Geraldo Rivera, Bill O'Reilly hammer Michele Bachmann [VIDEO]
Updated: DFLer Tarryl Clark's campaign makes hay out of the Fox News angle. See below.
Is Michele Bachmann losing Fox News? First, Bill O'Reilly makes her squirm for those tone deaf and factually challenged comments last week defending BP. Then Geraldo Rivera piles on.
Here's a reminder of what she said to set off the Fox yakmeisters:
"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."
O'Reilly video first, followed below by an excerpt from the interview:
O'REILLY: Whoa? I mean extortion, shakedown ... look ... if the executive branch, the presidency, isn't going to force BP to pony up the money ... Who will? Who would?
BACHMANN: The point isn't who's responsible. BP's clearly responsible. The point isn't should BP be responsible to financially reimburse these tragic victims. Of course they should. The question is who will run the fund? And that was my point .. ... which is dealing with will this fund be politicized ...
O'REILLY: Alright but that's not how it came across.
BACHMANN: It isn't as though ...
O'REILLY: Congresswoman, that's not how it came across. You're dodging my question about extortion and about a shakedown. Do you think Obama shook down BP?
BACHMANN: I think they put pressure on them ... remember he previously said he wanted a criminal investigation. So the people that were around that table were thinking they might end up in the slammer.
O'REILLY: Is that wrong? Is that wrong to put that kind of pressure on them? I think you'd do it. Wouldn't you do it?
And here's the Rivera video, followed by an exerpt:
RIVERA: Do you withdraw the word "extortion" or do you not withdraw the word "extortion" within the context of your comments about BP?
BACHMANN: I believe in the idea of BP paying all of this off. What I don't believe in is politicizing this fund. It shouldn't be run out of the White House. It shouldn't be run out of the Administration. It should be run out of the system that we already have set up, which is through the courts. That was the context of my remarks.
RIVERA: Be that as it may, you have characterized the White House as an extortionist and withheld, it seems to me, the strongest criticism for the oil company.
The escrow fund is not being run "out of the White House."
This $20 billion will provide substantial assurance that the claims people and businesses have will be honored. It's also important to emphasize this is not a cap. The people of the Gulf have my commitment that BP will meet its obligations to them. BP has publicly pledged to make good on the claims that it owes to the people in the Gulf, and so the agreement we reached sets up a financial and legal framework to do it.
Another important element is that this $20 billion fund will not be controlled by either BP or by the government. It will be put in a escrow account, administered by an impartial, independent third party. So if you or your business has suffered an economic loss as a result of this spill, you'll be eligible to file a claim for part of this $20 billion. This fund does not supersede either individuals' rights or states' rights to present claims in court. BP will also continue to be liable for the environmental disaster it has caused, and we're going to continue to work to make sure that they address it.
Bachmann challenger Tarryl Clark's campaign has already capitalized on Bachmann's loyalties with this TV commercial. And now, her campaign manager used the Rivera and O'Reilly arguments to make political hay on Monday.
"A chorus of voices - from those demanding that Congresswoman Bachmann be held accountable for what she has said to her allies who want to give her a chance to apologize - agree that Michele Bachmann is on the wrong side of this issue," Zach Rodvold said in a release. "Even Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera believe - as does an overwhelming majority of the American public - that BP ought to pay for every penny of this disaster, and that all efforts should be made to ensure that's the case."
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