STEELE: Well, I mean, our own speaker of the House referred to American citizens as un-American, so I think referring to a policy which he did not say it was un-American per se. He said going in that direction could be an un-American--
TAPPER: We have -- we actually have the video clip. Let's watch that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: What I don't like from the president's administration is this sort of, you know, I'll put my boot heel on the throat of BP, and I think it's part of this sort of blame game society in the sense that it's always got to be someone's fault, instead of the fact that maybe sometimes accidents happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Certainly, accidents happen is not what you want the Republican response about the BP oil spill--
STEELE: Well, you know, well, look, I mean, it's not -- people shouldn't worry about the Republican response to the BP oil spill. They should worry about the Democrat president's response to the BP oil spill. It is one thing to actually get on the ground and get in front of this thing. It's another thing to sit back and hold BP accountable without helping them, and that's what's happening here. I mean, the federal government should have stepped into this thing immediately, to help make sure that the appropriate steps are being taken by BP, all federal agencies in support of the state government to try to get this thing cleaned up. And here we are, almost a month and a half later, and it's still spilling oil.
TAPPER: How about that, Chairman Kaine? A lot of Democrats are criticizing the Obama administration for not doing enough to hold BP accountable.
KAINE: The administration is doing two things. It starts with BP's accountability, and Rand Paul is wrong. It isn't un-American to hold somebody accountable for a massive environmental disaster of this kind. This isn't just a mistake that we can wash away. BP has got to be accountable for stopping the spill and then cleaning up and paying for the consequences. The administration has had a team working with BP from the very beginning trying to look at ways to help them do it, but it is BP's job. They have to be held accountable, and saying that it's just a mistake that needs to be washed away, or saying, as Rand Paul did, for example, that, you know, we needn't be so worried about things like mining regulations -- I mean, this is a very important role that the government has, to protect the safety of the environment and the health of its citizens. And so, Rand Paul's statements along these lines are very, very troubling, and it's important for Republican leaders to say whether they back this kind of an attitude or not.
I was a civil rights lawyer for 17 years. Rand Paul wrote a letter about the Fair Housing Act to a local newspaper, saying a free society should tolerate private discrimination, even if it means that hate-filled groups exclude people based on the color of their skin.
TAPPER: That's pretty much a direct quote.