President Bush exploited this morning’s press briefing on the “follow-up efforts” to Hurricane Gustav to attack Congress about lifting the offshore drilling moratorium. Stating that “what happens after the storm passes is as important as what happens prior to the storm arriving,” he made the declaration that “our discussion here today is about energy.” Bush wasn’t referring to the 1.4 million Louisianans who have lost power due to the storm’s destructive force, and chose not to mention the 102 deaths caused by Gustav. Instead, he went on the attack:
I know that Congress has been on recess for a while, but this issue hasn’t gone away. And, uh, this storm should not cause members of Congress say well, we don’t need to address our energy independence. It ought to cause the Congress to step up their need to address our dependence on foreign oil. And one place to do so is to give us a chance to explore in environmentally friendly ways on the Outer Continental Shelf.
MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough were both floored by Bush’s decision “to use another hurricane in Louisiana to promote offshore drilling at this point,” after he “performed so poorly during Hurricane Katrina.”
Let’s be very clear. Number one: There’s no such thing as American oil any more. These are multinational corporations. If you let multinational corporations drill all this oil, they’re going to sell it to the highest bidder, whether it’s China, or India, it doesn’t matter. Why would we throw away America’s beauty chasing the lost drops of oil, so multinational corporations can sell it to India and China?
And people also got to remember, we didn’t stop this as an environmental issue. We didn’t stop offshore drilling for the duckies and the fishies. We stopped it because coastline communities were suffering. Because the property owners, the children who live in those coastline communities — not when there were oil spills — but every day, when your child goes out to swim, he comes back covered in oil, you have to use gasoline to get the oil off your child. That was happening coast to coast
BRZEZINSKI: Okay, that was President Bush giving reporters an update on the situation to the hurricane. And nicely weaving in a little pitch for off-shore oil drilling!
SCARBOROUGH: I was going to say, Mika. Anybody, anybody that thought this would be the warm and fuzzy George Bush, who would have a tear in his eye and say, “You know, maybe we didn’t have everything right last time, but this time we are worried about the Americans who have,” — no, he turned it around, “Drill now.”
BRZEZINSKI: Drill, drill, drill.
SCARBOROUGH: Drill here, drill now.
BRZEZINSKI: But in all seriousness, at the top of the hour we’ll be hearing from the director of homeland security as well as governor Bobby Jindal.
SCARBOROUGH: I’ve got to agree with the mayor. For this president, that performed so poorly during Hurricane Katrina to use another hurricane in Louisiana to promote offshore drilling at this point…
BRZEZINSKI: (Laughing) It was like going from music to news to the top of the hour.
SCARBOROUGH: You know who was screaming the loudest?
SCARBOROUGH: The McCain campaign …
BRZEZINSKI: (Sighing) Ohhh…
SCARBOROUGH: …while they were watching the president. “Just stop, just stop!” Not warm and fuzzy.