I realize that it would make all of these politicians uncomfortable to be challenged about who they're taking money from and how it affects their voting record, but I thought that was what the press was supposed to be doing. Not worrying about whether they're going to come back on their shows again for another "exclusive" interview where they're allowed to lie with no accountability and misinform the public. When you can't challenge someone who's as obviously bought and sold as Murkowski, that's really pathetic.
CROWLEY: Congressman Joe Barton, obviously in the hearings with B.P.
The Democrats have taken this and run with it, and we are now hearing the chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, saying this was not a gaffe; this is the philosophy of the Republican Party; they are big oil; Wall Street; they are the party of corporations.
What is your response to that?
MURKOWSKI: Couldn't be more wrong -- couldn't be more wrong. The statement that Representative Barton made was wrong, absolutely wrong. He has since apologized for it.
But for -- for the White House, for the administration to be, kind of, running with this as the issue -- let's not forget; we had 11 people die. We have an environmental disaster unfolding. We have an economic disaster that is unfolding.
Let's not be distracted by saying, you know, Joe Barton made this gaffe or this -- this inappropriate comment. Let's focus on what we need to do, which is getting relief to the Gulf, making sure that they have every asset possible, making sure that we've got a claims compensation system that works for them. Let's focus on providing what the people of the Gulf need, not pointing fingers back and forth and saying, oh, you know, what you said was wrong.
CROWLEY: B.P. does a lot of business in Alaska. It brings in a lot of revenue. After watching this fiasco, you had some of your own in Alaska, too, that were B.P.-prompted. Do you trust B.P.?
MURKOWSKI: Well, I tell you, B.P.'s operations in Alaska have all been on land. So you've got the offshore/onshore differences. We have had issues with B.P., serious issues where it was clear that they failed in their responsibility as operators. It was unacceptable. They have been fined mightily.
Now, they have said that they have improved their efforts. That needs to be demonstrated. That needs to be demonstrated. And unfortunately, what we are seeing in the Gulf, and as we learn a little bit more every day about what may have happened, this does not reflect well on B.P.