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Rep. Mike Pence Distorts White House Response To Louisiana Oil Spill

Reported by Ellen - May 7, 2010 -

Co-authored by Brian

Neil Cavuto interviewed Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) on Wednesday (5/5/10) about the BP oil spill in Louisiana. The purpose of Pence's appearance was, ostensibly, his call for Congressional hearings into the disaster. But Pence seemed only interested in what the Obama administration may have done wrong and not at all concerned about what BP may have done wrong. it was clear that Pence's major focus was on making partisan, political hay out of it. Cavuto challenged some of Pence's assertions but not the one in which he falsely painted the Obama administration as having been slow to react to the spill. With video.

Pence said, "They (the people) want to get to the bottom of what happened on April 20." But "the bottom" only seemed to involve the Obama administration. Pence continued, "They also want to get to the bottom of why this administration was so slow to respond. The administration essentially did not fully deploy cabinet level officials until April the 28th, eight days after the explosion. The President, of course, didn't address it significantly until 9 days after the explosion.”

Cavuto, perhaps still stinging from the very public rebuke of not challenging Michael Brown’s outlandish conspiracy theory about the oil spill, did a fair job of challenging Pence – at the beginning. First, Cavuto said that it’s a bit premature to start investigating while the tragedy is ongoing. Then, he pointed out that the accident was originally considered to be a search and rescue mission, without an oil spill “and we went on the assurances of the company… BP… that was apparently telling everybody that was the focus.”

Pence admitted he didn’t know “what the answers are” but that “Congress should be asking the questions.” Asking questions of the Obama administration, only, it would seem. Pence continued attacking the administration. “All of this repetition about ‘Day one, day one, day one, the full force of the federal government was there on day one,’ is belied by the facts and by the timeline. The timeline is damning here… We ought to get some answers about why the federal government at so many levels was slow to respond… The federal government has to respond quicker than eight days."

There was no pushback from Cavuto about that, even though there was plenty of response from the federal government – yes, from Day One, as this timeline from Media Matters shows.

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