[UPDATED] Steele Exploits Gulf Oil Spill — "The One Thing You Don't Really Want Politicized" — For Political Gain

June 09, 2010 2:50 pm ET — Alan Pyke

RNC Chairman Michael Steele wants the GOP to appear concerned about the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, but he also sees an opportunity to attack Democrats.

This morning on FOX and Friends, Steele played attack dog for the party that made "Drill, Baby, Drill" into a rallying cry. When host Brian Kilmeade asked him how the catastrophe in the Gulf might affect the midterm elections, Steele called the spill "the one thing that you don't really want politicized." But in the same breath the Chairman criticized President Obama's response to the disaster. Steele went on to mock the president for not speaking face-to-face with the head of BP. Watch:

KILMEADE: Y'know it's been 51 days, about 7 weeks, and I'm not sure what's happening in the Gulf, the disaster in the Gulf that's affecting us all, uh, and really the world when you talk about oil prices. It has really been felt in this primary season, in these twelve states. What about the policy so far and the president's actions, and how will this play out in November?

STEELE: Well I-- I'll be honest, and the, this is the one thing that you don't really want politicized, because you've got an entire region of our country that is, again, inundated by a natural disaster, and the American people want a response from government which has been lacking at best. The reality of it is, you need to figure out and do like ASAP, uh, the cap, put the cap thing, y'know, the president's right, put the cap on it. But the reality of it, the administration's steps to do that have-- have not uh necessarily added up to the kind of results people want right now and I think there's a lot more concern about when that will happen.

Steele's hypocrisy here is not new. His RNC has been actively politicizing this tragedy for over a month now. After all, it's his job to spin every world event to hurt Democrats and return his party to power. 


Yesterday on the House floor, Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) provided a reminder of the contrasting responses to the Gulf disaster from Democrats and Republicans. Turner used a debate on World Ocean Day to repeatedly attack the administration's response in the Gulf, while Democrats argued for legislative action to protect the environment and break our dependence on oil. Watch: