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. Karen Saucedo

    These congress people need to shut up, sit down amongst themselves, determine a plan, and choose spokespersons in congress to represent them. And stop the physicial "skin you" threats. They make you sound stupid, irresponsible, and unprofessional.... hmmmm...
    1 – Congress has never asked previously to see big oils' contingency plans for a spill. So, how stupid is that? A little late now. There's a lesson.
    2 – Fingers are pointing everywhere except at a solution. Name calling as the oil billows forth and everything underwater wilts and dies. Time wasted.
    3 – We keep hearing the seafood is safe to eat? Huh? Where, Mars?
    This is water...not land...there is wave action, currents. There is solid oil slick on top of the water and sludge at the bottom. In between? Particles mixed into the water. Lies or stupidity or both.
    4 – The huge burn-offs of corralled surface oil goes straight into the atmosphere....The atmosphere....you know...that area inside the snow globe on your mantel?.....That stuff will disperse into the air so that its not visible...but, its still there.... Lies, denial, whatever...
    5 – From the beginnning of this mess, there were under-estimates, lies, and evasions. Congress acts surprised. Why? Most of the people in Congress are quite familiar with these tactics as used in big business. Halliburton is famous for them as is Big Oil.
    WE THE PEOPLE hold you ALL accountable. WE didn't ok these oil leases and deep water drilling.
    6 – Proof positive that Humans, not Mother Nature, have the MOST destructive power. And in the midst of it, we flounder, lie, cheat, steal, evade, finger-point and name call...and that's our CONGRESS!

    June 17, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. Ray E. (Georgia)

    And one more thing. A few years their was a huge settlement from Big Tobacco. Did the money go where it was supposed to? Look it up. If the Adminstration gets it's hands on the BP money do you expect it to go where it is supposed to? If you do i've got an Oil Well in the Gulf I'd like to sell you, cheap.

    June 17, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. Peggy - TX

    Lately, when ever I happen to catch a short blip from FAUX news, the loud mouth commentators and stupid pretty anchors can only speak with perverse excitement about how this oil spill is dragging down President Osama’s approval ratting and that they expect this disaster will help them in the November elections. Also, I think these little politicians are looking for a handout from BP for their reelection funds.

    Republicans, true to their corrupt, lying nature just want President Obama to be perceived as a failure come November elections. They will create any obstacle, their minions will blast lies over the blog-a-shere, and they will continue the steady drumbeat of illegitimate criticism regardless of what actions President Obama takes. They will do this because they are not interest doing what is best for Americans; rather, they are simply selfish, greedy pigs in ever sense.

    I think some criticism of the Obama administration may be valid in there handling of the unprecedented crisis, but if President Obama continues to operate competently, doing what he can do, even though to the folks effected, understandably while in the ist of the crisis, no amount of effort will seem enough, President Obama and the democrats will fare well come November.

    June 17, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. Duck Fallas

    Well, which is it, young feller? You want I should clean up the Gulf, or leave BP alone? Mean to say, if'n I clean up the Gulf, I can't rightly pay for it, and if'n I don't get the money from BP, then it's on the taxpayers. You see-

    SHUT UP!!

    June 17, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  5. Stacey

    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

    Everything listed above is GEORGE BUSH'S FAULT, not Obama's. The American people aren't that stupid to believe you lying, hating, greedy, dishonest republicans! Did you ask George Bush to resign? Afterall, this is mostly his fault with all that deregulation he did while in office.

    June 17, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "They want to strangle every penny they can get out of BP then discard their corpse when they can get no more. "

    Wrong. You make as much sense as Barton...which is to say NONE. If they wanted to do that, there are more effective means of doing it that would result in the goold ole USA actually OWNING BP's assets...and they have ample justification for seeking to use those means, but have instead chosen something more practical. $20B won't force BP into bankruptcy or receivership. $20B is 10 months net profit for them and they have abotu $7B on hand. They are probably paying like $5B up front and then paying the rest in installments, rather than being forced to sell off assets, etc.

    June 17, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. independent

    Was Joe Barton just as ashamed of the $20B shakedown of American taxpayers in 2005 when the Bush administration and GOP Congress gave BP a $20b tax subsidy for working in the Gulf?

    June 17, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. Gulf Resident........Life ruined by Obama

    This is by far the worst president we have ever had. First my family loses our employer based health care because of Obama's Health Care Rip Off! Then I lose my job because Obama has done nothing to help the economy except use stimulus money for Union only jobs! Now he has taken away the beautiful enviroment because he does not know what to do about this oil,and has appointed people who should know but don't, because he only appointed them because of the color of their skin. Newsflash Obama, you are the president and you are supposed to handle disasters, we are on day 60!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and all you do is play golf on our tax dollars. Real nice Obama, what a joke, go back to Kenya, you are not wanted or welcome here in the U.S.

    June 17, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. Ccjarider

    BP was going to put $ aside for this for business, legal and PR. B> hussein should not get credit for anything.

