You won’t believe this – Dems cash in on Republican BP apology
Congressional Democrats are quickly trying to cash in on Joe Barton, the Republican lawmaker with ties to the oil industry who apologized to BP on national TV.
Just hours after Barton’s remarks on Thursday, the House and Senate Democratic campaign committees issued fund-raising appeals featuring and ridiculing the white-haired Texan.
“You won’t believe this,” begins the letter from the House Democratic campaign committee. “Yes, Texas Congressman Joe Barton actually apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward.”
The Senate Democratic campaign committee characterized Barton in its letter as a defender of “big polluters.”
Nathan Gonzales of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report said, “Joe Barton is not a high-profile guy. But Democrats aim to make him one.”
“BP is perhaps the most despised entity in the United States right now, and Democrats are going to do what they can to tie Barton and other Republicans to them,” Gonzales said.
“We will see how it resonates,” Gonzales said.
Barton apologized to BP at a nationally broadcast hearing on Capitol Hill. He said the corporate giant responsible for the worst oil spill in U.S. history was the target of a White House “shakedown” by having to set up a $20 billion fund for victims.
Barton, a major recipient of oil and gas industry campaign contributions, quickly drew fire from Democrats as well as Republicans.
He later retracted his apology under pressure from Republican leaders.
Democrats, in their fund-raising appeal, alluded to the fact that Barton is in line to become Energy Committee chairman. That is if Republicans win control of the House in the November election.
Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (U.S. Representative Joe Barton at Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on oil spill in Gulf of Mexico)