Tarryl Clark raised $30,000 over the weekend from 800 donors in order to air a commercial attacking incumbent U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann over her comments about BP and the Gulf Coast oil spill, according to the Democratic challenger’s campaign.
Clark’s campaign released the spot on Friday. and also sent out a fundraising appeal to help pay for getting the ad up on the airwaves. Here’s the commercial: At issue are comments that Bachmann made in a series of media appearances after it was announced that BP, under pressure from the Obama administration, would set up a $20 billion fund to compensate victims of the oil spill. Initially Dave Weigel, of the Washington Post’s Right Now blog, asked Bachmann whether the cap on liability claims stemming from the disaster should be lifted:
“They have to lift the liability cap,” Bachmann said. “But if I was the head of BP, I would let the signal get out there — ‘We’re not going to be chumps, and we’re not going to be fleeced.’ And they shouldn’t be. They shouldn’t have to be fleeced and make chumps to have to pay for perpetual unemployment and all the rest — they’ve got to be legitimate claims.”
The next day, Bachmann went on John King’s CNN program to discuss the BP fund. She warned that the oil company shouldn’t become a “piggy bank” or a “permanent ATM card” for the federal government.
That same day, in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio, the two-term incumbent also criticized the Obama administration’s dealings with BP. “It sounds like the federal government essentially wants to nationalize BP, and this could be pushing this company into bankruptcy,” Bachmann said.
Bachmann’s campaign issued a statement attacking the veracity of Clark’s ad. Here’s part of the statement:
“My opponents are demonstrating with this first ad they are scraping the bottom of the barrel with distorting my views on this tragedy that’s been foisted upon so many innocent Americans, marine life and wildlife in the Gulf Coast region. Making false claims and distortions about my statements is indicative of a negative campaign style, and Minnesotans deserve better.”