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. Marie MD

    Good! I don't care if you are rethug or a Democrat or an Independent. Apologizing to your oil god on national TV and talking about shakedowns from our elected officials is criminal.
    Of course, you get what you elect as far as these people.
    We should all be standing together against this catastrophe not giving "the enemy" ammunition as they destroy the Gulf and kill 11 human beings and countless of animals and birds.
    I wonder how this will play when people in those states can't take the kids on vacation to the beach this year and who knows if ever in their lifetime.

    June 22, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  2. Marry

    It is absolutely necessary to expose what the GOP stands for. Not that it is a secret. But people have to understand that the GOP does not work for “the” American public. Wrapped in the flag, the GOP only works for big profits and very big money. The heck with the health of the public, the environment, education, jobs, a future for all – after all is destroyed; they just sail to an area you will NOT get to – pretty and not poisoned! NOvember!

    June 22, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. The reality is...

    he was apologizing to big oil for the shakedown by the Obama cartel and the sheer ignorance of the morons who were chastising Hayward who appeared quite patient with the "holier than thou" "public servants" who can't grasp the fact that Rep. Barton was not defending the oil tycoons but free enterprise. Surely we all agree that BP should and will compensate for the disaste, but don't let the Marxists turn the disaster into a greater one – collapsing free enterprise and democracy.

    June 22, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  4. U.S. Common Sense

    Quick! Look at our web video! Never mind the fact that our party has no answers and our President is never at the White House doing work. Come on . . . look over here. Isn't this video shiney?

    Day after day, these stupid dems are making the idiot reps look smart.

    June 22, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  5. Barry

    We , the people, know that the Republicans are not excusing BP from wrongdoing but they are just stating a fact about the the administration shakedown, for that is the Chicago way. Leave it to the whitehouse and their comrades at cnn to try to steer focus from the real issues.

    June 22, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. wake up

    How much money did Obama get from Big Oil? Does George Soros (Obama backer) own part of the main competitor to BP?

    Obama is as dirty as oil

    June 22, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. Tom in Delaware

    Hey....did Obama do 'everything in his power' to contain the spill yet...like suspend the Jones Act to get Dutch ships into the Gulf....didn't think so.

    Two Words.....Health Care.

    Three More Words.....Secure The Border.

    Remember in NOvember.

    June 22, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. Lionhart

    Republicans in bed with big oil as usual.

    June 22, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. james

    well. i want to know what exactly the obama admin is doing to help BP clean up this mess , where is all the federal help , where's the federal funds , where's the president? other than bad mouthing BP what has obama done ? yes BP made a mistake for which they will pay , dearly i'm sure , but for now how about the obama admin helping solve the problem first then they can try to burn BP at the stake later , if i were BP i'd pull back to europe and let obama clean up the oil with a coffee filter , stop makeing the problem worse and help solve it how hard is that to understand

    June 22, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Keep em coming! Someone needs to point out the deep ties between the republicant party and big multinational corporations that pay for their campaigns and set the agenda for them.

    June 22, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  11. kimberly

    Well, they are on the side of big oil, and they DO feel that BP should not be held accountable to the people whos lives were destroyed by their ignorance. THIS IS A FINE PEOPLE! They should be held accountable, why do the people on the right not care about the people??? FYI, BP has had 720 saftey issues in the last some odd months, and all the others combined is less than 20! Exxon had ONE! I mean come on people, do you really think BP is being strong armed? the ONLY people that feel that way are the millionaires getting PAID to feel that way. You dumb fools on the right are their puppets!

    June 22, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. kelly

    If the Rep. take the house THIS GUY

    June 22, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. phoenix86

    Republicans would govern under the rule of law. Democrats are just fine using federal powers to extort money from the private sector to pay for damages that democrats cause. BP should pay for the cleanup, but not the $100 million that is included because Obama paniced and shut down all Gulf drilling.

