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. Hall for Obama

    Congressman Barton go down to the Gulf Coast and tell those people that what the White House did was a tragedy. Tell that lady who was walking to work, because they came and took her car because she could not make her car payment, tell the ones who are about to loose their homes, better yet tell the ones who can't put food on the table because they wont have a pay check this week. I can tell who you are in love with and it is not the little people. I can see you love the fat cat. You are so far up BP Behine until we can see you toes.

    June 17, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. Ray

    It is beyond me how anyone in their right mind would come to the defense of BP. If anything, it should be 20 Billion plus some. I just don't get what many of these GOP guys are thinking.

    June 17, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. Chino

    First off, BP is not innocent. But-It is a shakedown. Dems have not hidden how much they dispise big business, particularly big oil. They want to strangle every penny they can get out of BP then discard their corpse when they can get no more. The money is controlled by the Dems and tossed onto the hundreds of billions stolen from the American people that still hasn't even been spent yet via TARP and the "stimulus". These are thugs running our country. Either pay to play or get paid to vote or step aside and watch in horror. If they could have their way, this country would be as lawless as Mexico. Oh, I forgot, they want to give 20 million illegals the right to vote (against Americans) in future elections. Lets import their culture here and "fundamentally change" America permanently.

    June 17, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Sue, Vienna, VA

    It is difficult for me to understand all of the sniping, blaming, and politicizing that is taking place over this catastrophic oil spill. The politicians and media have done a phenomenal job of causing the rancor that is so rampant throughout our country today. This latest statement from Joe Barton is equally absurd as the one I heard last night from Michele Bachmann stating that the government was fleecing BP! It is no wonder that we are referred to so often around the world as "the ugly Americans"! And the amount of blame that is being foisted upon President Obama has reached outrageous levels. The number of crucial events that he has had to deal with in the past 18 months, some well and some not as well, have been staggering, and yet the best thing the media can do is incite people by focusing on the negative, ignoring any positives, and taking another poll!!

    June 17, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. Pat F

    It's fun to watch the Democratic Party show its true, Trial Lawyer colors, and do the mo' money, mo' money dance.

    Who cares about the Gulf, the spill (which continues unchanged) or the workers and residents (who DO NOT want drilling stopped)? As long as we get the dough-re-me, it's all good, right???

    June 17, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  6. Larry

    I agree with Gibbs. it's obvious how many coastal politicians are being paid by big oil, and how they could care less about the people they represent.

    June 17, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    He's from Bush Big Oil Country – what do you expect.

    Records show that Neo-cons got 66% of contributions to their campaigns. GO FIGURE

    June 17, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. Hall for Obama

    John PA this is not about all that Shit you are talking about, this is about BP " fund to compensate these Americans is a ‘tragedy’," Keep real fool. If you hate Obama just say so no one give flip about your like or dislike we love him any way.

    June 17, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. Jay / Republican = Party of No Intelligence

    He apologized to BP that they have to start paying now instead of playing the legal system for years to minimize their payout (aka Exxon Valdez process) after a decade or more.

    Another Republican who cares about this poor company that made 16B last year being abused by our President.

    It's a shame that there are that many stupid people in this country that idiots like this make it into Congress to actually apologize to a company that cost incalculable loss.

    Idiot Barton, how many things should BP apologize for? Moron.

    June 17, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. Ira Garoon

    I guess Barton would rather have a legal means of getting the money from BP rather than an illegal slush fund.
    Oh yes, the courts are so backed up and there is such a delay in cases that it would take years, if not decades to decide this.

    But, we have to reform health care.

    Mr. Obama, you are supposed to be a lawyer. Don't you think it is time to get the legal system in order to handle situations like this legally, not be your highness declaring guilt and innocence?

    June 17, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  11. Geshrwh

    My head spins when I hear people like Congressman Joe Barton say that the Obama Administration did a “$20 Billion Shakedown of BP” by making them have to put money into a fund toward the clean up of the mess they have created. The republicans have been opposed to lifting the $75 MILLION cap to make BP pay any more than this amount. I wonder why? I thought Republicans say we can’t keep spending money we don’t have so why do they want taxpayers to pick up the tab for this horrific mess in the Gulf of Mexico? I wonder why republicans don’t agree that BP should be responsible for their actions? Taxpayers didn’t create this horrific Gulf situation, a company, specifically BP, did! THEY should pay for the clean up, jobs lost, etc, and, not taxpayers. I wonder why many republicans don’t agree and wish to be “nice” to the oil company(companies)? Could it be that those making such statements get large contributions from oil companies for their reelection bids? WHERE are the leaders of the republican party coming out to say that Barton’s should apologize for his comments?

    June 17, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. Michael from Ventura

    Hopefully America is noticing that the gop has once again sided with big oil and corporations............What ever happened to OF the PEOPLE, BY the PEOPLE and FOR the PEOPLE? The Michele Bachmanns of the world who side with this "character" are oblivious TO the PEOPLE!

