Senate GOP warns Obama against using spill to push for energy bill

Senate Republicans pleaded with President Barack Obama on Thursday to focus on solving the oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico and drop a push for energy legislation.

A new video takes aim at White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's admonition to "never let a serious crisis go to waste" in order to warn Obama against using the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to pivot and push for energy legislation, including strong measures to rein in climate change.

"Americans need you to solve this crisis," the GOP warned in the new Web video, "not use it."

The video features clips of the oil spill's more disastrous impacts, with birds and wetlands covered in oil. The GOP also sought to tie the current debate to the healthcare debate and the administration's stimulus package — two examples, it says, of the administration having used crises in order to help push its top legislative priorities.

The video underscores a message that Republicans in the House and Senate have sought to push over the week, warning the president against pursuing too broad an energy bill and accusing him of "exploiting" the oil spill crisis.

“Every time we face a crisis, it seems, this administration takes us on another ideological tour of the far-left to-do list, when all the American people want from it are some straightforward, practical solutions," Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said Wednesday. "So the White House may view this oil spill as an opportunity to push its agenda in Washington, but Americans or more concerned about what it plans to do to solve the crisis in the Gulf.”

View the video below: