June 17th, 2010
11:56 AM ET
5 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. snow

    Repudiate the Senator, heck we need to impeach nobummer. He only cares about photo ops where he can try to appear that he cares when in fact he could not care less about the people of this country.

    June 17, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. TEW

    OK, this is how warped these GOP, free market proponents and libertarians are.....

    First; the Obama Admin attempted to allow BP to employ free market solutions to fix their blunder and as you can see after all the lies about actual oil spill quantity and environmental effects this approach did not work for the people of LA.

    Then these same wacked out proponents of "limited government intervention" demanded that the Federal Gov't dedicate all its resources to remedy the situation.

    The Admin was in a damned if you do – damned if you don't situation because if the Fed Gov't expended tax dollars during the initial crises it would not have any leverage to force BP to respond, BP would eventually walk away and the tax payers would be saddled with more debt and of course the Prez would be skewered by the GOP crazies.

    The Obama Admin worked to secure a 20 Billion fund to compensate effected LA citizens and again the wacked out right wingers apologize to the very person responsible for the devastation.

    It's obvious that this Prez will never be able to satisfy the Crazy Right and It is clear that GOP Reps from MN, MS, TX and WV, poorly represent the intellectual prowess of its citizens and the quality of its school system.

    June 17, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. melanie in north carolina

    This is exactly what's wrong with the GOP – they'd rather protect Corporations than people. I hope we see this a lot between now & November, of course, it's being minimized on CNN.COM – heck, it is under a story that was posted 2 hours earlier about the SC dem race – it isn't to be found on the front page of cnn.com but I can learn about Sarah Palin & Levi's relationship.

    June 17, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. Senator

    What's the logic in defending BP, I never knew we had so many ignorant people in public office: These are the very people that Love God, Guns, Guts, country and all that other foolishness the spew out of their mouth: Wonder what the reaction would be if something tragic happened in say Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, or Utah?

    June 17, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. Tina in NC

    What is truly sad is reading the comments in defense of BP and the congressman. The President did not force BP to set up this fund! Would you have preferred this drag out in the courts for years?

    How can you hate one party or one President so much that you would defend the indefensible is beyond me. The political ideology going on right now is making people crazy and blind to basic empathy and common sense!

    June 17, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  6. huh??

    So, first the GOP complains Obama isn't doing enough to punish BP and force them to make things right. Then, when Obama forces BP to set aside a fund that will be spent on the victims of this travesty the GOP cries foul. Obviously the GOP doesn't want anyone to remember what happened with the EXXON spill and I'm sure all the neocons haven't a clue. EXXON had the payout tied up in courts for over twenty years and when they finally exercised every appeal possible they paid only 1/10 of the original amount, TWENTY years LATER!!! Including inflation they paid about 1/20th of the original amount. I can't even fathom how anyone would want a GOP president, or a majority in congress because they are clearly bought and paid for by big oil. Check out Senator Murkowski from Alaska. She voted down the possibility of no cap on the limit BP will pay for this mess. Then she introduced some bs bill that would basically allow BP to pay what they felt necessary. GOP=INSANE rabid dogs

    June 17, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. Pat F

    To all the fools dancing on BP's grave:

    1. A bankrupt company won't pay anyone anything;

    2. 40% of BPs shares are US owned;

    3. Don't cry when your pension slashes your benefits – you can't rape corporations, and retire on $3,000 per month

    June 17, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  8. geecee

    This is all truly amazing. I will admit that as a big Obama supporter, I am dismayed at the slowness of his administration's response to the oil spill disaster. I would have thought they would scour the earth for tankers to suck up the oil as it leaked from the damaged well first and foremost, whether or not they could have legally done this. We needed our Gulf Coast protected. Of course, leaving it to BP didn't turn out to be the best decision. In any event, though, I cannot understand any defense whatsoever of BP, especially by any person in Congress, and to say they shouldn't have to pay for the damage they caused is incomprehensible. This is just one terrible mess all the way around!!

    June 17, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. gary

    can we say retarded republicans?

    June 17, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. anotherGDlefty

    Let's just remember what Barton said when Texas shores have oil washing up on them and they want compensation.

    The current administration has done more than Bush 1 did during the Valdez spill.

    The third party person picked to handle the funds was good enough for John Ashcroft but now he's an Obama czar?
    Where do you people get this craziness?
    Oh yeah, Fox Opinion Channel.

    I hope my post isn't over your heads since I tried to do it above a 10th grade level...

    June 17, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. Senator

    all of these ignorant people on this post need to go back to school: If you car hits a utility pole, You're going to pay for property damages, and nobody extorted more money and killed more people than the last 3 Republican Presidents, Dick Chaney is the Oil thieving King and John PA–all of the Presidents use the teleprompter, it just that Bush was so dumb you thought he was thing or in deep thought– Name one President with more education than President Obama. the list that you ran off of all the problems were left over form 8 years of leadership from someone whose education was bought and paid for. Other than a Keg party, what did Bush ever reside over

    June 17, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    America is ashamed of Rep. Barton.

