Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) may have apologized for apologizing to BP last week, but Democrats on the Hill aren’t letting go of the controversial remarks, and are using them to fundraise and to paint the Republicans as a party that defends the interests of big business at any cost.
Within hours of Barton’s remarks Thursday, the Democrats had an ad prepared: “Tell Republicans — stop apologizing to big oil,” the ad states. And The Hill reported Sunday that Democrats are going after Republicans on a committee opposed to the president’s $20-billion escrow fund for oil spill victims.
The Democrats are branding them as the “BP 114,” referring to the 114 members of the Republican Study Committee.
And White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel gave viewers of ABC’s This Week a pretty good idea of the narrative the Democrats are building when he told Jake Tapper that Barton’s words were not a “gaffe” but a political “philosophy.”
“That’s not a political gaffe. Those were prepared remarks. That is a philosophy,” said Emanuel.
“That is an approach — they see the aggrieved party here as BP, not the fishermen. Remember, this is not just one person. Rand Paul running for Senate in Kentucky. What did he say? He said, the way BP was being treated was un-American. Other members of the Republican leadership have come to the defense of BP and attacked the administration for forcing them to set up an escrow account and fund it to the level of $20 billion. These aren’t political gaffes,” Emanuel continued.
“I think what Joe Barton did is remind the American people, in case they forgot, this is how Republicans would govern,” he said.
This video is from ABC’s This Week, broadcast June 20, 2010.