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.

bartonJust 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.”