June 17th, 2010
05:54 PM ET
4 years ago

Republican given ultimatum

Rep. Joe Barton was told by House GOP leaders to apologize 'immediately' for saying he was 'ashamed' of the Obama administration for asking BP to establish a fund for damage compensation.
Rep. Joe Barton was told by House GOP leaders to apologize 'immediately' for saying he was 'ashamed' of the Obama administration for asking BP to establish a fund for damage compensation.

Washington (CNN) - Under fire for appearing to shield BP from criticism Thursday morning, Rep. Joe Barton was told by House GOP leaders later in the day to apologize "immediately" or lose his position as the senior Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, several Republican sources tell CNN.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, delivered the pointed demand to Barton, a Texas congressman.

Related: Congressman: 'I am ashamed' of 'shakedown' of BP

"He was told apologize immediately or you will lose your position immediately," said a Republican leadership aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The aide added, "Now that he's apologized, we'll see what happens going forward."

After making his controversial comments to BP CEO Tony Hayward, Barton apologized later in the hearing and then followed up with a stronger written statement.


Filed under: BP • Joe Barton • Oil spill
soundoff (217 Responses)
  1. Slider

    Exactly why Boehner and Cantor shouldn't be anywhere near a leadership position when Republicans win in November.

    Folding like lawn chairs. More power to the Federal Government. At any cost.

    Wrong position, guys.

    June 17, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  2. Peter

    its obvious they need to get rid of this guy, his remarks today that fly in the face of Suffering Americans, common decency and what the hell just good ole Patriotism is enuough to sending him packing and for some good advice...do it today!!!

    June 17, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    But but but but

    Boehner initially said the US should ALSO be responsible for these payments.

    Boehner is in the pocket of BP – just recently bought shares of their stock. Boehner is being a politician and doesn't want to lose the seat because of the truth about Barton being spoken ON TV.

    June 17, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  4. once upon a horse

    so once again why wasn't Michelle Backmann given the same type of ultimatum? She said practically the SAME thing even before Barton made this statement. Is it okay for her to get away with it because she's, yeah we know Michelle Backmann and not to be taken seriously? What's good for the goose........

    June 17, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  5. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Lame. Barton is entitled to his own opinion. Last time I checked this is a free country and people are free to speak their minds. Don't try to sugarcoat it Boener. Barton, Angle and Paul are the heart and soul of the Conservative activist agenda. Don't try to spin it.

    June 17, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. SH

    Some folks call it an okie doke, but down here in bush country, this is what we call the Texas two step. And, as long as you ask for but not really ask for a do over, it is ok.

    June 17, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  7. PAUL

    Just another reason why Texas should secede from the Union.

    June 17, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  8. constitutionalpatriot

    who cares! Make em pay for the damage and leave it at that. These guys are making a big deal for political points and I think the American people are starting to see past the false posturing. Fix the deficit then run your mouths!

    June 17, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  9. RTB

    Barton should lose any and all positions he has relating to Energy and Commerce.

    In fact he has no business in Congress.

    June 17, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  10. CR

    Rep. Barton (R) showed his true colors. It's another clear demonstration that the Republicans do not represent the American people, just the interests of Big Oil, Wall Street, insurance companies, etc.

    June 17, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  11. A. Goodwin

    Again...GOP has let another guy off the hook. Saying the rest of us "misconstrued" his words is NOT a stinkin' apology!! And dont apologize to me...apologize to everyone in the Gulf affected by this DISASTER!!

    June 17, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  12. Debbie

    The best the GOP could do was tell him to apologize? The guy just became a traitor to the American people and the best they could do was apologize or he would lose a chairmanship? No, the best they could have done would have been to call for him to resign from Congress ASAP before Joe "Benedict Arnold" Barton was brought up on charges of treason! Or maybe its that the GOP believes that "private businesses" are of more value than American citizens? The love of money is the root of all evil and the new GOP platform is: Of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation

    June 17, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  13. Pam

    He's another corrupt republican who could care less about anything other than the money that oil companies have put in his pockets. Amazing display of greed and he should never be re-elected. Of course, he probably will be because republicans are so out of touch that they'll vote for him again. Weirdos.

    June 17, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  14. Tom

    Joe Barton is a cancerous growth on the Texas Congressional Delegation and should be sliced off. The GOP leadership took a good step today.

    June 17, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  15. Mj

    He's sorry alright sorry he put he's foot in he's mouth and now it's come to bite in him in the butt.

    June 17, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  16. TeddySalad

    Only a member of the Reptilian Party would see BP as the aggrieved party in this mess. I'm sure Barton has some kind words to say about Satan if you asked him.

    June 17, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  17. Jeff S

    This Barton scum is the portrait of what's wrong with our employees in Washington D.C. Representative of corporate, rather than citizen interests. If they are shirking their duty to their employers (the citizenry), they need to step down. This jerk wants us to pay for BP's lack of personal responsibility. That's right – personal. Since we gave them the rights of individuals and then some (thanks Supreme Court for elevating corporations about humans), then we should be able to jail and execute corporations as well.

    June 17, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  18. Greg Kaiser

    Career Done! Talk about a lack of understanding of the situation. His opponent in his next election is licking his/her chops.

    June 17, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  19. lance corporal

    Barton is the GOP core, all politics and all corporate business any thing goes, screw the little guy, I guess some of the leadership is starting to realize this sort of brazen behaviour could back fire, still politics but I guess a good first step, at least they're ACTING ashamed of it

    June 17, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  20. Robert in Texas

    Joe Barton is just your typical ranting red-faced lunatic of the GOP/TeaBaggr party. They are out-of-date, out-of-touch and out-of-ideas to be any help in the modern world. His idiotic blind defense of Big Oil is just him being a loyal republican speaking out loud in public.

    June 17, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  21. lance corporal

    Barton is the GOP core, all politics and all corporate business any thing goes, who cares about the workaday american, I guess some of the leadership is starting to realize this sort of brazen behaviour could back fire, still politics but I guess a good first step, at least they're ACTING ashamed of it

    June 17, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  22. Shannon

    This is how Republicans think, this guy apologizes to BP, John Boehner says the tax payer should pay for the clean up, Michelle Bachman is out there whining that the goverment is beating up on BP. Always side with big business, that's their motto.

    June 17, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  23. Joe Barton was told by House GOP leaders later in the day to apologize "immediately" or lose his position as the senior Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee

    deer in the head lights

    June 17, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  24. Marie MD

    Now that he apologized let's see what happens???
    Throw the bum out on his rear end. This man should NOT be a member of ayn energy committee!! We wonder why BP got away with what they did?
    He meant every word he said. I am sick and tired of people doing or saying things they know is wrong because this is what they think or feel like doing and then apologizing.
    APOLOGY NOT ACCEPTED!!! RESIGN IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!!!!
    He and wilson and all those repugs who still can't get over the 2008 election!!!

    June 17, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  25. Notnek

    I am ashamed of Congress people also Mr Barton. It is about money and getting reelected. Really sad for America when congress puts themselves and money ahead of of this country. I believe the good congressman received a big chunk of change for his comments. sad

    June 17, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
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