June 17th, 2010
05:54 PM ET
5 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. Larry

    Talk about two-faced....

    Two weeks ago Boehner went on the record declaring the oil spill was not a national disaster and that BP AND the taxpayer were responsible for making it right.

    Boehner is pure fraud.

    June 17, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. Dwayne

    Barton massively embarrassed our country...he is a TRAITOR and should be treated as such.

    June 17, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  3. Russ in Benton AR

    I almost choked when I saw this fool on cnn live spouting this garbage. TEXAS WAKE UP!

    June 17, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  4. Clint, Wa.

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

    The world must be coming to an end. I never in my life thought that I would ever agree with anything either one (i was going to say idiots) but I can't say that this time,I am in total shock.

    June 17, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. Michael N Hindin

    This oil company puppet is ashamed of President Obama for persuading BP to show good faith by depositing 20 million dollars against accumulating severe damage damage claims from his fellow Americans?
    He must be bought an paid for by big oil money. Watch the sources of his campaign funds and unlimited corporate ads in his behalf. Insincere apology not accepted.

    June 17, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    I guess American voters are pleased watching the circus Congress can create to beat up on foreign companies like BP and Toyota. Not that I disagree at all with accountability and making sure that these companies are held responsible for their errors. But Federal regulators had no small part in this tragedy. Were they hauled up in front of congress to answer for their negligence in front of the whole country? I don't think so.

    June 17, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  7. Briana from RVA

    I'm finally proud my congressman Eric Cantor.

    June 17, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  8. Shake Hands

    Apology? Not Good Enough, Dems Say
    Here’s an idea: We’ll get Barton together with Congressman Bob Etheridge. Bob can manhandle a better apology out of him.

    June 17, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  9. Mark Ferbet, KCMO

    He should be forced to resign. What AN Idiot... How can he sit on that committee and not see the results of BP's and two other companies failure to protect the Gulf from their short cuts, and shady practices....

    If I was in Texas, I would be demanding his immediate resignation. I find his judgement to be impaired, or paid off... and that should be enough to demand his resignation and removal from Congress.

    June 17, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  10. Brian

    I say shakem shakem shakem right down!!!!!!!

    June 17, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. Larry

    How could one possibly continue to keep his position after such an obvious biased position in favor of BIG OIL ...

    Apology or not ...

    June 17, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  12. eric in oregon

    We can't have the GOP appearing to be in bed with big business while screwing the "Little People" now can we?

    June 17, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  13. Steve

    "Come on, dude... you're making us look bad....."

    June 17, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    Yeah whatever. Barton's not up for re-election in 2010. They don't have the people up for re-election participate in drawing straws for who has to throw out the talking point grenade. They wanted it out there that this was a "shakedown," so someone had to say it. They all know full well that you can't put the sh-t back in the dog. No matter how much the GOPers say they disagree, there will now be a faction of their base repeating Barton's disgusting statements ad nauseum and THAT was the goal.

    June 17, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  15. GOP=PIG

    Its funny to see the repubs scrambling to pretend they support the average American. I guess barton didnt get the memo in time. hahahaha!

    June 17, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  16. ProudDEM

    A forced apology means nothing. I cannot believe that many American's want these type of people back in power. Un-freakin-Believable.

    June 17, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  17. Video Guy

    That's the way the GO(B)P should handle a Congress person that misspeaks and tell the public the true party line. That was very un_Tea like of him to let the cat out of the bag.

    June 17, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  18. Honestly

    Are we going to just pretend that Barton was the only Republican claiming a trust fund for victims was a 'shakedown'?

    What about Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) who called it a "redistribution-of-wealth fund" Tuesday?

    What about the Republican Study Committee (house members) who called it "Chicago-style shakedown politics" and said "These actions are emblematic of a politicization of our economy that has been borne out of this Administration's drive for greater power and control."

    And what about the big one (literally), Rush Limbaugh who called it a "slush fund" and a "bailout fund"?

    And what about Republican Gov. Haley ("what oil") Barbour saying that forcing BP to pay the money now would cut into their profits and somehow paying the victims would impede BPs ability to make money so it was bad.

    On Fox News, Stuart Varney and Sean Hannity speculated that the account would be used as a "political slush fund."

    June 17, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  19. mark

    I think its this guys fault Obama waited until now to do anything!

    June 17, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  20. a little sad

    Too little, too late.

    And actually, too FUNNY!

    June 17, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  21. 1Handyman

    I guess we will see if it was a shake down when we see how much BP donates to President Obams’s campaign fund later.

    June 17, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  22. Sean

    He should be expelled immediately.

    June 17, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  23. Dee

    This idiot should be exiled from the country.

    June 17, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  24. guy from NM

    However they might present it, the Reps are corporate lap dogs, they cannot hide that fact. Not that the Dems are better

    June 17, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  25. Ron Mosher

    This is typical Republican thinking. Corporations over people. $$$ over people. The apology means nothing. This is how Republicans are.

    June 17, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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