June 20th, 2010
02:43 PM ET
5 years ago

Democrats continue hammering GOP over Barton apology to BP

'In case you forgot what Republican governance is like, Joe Barton reminded you,' top Obama aide Rahm Emanuel said of the embattled Texas Republican, pictured, in an interview that aired Sunday.
'In case you forgot what Republican governance is like, Joe Barton reminded you,' top Obama aide Rahm Emanuel said of the embattled Texas Republican, pictured, in an interview that aired Sunday.

Washington (CNN) - A top Democrat kept up the Joe Barton drumbeat Sunday, saying the Republican legislator's defense of BP last week was an example of GOP ideology that favors big business.

Republicans seeking to change the subject countered that the nation's focus should be on efforts to stop the Gulf oil gusher and critcized the Obama administration for failing to make that happen.

The statement last Thursday by Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas - which was quickly retracted under pressure from House GOP leadership - provided Democrats an opportunity to deflect growing public disenchantment with how the government was responding to the oil disaster.

Acknowledging the political gift handed to his party by Barton, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told the ABC program "This Week" that Barton's comment and other pro-BP statements by Republicans including Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul would be a factor in the November congressional elections.

"In case you forgot what Republican governance is like, Joe Barton reminded you," Emanuel said, calling Barton's comments a "philosophy" that considered BP the "aggrieved party" instead of the oil giant responsible for the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

"These aren't political gaffes - Joe Barton was speaking from prepared remarks," Emanuel said, calling the comment reflective of a GOP approach that considers the government to be the problem, not BP.

However, a statement later Sunday from the House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans said Barton spoke off the cuff. The statement included what it said were his prepared remarks, which made no mention of an apology to BP or criticism of the fund the company created to pay for damages from the oil
spill.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of oil-rich Alaska also challenged Emanuel's comments, telling the CNN program "State of the Union" that the White House chief of staff was wrong.

Updated: 2:43 p.m.

Full story


Filed under: Energy • GOP • Joe Barton • Lisa Murkowski • Rahm Emanuel • State of the Union
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. thor

    Last year the OBAMA administration granted a special exemption from a legal requirement that it produce an environmental impact study The department of interrior's Mineral management Service gave BP the extension in April 2009 to comence drilling with Deepwater Horizon even though it hadn't produced the impact study as required by law.Obama hands aren't as clean as his supporters want you to believe in this disaster !!

    June 20, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. Larry

    @thor

    Can you cite a reference to your comment?

    Everyone knows the MMS was corrupt due to deregulation during the corrupt Bush administration. Obama was in office 3 months in April 2009.

    Get your facts straight.

    June 20, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. MikeH

    Thor, you are right but not to the extent you'd want others to believe. Obama's failing was not to clean out all the Bush and Big Oil cronies stuffed into the IMS, especially the Bush last-minute appointees that are covert Republican political sabotuers.

    Bush stuffed many such sabotuers across the entire federal administration, and it takes time to find and cut out these cancerous scum.

    June 20, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. Rick in AZ

    At what point does a campaign contribution become a bribe?

    June 20, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
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