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. BOOTSTOMPER

    Who are these clowns, and what planet did they come from?

    June 17, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  2. John

    Lets see now........*1 recipient of oil funds in his PAC, he knows who butters his bread and it ain't the "poor suckers" who live on the gulf and have to deal with polution, loss of wages, loss of career, loss of house (if they can't make their payment).......so he apologized, we know how he "passionately" he feels as an individual.....almost had tears coming out of his eyes when he apologized on behalf of the country...................pathetic!!!!!

    June 17, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  3. DS

    Joe Barton should be asked to resign not only from the Energy & Commerce Committee, but also from the Congress. He is an insult to the country.

    June 17, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  4. Ignacio

    I doubt Barton's apology will remove the taint which attached to the House Republicans, and my guess is that he will be sacrificed.

    June 17, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  5. barbra k

    I cannot believe a Representative of the People of the U.S. would be that
    stupid to say such a thing. First the environment has been jeopardized.
    Second:The seafood supply has been jeopardized. Third:The wildlife has
    been endangered. Fourth: Livlihoods have been jeopardized. I could go on
    and on. The sad thing.there is no end in sight. They are talking August the earliest before they can stop the flow of oil.Believe me, so much more will be ruined.And August is not a firm commitment. Lets just hope so.Is
    Mr.Barton so concerned because he is on the payroll of BP? If not payroll
    is he getting monies from BP? Is Mr. Barton just being a redneck. Does
    he ever show any sense at all? Or,is this how a Texan acts and thinks? I
    give credit to the Republican party for demanding an apology!!! And,I didn't reflect it in my statement, but I am a Democrat.Goodbye Mr.Barton.

    June 17, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  6. Wimpy

    Ok, we need to ban both parties. No more political parties..everyone runs on their own merits. Term limits, etc. This guy is obviously deep in the pockets of the oil industry, then again, what politician is not? Both parties stink to high heaven.

    June 17, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  7. aProudTexan

    Barton did not apologize to "shield BP from criticism" (as the article says). Barton made his comment to be a "typical" republican to put down Obama and the White House. No matter what Obama does the republicans trash him, insult him, criticize him, and belittle him and his accomplishments. It is always like a "race" with the republicans to see who can throw the first and best insult towards Obama at every decision and action Obama makes.

    It is obvious the republicans are nonfunctional immature losers. WAKE UP AMERICA! GOP = Greed, Oil, Power.

    June 17, 2010 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  8. Jeff

    Is anyone gullible enough to believe the apology? If so, they probably still believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy!

    June 17, 2010 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  9. John

    Too late! Nobody told all the right wing bloggers (and makers of comments here) that Barton didn't have the party line. They're all too overextended now to pull back. Besides, Barton's position seems to have been echoed by many other Republican politicos.

    June 17, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  10. JT in FortWorth

    "Local Dimwit Makes Headlines Again" What a pathetic, tiny man this is. He does, however, know on which side his bread is buttered. He's bought and paid for...isn't there a word for that?

    June 17, 2010 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  11. Oh No!

    Barton has enthusiastically endorsed the poisoning of his own constituents with the uncontrolled emissions of the caustic cement plants in north Texas. No wonder he has taken up for BP and his 'kill the people' approach.

    June 17, 2010 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  12. NC

    He should be forced to resign from Congress. To all of my fellow Americans affected on the Gulf Coast, my Prayers are with you and those working so hard to help you.

    June 17, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  13. California Lady

    Rep. Joe Barton is so partisan that he is now biased beyond belief. His statements in Congress today were ridiculous. He deserves to be censured for his remarks. His accusations were false and stupid.
    Standing up for BP in this situation is political nonsense. Barton's
    words truly stink. He rnow ranks at the very bottom of the barrel in intelligence and in doing what is good for the American people and our environment.

    June 17, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  14. Nick, CA

    Ha Ha Ha.. for all the tough talk the Republicans speak... after all the tough guy routine... they tell him to "apologize" or else!! Ha Ha ha..... That's all you got!! They want him to lie to the public about how he feels on the matter... or else!!! Ha ha ha.. and you say liberals are soft!!! Ha Ha ha... its funny how they want to force him so that it doesn't screw up the good ol Republican name and expose the true core values in election season!!

    June 17, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  15. sally

    A forced apology is no apology! Probably many congressmen/women beholden to the oil companies feel the same way. Certainly, the GOP doesn't want to see the oil companies regulated. Barton is simply more upfront and blatant or, shall we say, he is less deceiving...up to the point when he buckled to the pressure and apologized..

    June 17, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  16. Rza

    Great, so he was forced to apologize. That makes everything alright. Still doesn't change how this man thinks. What a chump!

    June 17, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  17. NoWay

    Still a GOP no-body who needs to vanish.

    June 17, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  18. Lee, Mays Landing, NJ

    Republicans agree with him but just don't like the way it looks.

    He's not the only Republican, Haley Barbour, Rand Paul and others have stated their opposition to BP paying up into a escrow fund with comments that it's too harsh etc.

    Others just want to shift the focus away from BP and blame Obama (of course) for everything. This is what the leader of the Republican Party, Rush Limpbaugh, instructed them to do.

    Lisa Murkowski (Republican Senator) has also blocked the Senates move to quickly eliminate BP's tiny liability cap. The Republicans are protecting BP, make no mistake about it – the people don't count. And they take southern whites for granted as they figure race and racism is the most powerful motivator for their "base".

    June 17, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  19. Michael

    I live in Joe Barton's district here in Texas. I don't think that he represents my view on what happened. I am with the Obama Administration on making BP be held responsible for what they have done. I believe that the oil companies, and manufacturers have Barton in their pocket. He's the one who should be ashamed.

    June 17, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  20. Wood

    His behavior is indicative of the political climate surrounding the Rethuglican party...

    June 17, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  21. USN

    GOP is sounding like DEMS, Barton is trying to shine light on obumer mis management . But if you like jackasson and Sharkton shacking down a company that is already paying is OK and espeacially if the company is onboard for CAP AND TAX SCAM THAT WILL RECLAME ALL THE LOSS>

    June 17, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  22. R Beers

    I hope all "the little people" vote these big business Republicans out of office this year!

    June 17, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  23. Jack

    The only reason–the ONLY reason Barton is apologizing is because he will lose his position as committee chair. His background is in the gas industry. He is sympathetic, to the point of irrationality, to the oil and gas industries. Those are his people, not the fishermen, or resort or restaurant owners of the Gulf. Unfortunately, he's only saying what most of the GOP believes but won't say for fear of a backlash.

    June 17, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  24. Waiting

    Funny how the rats float to the top as the ship sinks around them.

    June 17, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  25. Bosco56

    "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"

    WOW, you can't even see where the GOP ventriloquist's hand goes up Barton's back,

    June 17, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
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