Washington (CNN) - Americans' views of Great Britain have taken a hit in the wake of the massive BP-caused oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a new national poll.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday indicates that 28 percent of the public holds a "very favorable" view of Great Britain, down 12 points from last year.
That doesn't mean that Americans dislike Britain - only 13 percent feel that way, up a bit since 2009. Most of the change comes from Americans moving from the "very favorable" category to a "mostly favorable" view.
"Although the company is no longer named 'British Petroleum,' the occasional use of that name - and the British accent of embattled BP chief Tony Hayward - have likely left a lingering impression in the minds of many Americans," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
(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
Oil sheen is seen Saturday in the waters off Barataria Bay west of Port Sulpher, Louisiana. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) - A BP estimate made after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon noted that as much as 100,000 barrels per day could leak into the ocean if the blowout preventer and wellhead were removed, a higher worst-case scenario than previously reported.
According to an internal BP document released Sunday by Rep. Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, BP believed that the worst-case scenario could be as high as 100,000 barrels, or 4.2 million gallons of oil per day.
The figure is the highest yet to surface regarding the leaking oil well. At the disaster's outset, BP claimed the leak was about 1,000 barrels a day, a number it later revised to 5,000 and then much higher. BP told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the worst-case scenario was 60,000 barrels (2.5 million gallons) a day, lower than what the document states.
The document, submitted in May, maintains the 60,000 barrel estimate, but stipulates that if the "blowout preventer and wellhead are removed and if we have incorrectly modeled the restrictions, the rate could be as high as 100,000 barrels a day."
Markey said the document "raises very troubling questions about what BP knew and when they knew it."
"It is clear that, from the beginning, BP has not been straightforward with the government or the American people about the true size of this spill," said Markey, the chairman of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
"Considering what is now known about BP's problems with this well prior to the Deepwater Horizon explosion, including cementing issues, leaks in the blowout preventer and gas kicks, BP should have been more honest about the dangerous condition of the well bore," Markey said in a statement.
BP spokesman Robert Wine said the May estimate cited in Markey's document is irrelevant to the current situation because the oil company has no intention of removing the well's blowout preventer.
"The allegation doesn't make sense," Wine told CNN. "Why on earth would we remove the blowout preventer when it's sitting on top of the sea well and providing some control (of the spill)?"
Toby Odone, another spokesman for BP, added that the blowout preventer will be removed only when the well is completely killed.
Updated 5:15 p.m.
(CNN) - A posh weekend at an annual yacht race off the coast of England has embattled BP CEO Tony Hayward once again treading water in social media, and tweeting a defense.
After Hayward took a verbal pummeling on Capitol Hill last Thursday over his company's handling of the Gulf Coast oil spill, photos surfaced Saturday of the CEO spending this weekend clad in sunglasses and a ball cap at the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race off Britain's Isle of Wight. His 52-foot yacht "Bob" was part of the festivities.
In an apparent response to the slew of online complaints about Hayward's weekend away and his management duties, BP tweeted Hayward's response Saturday: "Gulf response efforts remain my top priority. To assure continued focus, Bob Dudley will support me on this full-time to make it right.Tony."
Washington (CNN) - Diane Wilson, arrested during a Senate hearing on the Gulf oil spill, protested again Saturday outside a BP gas station in Washington.
She and more than a dozen other protesters chanted "boycott BP" while a man dressed as the grim reaper poured chocolate syrup over an inflatable planet Earth to symbolize the oil destruction.
"I think this country needs to get behind the Gulf Coast. We are all in this together," Wilson told CNN. "It is like a body. If you got your foot being amputated, by gosh the rest of the body better take notice or we are all going to go down," said Wilson.
(CNN) - Rep. Jo Bonner called on fellow Republican Rep. Joe Barton to step down as ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Friday following the Texas Republican's controversial statements to BP chairman Tony Hayward on Thursday.
"Earlier this morning, Rep. Barton called me to offer his personal apologies for any harm that his comments might have caused," said Bonner, whose district covers much of Alabama's coastline.
"It takes a big person to admit they were wrong and I appreciated Joe's call," Bonner continued. "However, as I told him, I believe the damage of his comments are beyond repair and, as such, I am today calling on Joe to do the right thing for our conference and immediately step aside as Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee."
"Joe's comments were stupid and extremely insensitive to the hundreds of thousands of people who live along the Gulf Coast," Bonner added.
Columbus, Ohio (CNN) - The White House on Friday continued its assault on controversial comments made by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas.
At a hearing on Capital Hill Thursday, Barton apologized to BP executives and said that the White House was trying to "shakedown" the company for a $20 billion fund to help with the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill. Barton later issued an apology for the statement.
During a gaggle aboard Air Force One Friday, Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said he "saw the tourtured construction" of Barton's apology for his initial statement, calling it "an example of what some folks in the Republican party truly believe."
Burton then warned of the consequences of a Republican controlled Congress, pointing out that Barton would be chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee.
"This is something people should be considering" during the upcoming midterm elections, he said.
Charleston, South Carolina (CNN) - Mitt Romney accused President Obama Friday of mishandling the BP oil spill, and specifically charged that the president had a dangerous hands-off approach in the early days of the crisis.
Romney, appearing a campaign stop in South Carolina for gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley, called the Obama administration's response to the spill "ineffective" and said the White House has relied too heavily on BP to cap the oil leak.
"In this kind of a crisis situation, the president's response should have been to step in, bring in the experts, people from various oil companies, from leading institutions, academic and engineering firms and look at the options for actually capping this oil spill and then actually making those decisions," Romney said.
He added, "That is something which he has delegated to BP. As the company responsible for causing the spill in the first place, I think it was a mistake to rely on BP for 60 days or so to make the decisions on how to cap the oil spill. They have been ineffective in that regard."
The former Massachusetts governor and possible 2012 presidential candidate would not comment on a controversial remark by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas. Barton apologized Thursday for saying that BP's $20 billion fund to pay for oil spill damages was the result of a "shakedown" from the White House.
Romney said he is "pleased that funds are being put aside" to help Gulf residents affected by the spill.
Washington (CNN) - Under fire for appearing to shield BP from criticism Thursday morning, Rep. Joe Barton was told by House GOP leaders later in the day to apologize "immediately" or lose his position as the senior Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, several Republican sources tell CNN.
House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, delivered the pointed demand to Barton, a Texas congressman.
"He was told apologize immediately or you will lose your position immediately," said a Republican leadership aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The aide added, "Now that he's apologized, we'll see what happens going forward."
After making his controversial comments to BP CEO Tony Hayward, Barton apologized later in the hearing and then followed up with a stronger written statement.
Rep. Joe Barton apologized Thursday for using the term 'shakedown' regarding the the $20 billion fund BP agreed to establish for damage compensation, and retracted his apology to BP:
"I apologize for using the term 'shakedown' with regard to yesterday's actions at the White House in my opening statement this morning, and I retract my apology to BP. As I told my colleagues yesterday and said again this morning, BP should bear the full financial responsibility for the accident on their lease in the Gulf of Mexico. BP should fully compensate those families and businesses that have been hurt by this accident. BP and the federal government need to stop the leak, clean up the damage, and take whatever steps necessary to prevent a similar accident in the future.
"I regret the impact that my statement this morning implied that BP should not pay for the consequences of their decisions and actions in this incident."