Sparks flew on our powerhouse roundtable this morning as Liz Cheney, a former Bush administration official, and Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, sparred over who was ultimately responsible for the conditions that led to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
“The truth is,” Huffington said, “that right now we have precisely the regulatory system that the Bush-Cheney administration wanted: full of loopholes, full of cronies and lobbyists filling the very agencies they are supposed to be overseeing the industry.”
“So,” George Will asked, “it’s Bush’s fault? Just clear this up.”
“It is absolutely, a thousand percent Bush-Cheney’s fault,” Huffington said.
“Ahh,” Will sighed.
“I actually heard that George Bush was responsible for the breakup of Tipper and Al Gore’s marriage too,” Liz Cheney said sarcastically. “I mean it’s incredible the extent to which people are now trying to shift blame.”
“You gotta look at the facts,” Cheney said. “For years you have been demonizing Bush and Cheney and I’m sure you will continue to demonize them for years going forward, but we have got now a catastrophe on the Gulf Coast…that happened on this administration’s watch, which this administration is failing to clean up,” she said, adding that President Obama was failing to show leadership on the oil spill.
“Right here, we have the posterchild of Bush-Cheney crony capitalism, Halliburton, and we haven’t said about that,” Huffington hit back. “They, after all, were responsible for cementing the well. Here is Halliburton, after it defrauded the American taxpayer of hundreds of millions of dollars…”
“Arianna,” Cheney interrupted. “I don’t what planet you live on, but that’s not planet earth.”
“I’m living on this planet,” Huffington said.
“What you’re saying, has no relationship to the truth,” Cheney insisted. “Your assertion that Halliburton defrauded the U.S. government… Arianna, it’s absolutely not true.”
“I’m so glad PolitiFact is going to be checking this,” Huffington said, smiling. “I’m so glad.”
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