    Democrats should be ashamed that they defend illegal actions by anyone.

    June 22, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  14. kelly

    If the Rep. take the house THIS GUY would be running the hearings! God save us all.....

    June 22, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  15. phoenix86

    Democrats decry republicans for governing under the rule of law. Demcraps prefer mob rule and Chicago thuggary.

    June 22, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. HJA

    "He called BP's agreement to set up a $20 billion fund for spill victims "a shakedown" by the Obama administration."

    I think Obama should give BP another "shakedown". I am willing to bet $20 billion will not cover the cost of cleaning up this mess. Just wait until the "spill" reaches the Atlantic current. As for the RepubliNAZI's, they should shut up and go away. We already jnow about their "leadership" qualities.(Or lack there of)

    June 22, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |

    This shows you just how ignorant the Democrats really are and why I left the party after 50 years. They're trying to make a big deal out of what one man has done when there are numerous idiots in the Democrat party.

    June 22, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  18. Rosslaw

    The Republican solution to BP is to shift all oil spill costs to the taxpayer, do away with any regulation of the industry since its clearly not needed in the alternative universe of the right, and shut down DOJ's involvement entirely. The Repubs can proceed to blame one of the $12.50 an hour roughnecks who were vaporized on the drilling floor as fully responsible for the whole disaster and then, boosted by unlimited and unattributable BP campaign contributions, move on to make America a wonderful place to leave.

    June 22, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. Rob in MO

    Conservatives are constantly harping on how persons should take responsibility for their mistakes. Since the Supreme Court has declared corporations persons, corporations should take responsibility for their mistakes, including financial responsibility. The president is absolutely correct in demanding payment from PB; republicans again are exposing themselves as shills for corporate greed and irresponsibility.

    June 22, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  20. Ex-Republican since McCain picked Palin

    Do these Republicans have their head in the sand? They seem to forget that Bush promised not to play golf "on camera" while Americans were dieing in the Gulf War. And he seemed to vacation more than any other President. So stop already with the Golfing digs. Go back a few years and then look at Bush. The American People are getting tired of all the hate you Republicans spew forth. You out and out hate Obama. Palin came alive at her rallies when people responded to the hate lies she spewed forth about Obama. She got a taste of stirring up a crowd and her she still is, Ms. Christian. Hey guys, LEAVE MY PRESIDENT ALONE!

    June 22, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  21. Empty Oil Can

    The GOBP are next gonna thank BP for literally delivering the oil to the Gulf coast.

    June 22, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. Angela in Texas

    Doug Heye has to be kidding me!!! He has the nerve to say Democrats are desperate to talk about anything else! Not as desperate as the Republicans when they spout untruthful babble, show hateful, racist white face and monkey signs at their rallys, and let conservative racist talk-show hosts and tokens speak for them! Ever since President Obama won the election, the Whitepublicans ur, Replubicans have lost their minds and lied and polarized .....and that is not desperate?!!!

    June 22, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    "Republicans apologizing to BP? Tell Republicans: Stop apologizing to big oil."

    They need to start apologizing to their Taliban brethren for taking so long to in their attempts to destroy America.

    June 22, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. MatthewDetroit

    Amazing how the Democratic party plays to the low end low watt stupid people in their own party.

    They continually try to DEMONIZE what occurrs in the world.

    Maybe just maybe you could be honest with them.

    We all know that BP needs to be fined and prosecuted for what happened. We all know that they should be paying for the cleanup and damage.

    The Fact is the goverment pulls the SHAKEDOWN like the RAINBOW coalition does on business so they wont boycott or shut them down.
    Be honest with your constituents and tell them what it is....
    IT IS A SHAKEDOWN... Plain and Simple.

    June 22, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  25. Wanda

    I hope everyone that puts those idiots back in office after 8 years of them and what has come out about them in the last few years
    gets what is coming to them - they get rich and we get poor!
    People are just plain ignorant!

    June 22, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
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