In the middle of the disastrous Gulf coast oil spill, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) sought to put distance between herself and the oil industry on Wednesday.
In an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Landrieu, who has been at the receiving end of large contributions from oil companies, declared: "I am not a hand maiden to the oil industry."
She added that she had received campaign donations from both oil companies and from environmental groups: "I'm very proud to actually receive money from both sides of this debate because they, I believe, understand that I'm as honest a broker as I can be here."
Landrieu said on Tuesday that she did not intend to return the contributions from oil companies she had already received. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, "individuals and employees" associated with BP gave Landrieu's campaign almost $17,000 during the 2008 election cycle.
"Senator Landrieu has no plans to return donations from BP's PAC or BP employees" Landrieu's communications director Aaron Saunders said, according to the Open Secrets blog.
Watch video of Landrieu's appearance: