PI Original Adam Doster Wednesday June 18th, 2008, 4:10pm

Kirk Peddles Debunked China Drilling Claim, Mixes Up "Osama" And "Obama" (UPDATED)

Another day, another instance of Rep. Mark Kirk twisting the facts.

Last week, we noted his falsehoods about the uninsured population in America. Yesterday, we thoroughly debunked his bogus claim that the federal unemployment insurance benefit extension he voted ...

Another day, another instance of Rep. Mark Kirk twisting the facts.

Last week, we noted his falsehoods about the uninsured population in America. Yesterday, we thoroughly debunked his bogus claim that the federal unemployment insurance benefit extension he voted against would lead people to cash in after two weeks of work.

Then, during an appearance on WLS' Don Wade & Roma Morning Show today, Kirk falsely asserted that the Chinese are drilling for oil off the coast of Cuba. Listen here:

Internal mp3

Vice President Dick Cheney made the same claim last week in front of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, adding that "even the communists have figured out that a good answer to high prices is more supply."

But the assertion that the Chinese are drilling in the Gulf of Mexico -- first put forth by George Will -- is completely false.

Jorge Piñon, an energy expert at the University of Miami’s Center for Hemispheric Policy, told The Miami Herald that “China is not drilling in Cuba’s Gulf of Mexico waters, period.” The Congressional Research Service agrees.

After being called out on the mistake, Cheney backtracked last Wednesday, saying: "It is our understanding that, although Cuba has leased out exploration blocks 60 miles off the coast of southern Florida, which is closer than American firms are allowed to operate in that area, no Chinese firm is drilling there."

Why then, Rep. Kirk, are you still peddling this trash a week later?

And then there's this ...

Since Barack Obama stepped onto the national stage, public officials from John Ashcroft to Ted Kennedy to Mitt Romney have mistakenly referred to him as "Osama." Today, Mark Kirk added himself to this illustrious list. However, I think it goes without saying that he picked a most inopportune context.

Listen to Kirk express his support for a policy "where if we see Obama there's a shoot-on-sight order":

Internal mp3

Obviously, Kirk meant to say "Osama." But geez ... talk about a gaffe.

From the June 18 broadcast of WLS' Don Wade & Roma in the Morning:

DON WADE: The big news this morning is John McCain said, "We're going to have drilling offshore." That's what I want. That's a change. President Bush now says -- he's going to have a statement in the Rose Garden at 9:30 about drilling offshore. Sixty-seven percent of Americans say: "Drill offshore." Let's find out what Congressman Mark Kirk thinks.

ROMA: Well, we've asked him your litmus test before and he too --

DON WADE: Good morning, congressman.

KIRK: It makes no sense to allow the Chinese to drill on the Cuban side of the line in Florida without us tapping into the very same oil fields. We've got the Venezualans, the Dutch, and the Chinese all drilling in the gulf under leases from Cuba because it's on their side of the line. It makes perfect sense that the United States makes sure our team gets that oil before Castro does.

ROMA: Well, can Nancy Pelosi hear the beating of the drums

KIRK: You know, the mood of the country has shifted quite a bit and so I think it's time for a long-term set of solutions on our energy crisis. Probably the other big decision we should make is to restart the nuclear industry of the United States.

[...]

DON WADE: In fact, yesterday in a conference call, Barack Obama's advisers were asked, "If Osama bin Laden were caught, should he get to challenge his detention in U.S. courts?" And the advisers said that -- should that right to challenge detention that they get at Gitmo based on the Supreme Court ruling, should that be applied to bin Laden? -- and Obama's advisers said, "Yes."

KIRK: Yeah, and I would much rather have a policy where if we see Obama there's a shoot-on-sight order.

DON WADE: Well, okay. I'm with you, but I don't know whether that's going to make 67 -- well it might --

ROMA: I don't think Osama bin Laden -- no one ever sights him.

UPDATE: Kirk apologizes to Obama for mixing him up with Osama.

UPDATE 2: More from Kirk's appearance on WLS.

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