(CNN) – Conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh is taking aim at Republican leaders for rushing to demand Texas Rep. Joe Barton retract his controversial apology to BP CEO Tony Hayward during last week's congressional hearing.
On his radio show Monday, Limbaugh suggested the GOP leadership likely agrees with Barton's sentiments, but are driven by recent national polls which suggest the majority of Americans support President Barack Obama's push for BP to set aside $20 billion for future liability claims.
"It was a shakedown pure and simple," said Limbaugh, echoing the words for which Barton later apologized. "And somebody had the audacity to call it what it was and now everybody's running for the hills."
"All you have to do is look at the polling," Limbaugh continued. "We're talking about Republicans inside the beltway. All you have to do is look at the polling data and media coverage and find out what they are going to do."
Barton, the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, quickly faced fire from both the right and the left after apologizing to Hayward during the BP chairman's appearance before his committee Thursday. Hours later – amid threats he would lose his leadership post – Barton retracted the comments.
"Let's just slither away under the rock here," Limbaugh said, mocking the Republicans' approach to Barton. "We'll let Joe Barton get eaten by the Democrat lizards on this to protect ourselves. This is politics and this is the reason why true believers have such a problem with politics. It's just that simple and no more complicated than that."
– CNN's Natalie Novak contributed this report
I see that there are still some Republicans who are clinging to the defense of "let the court determine the damages." You know what a court proceeding will do for BP? Nothing, except BP gets to pay its lawyers as well. BP will still pay the damages, because there is no lawyer on earth who can get BP off the hook.
Most cases are settled before they go to trial. It makes sense for most defendants to settle cases because a lot of the time the outcome of a trial is predetermined. There is no reason to pay the lawyers if the outcome of the trial is a foregone conclusion. BP knows that it is on the hook for the damages, and the 20 billion fund is its effort to rehabilitate its images. As any celebrity would know, the first thing one should do when you are caught with your pants down is to go on Oprah and said you are sorry. If Republicans are not careful, and keep on defending the indefensible (in this case BP), the outcome of the November election is going to be a foregone conclusion.
The Republicans need to put Rush Limbaugh in his place and tell him to stay there–a talk-show host and entertainer, not a politician. Mike Steele failed to do this and even apologized to Limbaugh!! Limbaugh is a short-sighted fool who does not understand the political implications of Barton's stupid statement and apology. At least the Republican leadership does and pressured Barton to retract his foolish apology to BP. President Obama was right to shake down BP and hold the company accountable to people of the Gulf Coast and the American public. I think that BP needs to allocate more than $20 Billion into the escrow fund and pay the Gulf Coast people.
"On his radio show Monday, Limbaugh suggested the GOP leadership likely agrees with Barton's sentiments, but are driven by recent national polls which suggest the majority of Americans support President Barack Obama's push for BP to set aside $20 billion for future liability claims."
Seriously...what does this say about how in touch your ideals are with the majority of American citizens?
Why does Limpballs care what BP does with their money? The President can't make them create a fund. It is more likely that BP and their lawyers thought that the gesture was not only good from a PR point of view, but that by creating a fund, they might avoid some future litigation. The Republicans are like a broken record, playing the same tune over and over and over again. After all of the damage that corporate America has done to this country over the last few years, the Republicans stick to their misguided principles. To paraphrase Lincoln said, when blindly sticking to your principles prohibits you from achieving them, it may not be the wisest thing to do.
So Rush says Barton's comment DOES likely reflect general GOP sentiment, while Sarah Palin calls Rahm Emanual a liar for saying as much. These two Republican big-mouths should really get their stories straight.
This is proof Sarah, that Rahm is telling the truth. It is a fact. This is the GOP philosophy!!!!!! So quit trying to hide your true colors until after election day.
For once, Rush is right. The Republicans really did agree with Barton, they just didn't want everyone to know.
Obama is good at telling corporations what to do even though he has never even functioned in a real job. Obama is weaker than Carter was at this point and unfortunately its going to hurt our country. On the job training for an executive position never works out.
Who cares what that yellow eyed demon has to say .He needs an exorcism !!!
this tub of lard makes about $32M a year.
Anyone who thinks, as some of you do, that this man makes sense most be on the same happy pills this guy is on. I doubt for a moment that he isn't on some medication because nobody can be that stupid and hateful without help from the pills.
little girl beck insulted President Obama's 11 year old daughter. Fat boy comes back from his wedding (his wife IS a pig BTW) and on the first day he goes back to insulting the 11 year old daughter for the same thing.
@RAG – you are correct he just called the quitter a liar? I would love to see a fight to the death fight between these two, but no man left alive!!
Just how stupid do you have to be to take direction from a guy that did so much hillbilly heroin that he made himself deaf?
Rush spew enough hot air and garbage to plug any oil leak.