    What B. Huessein did was the equivalent of saying:
    " I have ordered the sun to come up int he East tomorrow"

    June 17, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. Ken in NC

    People you need to give Congressman Barton a break. He is like the slave of the old days. He has been bought and paid for by Big Oil so he must do their bidding. It is his job and he has been given instructions to support the Oil Industry. It's not his fault that he is a jerk. It is President Obama's fault that Congressman Barton is a jerk.

    June 17, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. JOhn

    This is neither a slush fund nor does it require constitutional authority. It is a negotiated short term settlement with a foreign corporation, to the reality that the damages will not be settled in court for years, but the needs of the gulf coast citizens are immediate and a short term solution needed to be put into place. What a contrast in response by each party. Can't even imagine if McCain would have been elected. BP would be isolated, protected, and the gulf residents would be S.O.O.L. Obama may not have done the best job on this, but we are soooooooo lucky, he is in charge instead of McCain.

    June 17, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. susanj

    Barton is a total disgrace to this country. Why aren't you talking about how unAmerican that comment is teabaggers? and John in PA you're an idiot too.

    June 17, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  13. art200224

    Obama was the biggest recipeint of BP money for campaign 2008........Guess thats why it took so long for the shakedown....

    June 17, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  14. John Wilson, Racine, WI

    I guess Joe Farton, known to his party, the BP subsidiary named GOP, as Joe Barton, once again shows us all where the GOP stands on this oil disaster and how much idiocy the great people of the state of Texas are willing to put up with by electing someone like Joe Barton...

    June 17, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  15. toxictom

    John from PA you must be a back water hick to blame everything in your
    fool list to Obama he's been in office what 18 months and not a bad job undoing everything the bush admin did but obama could cure cancer get everyone a job and solve every other issue but you are so blinded by hate
    you can't see your own racism and intolerance go back to your cabin you idiot

    June 17, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  16. emma

    Obama maybe does not have a right to make demands, but he does have the right, as does BP, to enter into a contract with BP. It is unfortunate folk's criticism is being based on gut feelings of dislike for Obama.

    June 17, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. Lisa from Tampa

    The amount of crises this President and administratio have had to manage is confounding.....and the negative focus from the media stirring up an already stirred up rancorous right wing is not helping. Cool heads solve problems. It is also amazing to me that the Republican Party and Libertarian John Birch crazies scream limited government and the gulf governors (all republicans) are the first to demand Federal support for this crisis. How hypocritical.

    June 17, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. c edgar

    Let the scams begin on BP slush-fund.
    This was a shake down period!
    Where is the rule of law? Was there a counrt hearing and
    investagation I missed?
    I think it is great BP stepped up to the plate, but my concern
    is what was promised????
    Washington is nothing but a scratch my back and I will scratch
    yours place.
    How much fraud, waste do you think will happen?
    My guess is 8B. Who's freezer will have money in it? My guess is
    gov. of Fl.

    June 17, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. Scout

    Hammerer–get your head out of your Fox News butt–you have no idea what you are talking about–you just hate Obama.

    June 17, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  20. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    I'm sure Barton and all of his "conservative" buddies are also telephoning Bin Laden nightly, wishing him the best, and reminding him how they came through for him by pushing the Iraq war.

    June 17, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  21. BeverlyNC

    This is the perfect example of how Republicans could care less what happens to the working families of our country. All this Congressional year, Republicans have played silly games and voted NO on EVERY SINGLE piece of legislation designed to restore America and the lives of the American middle class.

    Republicans have no character, no integrity, and only care about the large corporations who bribe them with large campaign contributions -like the BP corporation.

    Republicans are fighting on the side of BP – not the people whose lives and towns have been destroyed by BP's greed and criminal negligence.

    NO MORE shall we vote for lying Republicans who stand against the People and for their elitist rich white corporate friends. Vote OUT All Republicans – the Party of do-nothings and the Party of NO – and vote NO on every Republican in NOvember.

    Let's stand up for the People and vote for Democrats who have done everything to deliver solutions for the PEOPLE.

    June 17, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. AC

    This Fool (Joe Barton), just got Preisdent Obama re-elected again!!

    June 17, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  23. Roman

    I was and still am horrified Barton's comments. First of all, BP is a HUGE company! If they did not want to participate in a fund THEY DIDN'T HAVE TOO! Why are so many republicans acting like BP is a victim? They new the administration was looking into their activites for potential criminal prosecution, so did anyone ever think that maybe they are trying to play nice in the public eye so they can sweep any wrong doing under the rug. They could have walked away from the table and told President Obama, NO DEAL! They have freewill and super business savvy, so if they made the deal, don't you think they realized that it was in their best interest? So once again how were some of the most powerful and intelligent coporate attorney's and executives in the world "shookdown" by the president? Give me a break.

    June 17, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  24. Wisconsinite

    Yeah . . . Right ON, Gibbs!!! I am so sick of all of the crap these traitors . . . . the GOP . . . are dishing out!

    June 17, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  25. Jeff in Houston


    A typical, uneducated, Texas redneck response to anything that holds a business accountable for its actions. Bush, Perry, Barton...three Republican's that can barely help but scrape their knuckles when they walk upright, attempting to tell us about business ethics. Once again, I'm ashamed to be a Texan, and we deserve anything the poor people to the east of us care to throw our way.

    June 17, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
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