Rand Paul again jumps to BPs defense: Obamas tough stance “sends the wrong signal”

During the campaign, Rand Paul (R-KY) called the White House pressure on British Petroleum “un-American” and defended BP’s recklessness, saying “sometimes accidents happen.”  Turns out he just can’t quit BP, as ThinkProgress reports in this cross-post.

Late last month, President Obama’s commission investigating this summer’s devastating Gulf oil spill found that BP and its contractor Haliburton “knew weeks before the fatal explosion “¦ that the cement mixture they planned to use to seal the bottom of the well was unstable but still went ahead with the job.” “There is no indication that Halliburton highlighted to BP the significance of the foam stability data or that BP personnel raised any questions about it,” the panel’s lead investigator wrote.

Despite this finding, when asked about the spill on CBS’s Face the Nation yesterday, Sen.-elect Rand Paul (R-KY) came to BP’s defense, saying the Obama administration’s strong language towards BP “sends the wrong signal”:

PAUL: But I don’t think an American president should be talking about putting the boot heel on the throat of a corporation because it sends the wrong signal that the government is the enemy somehow of business. And we need to always recognize that one in 10 businesses succeeds. We need to do everything we can to encourage business because that’s where the jobs are created.

Watch it:

As host Bob Schieffer noted, this is not the first time that Paul has stuck up for the oil giant. This summer, he called the administration’s pressure on BP “” a foreign company “” to clean up the spill “un-American.” (In the Face the Nation interview, Paul admitted this was a “poor choice of words.”) Paul’s comments exemplify tea party Republicans’ blind hatred for government regulation of dangerous businesses like mining and oil drilling. In August, Paul suggested that mine safety regulations were uncessary because the free market would take care of the problem “” “no one will apply” for jobs at dangerous mines, he naively explained. Of course, those comments followed a disaster at the Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia “” which had been cited with thousands of safety violations “” where 29 workers were killed in April.

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14 Responses to Rand Paul again jumps to BPs defense: Obamas tough stance “sends the wrong signal”

  1. Jeff Green says:


    How American is it to put thousands of people out of work?

    How American is it to damage an ecosystem for several decades?

    How American is it to worm your way our of as much fine as you can?

    How American is it to be as sloppy cutting corners, and costing the lives of 11 people on board.

    Rand Paul is describing my kind of patriotism.

  2. Ziyu says:

    I guess it’s unAmerican to demand any responsibility from corporations. No, we should all be “business and job friendly” by letting corporations do whatever they want like they did in the 1800s.

  3. Aaron Lewis says:

    BP needs US laws and their fair enforcement.

    Law enforcement protects BP assets and resources. A good court system allows BP to enforce its contracts. BP trusts banking and finance law to ensure that it will be paid for the products that it sells.

    Investors trust US law to protect their investment. Without US law, BP could not get the capital to do business. Without US law, BP would not be.

    Rand Paul does not have a clue as to how the world works. He puts up nice sound bites, that may work for an election, but are useless when it comes to actually building a world that is livable.

  4. “How American is it to put thousands of people out of work? How American is it to damage an ecosystem for several decades?”

    In BP’s case, aren’t these in direct conflict?

  5. Jim Groom says:

    Rand Paul is a radical, and I mean that in the worst possible way. Obviously the apple did not fall from the tree. Truly pathetic.

  6. Bob Doublin says:

    tHIS IS NOT A RHETORICAL QUESTION.(oops,caps button) These libertarian morons go on and on ad nauseum ad vomitum about how people are supposed to take responsibility for their lives and actions. This proves that the wealthy are not included. I’d like to know at what level of wealth does this exemption kick in? Is it 5million,50 million,500 million? one billion? When does it happen, because in his sick hellhole it obviously does at some point?

  7. Prokaryotes says:

    Heavy rains in Belgium cause deaths

  8. Jay Dee Are says:

    So if I go to Rand Paul’s house and smash all of his windows, he has to pay for the damages and apologize to me.

  9. Wonhyo says:

    As ridiculous as Rand Paul may seem defending BP, there’s one fact we have to face: he got elected. Progressives have put a lot of time and effort into attacking the oil industry. While the oil industry has earned every progressive criticism thrown at it, the anti-oil campaign comes at an opportunity cost. Can we be using the anti-oil campaign money (and time) more effectively?

    I propose progressives redirect some of their efforts at preparing for the inevitable climate catastrophes and coming up with plans to help Americans help each other in times of climate crisis. These efforts can have far more concrete significance to Americans (once they’ve been through a climate catastrophe) than an anti-oil campaign aimed at reducing GHG emissions, which is very abstract to your average American.

    Given how limited the effect of progressive anti-oil campaigns has been, perhaps its time to focus on more tangible goals than defeating the oil industry. At this point in progression of climate change, emitting a little less GHGs into the atmosphere is not going to stop climate change. However, a little effort to prepare for the inevitable climate catastrophes can make the difference between a chaotic and civilized response to climate change catastrophes. I’m starting to think preparing for climate change effects may have a better payoff than trying to continue fighting the oil industry.

    Another way to look at this is that the oil industry will die with or without progressive anti-oil campaigning, since production costs will increase beyond sustainability. In the big picture, progressive anti-oil campaigning will have some effect, but the benefits will never be widely acknowledged and appreciated. On the other hand, if progressives lead the effort to prepare for and recover from climate catastrophes, that’s a very tangible accomplishment that progressives can take credit for leading.

  10. dwight says:

    I would count saying “even my wife pointed out to me” is also a pretty poor choice of words and doesn’t show much respect for either his wife or her gender.

    And since when did the tea partiers decide its so important for the president to be so politically correct in what he says so as not to offend? Oh yeah, when he talks about corporations!

  11. Sasparilla says:

    Yeah Rand, lets bring back the company store while your at it.

    The frightening thing is that Rand is a Libertarian (the Koch’s must love him), didn’t hide that fact and he still got elected as a Senator. It boggles the mind.

  12. Andy says:

    The best weapon against this kind of stupidity is successful transformation from fossil fuels to renewables. I heard today that about 1 billion dollars a day are sent out of the U.S. to pay for oil. That means that we could pay 365 billion dollars a year to U.S. farmers and others to grow our own energy through wind, solar and geothermal power and not be out a penny. In fact, the dollars would multiply throughout the domestic economy. Also, domestic oil and gas produces fewer jobs per dollar spent on energy purchase than does renewables and puts money into the pockets of people who will spend it versus those who will use their dividends to buy overseas stocks or commodities. I don’t believe this is being talked about enough; otherwise we wouldn’t be bitching about how renewable energy “costs” 3 cents or so more per kilowatt hour.

    As long as people don’t hear about successful alternatives, they are left with the idea that there is no way out and will resign themselves to failure.

    Rand Paul and other tea party candidates were elected because too many people were dejected and sat the election out.

  13. George Ennis says:

    So this is the “change” the people of Kentucky voted for? It is somewhat ironic since according to the Tax Foundation Kentucky received since 1981 more in federal spending than in taxes paid. For 2005 the most recent year it was $1.51 for every tax dollar paid. Not a bad return particularly for a “tea party” state.

  14. tomfarmer says:

    Rand Paul is a present day politician, but a better man’s son. PBO is the POTUS.

    Whilst nice to occasionally read of contemporaneous related details in the political sphere, we should not allow them to dominate all too obvious relevant facts.