Mike Erickson and the Cuba oil-drilling urban legend

Leslie Carlson

Months ago, right-wing commentators, radio hosts and Republican members of Congress were complaining about China drilling for oil off the coast of Florida. As the story went, the Chinese were working with the Cubans, making it even more scandalous. This particular righ-wing talking point was used to help support Republican efforts to mount oil rigs on every coastline in America. If the Chinese can drill for oil off our coast, Republicans asked, why not American oil companies?

This was just one of the many talking points being used in their ongoing effort to ramrod through an oil-only energy policy, something that New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman called "a campaign now built on turning everything possible into a cultural wedge issue — including even energy policy, no matter how stupid it makes the voters and no matter how much it might weaken America."

The Cuban-Chinese oil drilling myth was debunked shortly after it came out of Dick Cheney's mouth. I suspect the myth was started by an over-eager Republican party staffer who had a snippet of information that he/she turned into much more than it was--a tactic that has been used before.

But apparently Mike Erickson didn't get the correction. Here he is speaking at a campaign event in September, still talking about how the Chinese are drilling off the coast of Florida:

Somebody, please, get him the changes to the talking points, and quick. 'Cause urban legends are not good campaign fodder, no matter how many times they are repeated.


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