibility is lowering any creditability that they might have ever had.

    June 22, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. Steph

    But we can talk about the 20 billion dollars BP will put aside to have an independent party (the same person who managed the 9/11 family fund) distribute to guld coast families and businesses who need relief right now. Get it, they need relief, not apologies to the yatch riding, "I want my life back", lying BP execs.

    June 22, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. Too True For You

    Democrats politicizing it? That's rich. The republicans are trotting our Jindahl every other day to try and refurbish his lousy political career with carefully crafted sanctimonious set pieces. They attack Obama at every turn about it, even though Obama was the one calling for alternative energy and they are the "Drill, baby, drill" party.
    It's the pattern they laid down when they created the financial crises and ran from it with their tail between their legs and tried to blame it all on Obama because he didn't fix 24 years of republican financial misrule in 3 months.
    Republican strategy: screw up big time, blame it on the democrats for having to clean it up.

    June 22, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  14. Sniffit

    HA. Compare this to the RNC parody video.

    On the one hand (DNC), you have "so-and-so said such-and-such, which was offensive and indicates X, Y and Z about his positions and policy beliefs." This is your basic substantive argument in the political arena.

    On the other hand (RNC), you have "ooooh, look at these loose connections we can make to insinuate corruption and mafia-style politics." This is your basic smear campaign, conspiracy-fueled, substanceless nonsense in the political arena.

    June 22, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I can't wait to get Bachmann out of Congress. However much money her opponent needs, just tell me where to send the check. Rahm hit the nail right on the head. This is how republicans will govern. It's their ideology and philosophy.

    June 22, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. Jeff from Chicago

    I think an apology was a little too much, but the behavior of the congressional committee was embarrassing to me as an American. Beating on BP is the flavor of the month and most of the people on this site will buy it hook, line, and sinker. These are the same politicians that can only point fingers and make people afraid of things but offer no solutions that make the country stronger and better for the future.

    June 22, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. Really?

    I'm curious.
    When when this Admin is done going after BP, & goes into bankruptcy and cannot pay for any of the clean up which we know is going to be a heck of a lot more than $20 billion, who will end up paying for the clean up?

    Well if u r not drinking kool-aid, u've probably guessed correctly...

    June 22, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. 276VAnative

    this is crazy. Please tell me what Obama is suppose to do about this situation. All these people taking their time out to say what Obama isn't doing about this oil spill. How about this; since your such great decision makers and have a solution for everything, how about you deep sea dive ya ass down there yourself and fix the leak to assist your president and all the BP employees along with the people of the Gulf Coast . The thing that kills me is; we can take our ass to the moon, mars or whatever but we don't have the technology to fix a damn valve from leaking???? SCARY!!! i think we should all just pray because the revolution is coming!!!!

    June 22, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. Barack.Hussein.Obama-America's-Benevolent-DICTATOR

    Well at least the Republicans would GOVERN BY THE LAW instead of disregarding laws and the Constitution as the DemocRATS have done.

    The American people have been APPALLED by the complete and total disregard of the law with which this administration and the DemocRATS in Congress have run this country.

    November 2010, the country begins to be returned to the People.

    June 22, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. Big George in Big D

    Its a total shame when someone speaks the truth – everyone else in that party is aligned as a malcontent also. I'm not republican but Joe Barton plainly spoke the truth – the Obama administration's shakedown of BP's executive is tantamount to thuggery! I applaud BP for the large amount put into escrow but the administration had no right to "bully", etc., him into doing so. Obama is against corporations, any of them, and it plainly shows. If it weren't for big corporations, where in the world does the man think people would work?

    June 22, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. Tim

    Question for those on the Left.....

    Who do you think owns "Big Oil"???? Millions and Millions of Americans along with others from other countries. They are often refered to as shareholders. But they might very well be your next door friend. The fact is that when you speak of any publicly owned business operating in the US, you are dealing not with a business, but with millions of US people.

    My suggestion to the DNC would be that they stop running these ads. It only proves that they do not understand the constitution or recent Supreme Court case law. incorporated entities have the same standing as individuals.

    June 22, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. alamoannie

    Did Barton say that if we make BP put up this money then "how will they pay us"? What was his meaning? How much does BP pay Republicans? With Barton's apology it raises the curtain on what goes on in the back ground; why we can not get a energy plan for our country since Richard Nixon's time. If we don't vote these oil backed Republicans out of office we will kill our world. Doesn't anybody remember learning that the Gulf isn't just a body of water in the south part of the United States. It is the Gulf Stream that circulates water in the Atlantic. This oil, and all the chemicals we are putting in there to remove said oil, will eventually go all over the Atlantic from North to South. And we have to worry about how someone as STUPID Barton got to be in congress. I live in Texas!!!! D–N

    June 22, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  23. Rick

    DNC, time for you to CRASH and BURN in November, out with all you socialistic lieing bums.

    June 22, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  24. norma

    I love it when all we have to do is put video of what they've actually said in an ad against them. These folks are becoming a great gift to the Democrats. Thanks tea party!

    June 22, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  25. katiec

    The republicans have provided further proof of their undying love, support of Wall St over the welfare of the American people and our country. Many of them think like Barton spoke but do not have the nerve to say so.
    Obstructing Finance Reform is another nail in their coffin.
    They are a disgrace to our political system and our country and are well on their way to becoming our country's most dangerous terrorists.

    June 22, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
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