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.

    June 17, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. B,. Galeles

    You can sure tell who loves bil oil and who has their money invested in oil stocks. How anybody can support BP in this disaster is beyond me. The government has the right to demand money from BP because the government issued the license to drill. If the same had been done to Exon, Alaska would not still be cleaning up years later.

    June 17, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. DJ

    @John , PA, Dude go sit down somewhere with that stupid talk!!! If the President and Congress had not implemented any of the stimulus money or other regulatory changes in the last year, this Country would be in worst shape than it is now!!
    As for this comment from this Congressman, I can only say you see where his priorities are and he should be voted right out. How in the world would you call getting a company to fork over 20billion a shake down? I mean seriously, the President wouldn't have needed to ask for it , if Barton and his buddies on the Hill would have raised the amount of damages a company would have to pay for an oil spill!! I mean do the guy get it?

    June 17, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. BillyBob

    The incompetent CrackeheadCommunityOrganizer should have to pay too. After all it was the Crackhead who gave BP a waiver on an environmental impact study a few weeks before the melt down in the gulf. Of course due to the Crackhead's incompetence we haven't even began to clean up the oil. He should have to pay his share for creating this disaster and doing nothing to clean it up.

    Of course the phaggot gibbs is nothing more that a pathalogical liar like his crackheadmassa.

    June 17, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  16. Enough

    You morons who want to chastise all Big Business...are you riding your bicyle to work? Assuming that you actually have a job...and who do you work for? Yeah, you can just run the oil companies out of town and all the other big business and see where that leaves the country. Wake up and pull your heads out of the sand. Sorry you think it is a crime to make a profit and not give to your lazy butts.

    June 17, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. Geshrwh

    According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Barton is one of the top ten all-time biggest recipients of BP money in the House of Representatives...$1.4 million to date. Could THAT be a factor in his feeling American taxpayers and not BP should shoulder the expense for the Gulf Disaster?

    June 17, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  18. ConsiderThis - FL

    If any one of us caused an injury to just one person comensurate with the injury that BP has caused to millions of people on the Gulf Coast, we would be fined, jailed and ordered to pay restitutation for the rest of our lives. So, how in the hell can so-called Rep. Barton (who does he represent?) think that making BP pay for the injury that they've caused is a "shakedown?" Is he serious? Is he sane? Is he an American? One thing that we do know about him; he's DEAD WRONG! A moron in a suit.

    June 17, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. Anne P

    John PA, do you actually have supporting facts that Obama's to blame for any of your laundry list? I'm a middle income earner and my taxes were actuallylower this last year (I also pay them in case you're wondering). Foreclosures here have gone down 23% in the last quarter, the health care reform will help a child I know get coverage for cancer who could not before due to "pre-existing" restrictions (just one example). Unemployment is also down this quarter. Now, if you think Obama caused the oil disaster I don't know why I'm wasting my time addressing you. You're so hell-bent on seeing Obama fail, you aren't capable of sound reasoning. I'd suggest you not stray too far from FOX News where the Kool-Aid is more to your liking.

    June 17, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. Nando

    GOP = Party of Idiots

    June 17, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. GI Joe

    Even Boehner is heavily invested in BP stock, and is more worried about the oil company than the people of this country and the eco-sytem of that are – it may still spread to the east coast.

    Guess it won't get to Ohio, but companies in Ohio will be hit eventually by all the financial mess this will cause us for decades.

    Vote the corporation supporters out of our government.

    June 17, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. HeyHey

    Hey John in PA, where were you for the past 8 years under Bush? I don't remember reading you complaining about illegal wars, illegal wiretaps, massive deficits, etc. Surely it's not just partisan nonsense on your part, right?

    June 17, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    joe barton needs to resign from his position and move to england so he can climb into bed with bp

    June 17, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. Slick William

    The libtard spin as usual...

    Who is supposed to regulate the financial markets?
    Who is supposed to regulate the Oil Industry?
    Who is supposed to regulate Safety?
    Who is supposed to regulate Medicare and Medicaid?
    Who is supposed to regulate Immigration?

    ANSWER: NOT THE CORPORATIONS

    Downsize the Federal Government and make it work efficiently and effectively for the citizens of the United States. It is not an entitlement program to stuff with a bunch of undereducated, unproductive leeches to be paid for with our tax dollars!

    June 17, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  25. jim

    As an American, all I can say is ....

    I HATE AMERICA !!!! With bastards like this, let it burn !!!!!!!!!

    so sad to come to this.

    June 17, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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