June 17th, 2010
11:56 AM ET
8 years ago

White House responds to lawmakers comments on 'slush fund'

Washington (CNN) - The White House hit back hard at Texas Rep. Joe Barton’s comments Thursday that he is “ashamed” of how the White House has treated BP.

“What is shameful is that Joe Barton seems to have more concern for big corporations that caused this disaster than the fishermen, small business owners and communities whose lives have been devastated by the destruction,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement. “Congressman Barton may think that a fund to compensate these Americans is a ‘tragedy’, but most Americans know that the real tragedy is what the men and women of the Gulf Coast are going through right now. Members from both parties should repudiate his comments.”

Filed under: Joe Barton • Obama administration • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (169 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Tell it like it is Gibbs. I can care less abuot BP's fragile insensibilities. They caused the problem and it's their job to fix the problem. It just baffles me that Rep. Barton is defending a company that makes around 35 billion dollars annually. 20 billion is still chump change.

    June 17, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    THANK YOU GIBBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Enough already with these GOP punks having the unmitigated gall to actually come out of their slush-fund closet in defense of BIG BUSINESS and to hell with average, suffering Americans.

    Enough with the pussy-footing around in the form of good-mannered responses from the White House to the all-out, in-your-face, hate-and-lies filled attack form the GOP against ANYTHING that this President tries to do.

    Enough already. Take the gloves off, keep them off, and hit them with EVERYTHING you've got, including the toilet bowl AND kitchen sink!!

    June 17, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. John , PA

    Everyone but the bleeding heart liberals, tax evading Democratic Party and tax evading Obama administration know THIS WILL BE A SLUSH FUND for Democrats.

    Teleprompter president to resign !
    Let’s review
    higher unemployment
    higher taxes
    higher home foreclosure rate
    tax evading Democratic Party
    tax evading Obama administration
    the “Porkulus” Spending bill
    out of control budget / no budget
    health care reform disaster
    3 terrorist attacks in the USA since Obama took office
    Oil spill disaster in the Gulf

    June 17, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. j russ

    where in the constitution does the executive branch have the authority to extort money from a private (foreign owned) company?

    June 17, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. David in Houston

    So true. Well said!

    June 17, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. John in Cal

    I'm upset that a rep of our government would defend the indefencible. Bp acted out of shear Greed. What is he acting out of in defending BP? how much money did he get from them along with the Party of NO That the entire party is doing the same? That I find reprehensible. All that coastline damaged, not to mention the entire livelyhood of so many people gone and the Republicans defend those responsible? I guess we can see who the Republicans care about more. Each day their words and actions blare it loud and clear, we care about big business, because they give us lots of money, and we care less about the little people. Can you say bye bye?

    June 17, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    Gotta go with Obama on this one.

    Barton made an fool of himself, with his statement. I shall remember that, when I go to the polls, next time.

    June 17, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  8. Four and The Door

    The Obama administration is trying to make up for 6 weeks of sitting on their thumbs by brutalizing BP and making a circus out of it. This is not about the small people. This is about trying to recover Obama's deteriorating image and it is pathetic at best.

    June 17, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  9. HeyHey

    To the GOP, Big Oil is *always* right and never at fault

    GOP: "We're terribly sorry, BP, that you're being held accountable for the disaster you caused, and the loss of life directly attributed to your decisions. Yes, we're terribly sorry. Under a GOP government, only people are liable for the results of their actions; not corporations."

    June 17, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. sonny chapman

    "You're either with us or against us". Well Joe Barton, which is it ?

    June 17, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  11. blr

    No – Barton knows that any fund even remotely connected to Washington will bilk billions out of the pockets of the citizens. Every time govt gets involved in the handling of money – they steal it.

    June 17, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. Beverly - NYC

    Why are we shocked that a Republican would be on the side of big business. The Tea Party Klan members would be all over any Democrat making such an idiotic statement. Mr. Barton would prefer that 5 figure making fishermen go up against a multi billion dollar corporation in the court system. I would like to remind the Rep from Texas that it took 20 yrs to settle the Exxon Valdez suits, what are the people in the gulf supposed to do while they wait. Good going Texas, you have another idiot representing you, maybe you should suceede.

    June 17, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  13. Allen Hussein

    I wish the currents in the Gulf would take a more westerly turn so Texas can get their fair share of the oil spilling in the Gulf. Maybe then Barton will change his tune!

    June 17, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  14. Bill

    Let;s see if this clown calls in a slush fund when Padre Island becomes a cesspool of oil.

    June 17, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. Wil in the VA.

    Why should anyone be shocked at this coming from the republicans. They got blind sided by the president, he got results something they could never had done. They are mad as hell because this is money out of thier pockets that is being given to those that deserve it instead of thier slush funds.

    June 17, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  16. JohninTampa

    Go ahead and secede, Mr. Barton. Just YOU. Imbecile.

    June 17, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. Sarah, the baby seal basher

    Barton is another Corporate scumbag.

    June 17, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Barton is and always has been a total JERK

    June 17, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. TomInRochNY

    Barton is a clear case of a bought and paid for congressman.

    June 17, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  20. Ferret out the BS

    What does the Congressman believe is fair? Something like the litigation and settlement of the Exxon Valdez which went for years, the settlement was reduced to a fraction of the original $5B, lives have been literally destroyed and was finally ordered to be paid out in 2009, 20 years later. Yes, indeed just another example of our Republican leadership being a shill for big business and not a care or sympethic feeling for the American people or America itself. This is a foreign company doing business in this country and making a huge profit doing so. Is this congressman working for America or for a foreign entity?

    June 17, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  21. Mrs_Norman

    The Repuglicans are clueless. Talk about taking their voters for granted. I wonder how the every day man is going to feel about the Repuglican stance.

    June 17, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  22. rs

    Tha absolute GALL of Republicans for even attempting to whip up sympathy for BP! Once again we see their true colors-corporations ahead of everything else, olitics ahead of all else.

    BP is a foreign, high-profit company that cut too many corners and has caused what may be the Earth's greatest ecological disaster. Their Board of Directors (and phony Tony) should be dropped in the gulf and forced to swim ashore in their muck. They should suffer the way wildlife and fishermen are!

    June 17, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. Nadeem

    GOP the spokesmen of big oil

    June 17, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. Johnny DC

    Where in the laws of our land does an administration have the right to judge and sentence a private corporation to an astronomically large settlement? The Congressman has a valid concern – perhaps not worded kindly, but his point is valid.

    Furthermore, BP has agreed to repay damages and has been in lock step with the administration - so why the repeated destruction of BP in the form of degrading remarks and public statements by all Dems and White House personnel? You ask for assistance, and they give it. You ask for funds, they provide it. But then you bash them for political gain?

    Look at the polls that just came out today. They all point towards public dismay with regards to "how BP is handling this situation". Bravo, Democrats. You've gotten your cake and eaten it too. Now you look mildly stronger, and 45% of BP owners (AMERICANS and retirement portfolios) are less fortunate because of it.

    June 17, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    I am not sure what the strategy is in defending BP, but then again, I haven't been able to figure out ANY GOP strategy to date.

    I am quite sure, though, that this is NOT a party I would want in control of either Congress OR the White House again any time soon.

    June 17, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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