    June 17, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  13. Hammerer

    The real tregady is the actions of obama. 58 days before he talked to BP. After days of blasting Big Oil in the media and making grandstand statements about the spill such as "I am in charge","who's ass to kick"and assorted childish statements.
    After all of the golf rounds had been played, the basketball season most over someone told obama about the well blowout.
    obama held a "news" conference and let the public see for themselves how totally inert he is as a leader.
    What a mistake the voters made!

    June 17, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. Michael from Ventura

    This is what is needed- don't try to "play nice" with the devil!

    June 17, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  15. Glennis

    Well, it IS a slush fund. Legally, Obama has no real right to demand that money from BP. (Not that I don't think BP deserves to pay.) But if they wanted to be open and above board about how the monies are dispensed, they' get a respected, reliable, independent outside firm to do it, rather than some White House appointed czar.

    June 17, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  16. Realistic

    The republicans are once again showing their true color, business before people and profit of their biggest contributors are more important than the people they swore to serve. To republicans all that matters is that political piggy banks stay intact so they continue to reap the rewards of their money. Its shameful that the republicans continue to fight to protect BP than help the fisherman, hotel owners and small businesses. This is why the republicans continue to fight to keep the limit cap on how much BP will have to pay or can be sued for. In the end, republicans are not good for anything but to get in the way of helping the american people.

    I know some will argue that President got alot of money from BP but in general, republicans reap more from big business, especially oil corporations. Atleast the democrats are trying to save tax payers from footing the bill, the 20 billion fund, lifting the limit cap and so on and the republicans are trying to block every effort to protect their *political slush fund* for future elections and thats shameful.

    June 17, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  17. Dave R.

    Coming from a TX Repub, that figures. Just further proves that Republicans are owned by big oil. I wonder what Barton would be saying if the oil showed up on the TX coast. Any one agreeing with him should be in the gulf helping to clean up this mess.

    June 17, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. lovable liberal

    Another stupid and venal comment from a Republican! I love it whenever the White House highlights one of GOP's advocates of kleptocracy.

    June 17, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. Mickey, NY

    Texas Rep. Joe Barton, ladies and gentlemen, is what the Republican party is all about.

    To react like this to a major environmental catastrophe is indicitive of mental illness, which seems to run rampant in the GOP.

    Does the base that makes up the GOP really want to be associated with this?

    June 17, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. dcmisty

    I dare Mr. Barton to travel to the heart of the Gulf Coast fishing communities and make this same exact statement to a room full of shrimpers and fishing families who can't make their house payments or buy groceries and let's see if they want to "apologize" to BP. All I've heard in this hearing is "Politics as usual" on BOTH sides of the aisle. Too bad the political posturing can't be put aside just this once for the sake of the people who are really suffering from this..those along the Gulf Coast not the political clowns in Washington, DC. Is it any wonder why the American people have no faith in the government!

    June 17, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. masgap

    America please throw out all Republicans you can in the upcoming elections. They just care about big business and to be in power.

    Never mind most of the people. They have fought Obama and the Democates from day one.

    We got to give the president more of a mandate in the Senate to get things done. Please vote Democratic in the upcoming elections and
    please realize the Republicans do not have your best wished in mind.

    June 17, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Kevin Collins

    You defenders of Barton on this - please. If you had a business or worked in a business in the affected states that was directly affected by the spill, you'd be giving Obama a high-five for securing that $20-billion. Once again, extreme-right GOPers have more consideration for Big Oil than the common working people.

    June 17, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  23. Slider

    Focus, leftists, if you can, that there is nothing under the constitution for the president to extort from any person or company. We have a court system and we have law for that stuff.

    You clowns are also missing the big picture: there are many people whose retirements and plans are linked to BP's stock price. The retirees are the ones footing the bill, and their dividends (a source of income for retirees) are being held back. It is also affecting the UK, as BP, like most oil companies, pay a huge amount of tax to their government, just as they do in the USA.

    I'm willing to bet that if this were a Detroit car company, all of you boneheads and your unions would be screaming if a president were to do what Obama is doing to BP.

    Huge ignorance and lack of understanding about how business works and its relationship to employees and retirees is why you and your ideology are failing this country.

    Then again, I hope you never really understand. You are the new 'Ugly American'.

    June 17, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. Donnatella

    The teabaggers out their should be so proud, his man is defending a foreign oil company that has destroyed the entire gulf coast. It's just so american, I will never vote republican again, I don't care how bad it gets this is insane.

    June 17, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  25. masgap

    America please throw out all Republicans you can in the upcoming elections. They just care about big business and to be in power.

    Never mind most of the people. They have fought Obama and the Democrates since day one

    We got to give the president more of a mandate in the Senate to get things done. Please vote Democratic in the upcoming elections and
    please realize the Republicans do not have your best wishes in mind.

    June 17, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
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