June 17th, 2010
04:43 PM ET
13 years ago

Barton retracts apology to BP

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."

Filed under: BP • Energy • Joe Barton • Obama administration • Popular Posts
soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. jvb

    Remember Bush/Cheney gutted the oversight and let these people regulate themselves. Allowing them to cut all the corners they want. Also remember there is a 75 million cap on damages that the oil company has to pay. The Republicans blocked raising the cap to 10 billion a few weeks ago. SO much for fiscal responsibility. SO much for actually caring about the working people on the Gulf Coast. The only politics are their hypocritical attacks on President Obama. They caused this. They want to limit damages oil companies have to pay. Don't worry BP about all those mean Democrats wanting to make you pay for your recklessness, the Republicans on the Supreme Court are there to protect you too like they did for Exxon when they overturned the Exxon Valdez judgment.

    June 17, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  2. Dick

    What an idiot. And to think that he had to be told by the Republican leadership to apologize for his idiotic statement tells you that he is completely clueless. We need a constitutional amendment requiring a minimum IQ to be a member of Congress.

    June 17, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  3. Sarah, the baby seal basher

    Hes in my district,and he wont get my vote,or as many people as I can find to vote against the little Corporate shill.

    June 17, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  4. Richard Komi

    It is only when you are detached from the people that you need to be reminded that the people are suffering. This congressman did not need a reminder that life is ebbing out of the gulf because of the oil spill. I am glad he now knows that BP should step up to the plate.

    June 17, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Obama looks fake to me in his actions concerning this disaster. If Barton wasn't from Texas what would people think of his first comments? Ya know, If BP is pressured to much they might just go belly up and the government, that is the people, will pay. Back off a bit I say, to ensure that BP is able to pay. To many are blood thirsty for BP's throat.

    June 17, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  6. Ev

    LIAR, LIAR, pants on fire. See you at the ballots.

    June 17, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  7. randy

    Notice he said "BP AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT" He wants U.S. taxpayers to pay for this.

    June 17, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  8. vette gal

    Apology, schmology! He's not apologizing, he's just trying to save his position as head of the committee. I'm so tired of politics....say what you really think then get blackmailed to issue a public apology that you don't really mean. Our congress sucks and to think that people keep voting these guys in says a lot for the majority of the people who vote....they either just don't care or they're illiterate.

    June 17, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  9. Ready for 2012

    I disagree with forcing him to apologize. He told the truth. Trying to bankrupt BP is going to hurt a lot of Americans. The reason BP has a large presence in the US oil and gas industry is BP bought Amoco which was a major US oil and gas company. Bankrupting BP is going to hurt all of those former Amoco employees who still have BP stock in their 401k accounts.

    June 17, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  10. MFB

    For 2 weeks, BP said over and over their taking full responsibility for the damages, cleanup, lost wages, etc, so why does everyone keep ragging about it? Like they don't have the money, LOL. They have mega money and of course even if the total bill is 100 billion, BP will still shine like roses when the price of oil/gas goes up. They will quad triple that 100 billion. They know it, so of course its no problem for them to dish out billions. Why do you think he was laughing leaving the meeting? So let BP do their thing, pay and all as they are and have been doing so BP can concentrate on stopping the dam gusher. Make a better BOP so when human error comes to play, the mechanical end will pick up. President Obama did a good thing to get 20 billlion in a disaster account, so the people in need will be more comfortable, but he should of asked for 50 billion, and BP even would of agreed to that, I'm sure. It's all about the money, always was, always will be.

    June 17, 2010 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  11. Curtis

    i cannot believe i wasted half an hour of my precious work time debating the narrow mindedness of Barton and his mental presence and situational awareness.
    At what magnitude crisis must we endure before elected officials tap into human morality and responsibility?
    "tragedy of the first proportion"? What proportion is the tragedy that is poisoning and destroying our environment and livelihoods right now?
    What proportion is the tragedy that people like Barton are even in office?
    Solve the problem at hand. Focus on solving the problem. Focus! PLEASE!!

    June 17, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  12. wilypagan

    It is a sad day to see a patriot like Rep. Barton being reprimanded for upholdling the US Constitution. I guess Boehner and the other GOP leadership has never heard of "due process". Why should Obama be able to demand a fund with no legal ruling. What will he do next? We are rapidly headed toward becoming Venezuela. It is time for a change.

    Emergencies are when legal process and the Constitution are most important. It may make you feel warm and fuzzy to know that payments are being expedited to the Gulf residents who have lost their livelihoods, but it is just one more step to further "shakedowns". Rep. Barton was right. Wish he could have stuck to his guns.

    June 17, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  13. brooker

    You can't apologize for something like this statement. He told them he was EMBARRASSED. There's no hiding Barton, no apology. You're toast.

    June 17, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  14. Cliff Vegas

    Barton and politicos of his ilk (Democrats included) have their eyes fixed on the partisanship theme dujour. For most Republicans these days, it's "bash Obama at any cost" – even at the cost of sense and sensibility. Today, Barton stumbled over the limit – and dare I say, "thank God" that some sense is being exhibited finally by the GOP leadership.

    June 17, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  15. Jonathan

    Uhh, you have to be told what's right – and you have to be told to apologize? Wow. Maybe you should resign so someone with a moral and ethical compass can take your place!

    June 17, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  16. mother and sister of soldiers

    Why must Barton apologize to an administration who openly criticizes former president, Supremem Court Justices and Congressmen? I thought Obama was all about free speech regardless of it classless implications. The travesty here is two fold: a president trying to fool the public with legislation that already exists and worse, the WH saying they dummied down the speech to 10th grade level and people still did not understand. it That says it all about those who voted for this man.

    June 17, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  17. Charlie Kinyon

    The list of reasons to be embarrassed to live in Texas just keeps getting longer and longer. Thank you Arizona, Oklahoma and South Carolina for YOUR pandering republican goobers – showing the world Texas isn't the only place in this country heavily populated with right wing nut jobs.

    June 17, 2010 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  18. axg11

    Dunk these yahoos in oil, so they can feel what it's like to be on of those poor pelicans!

    June 17, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  19. Ponduhthis

    Mr. Obama – keep up the good works!! Please don't look back... just stay focused.
    The masked rage in these folks is spilling out at a rate way beyond that of the oil that's spilling into the Gulf of Mexico. A new day is on the horizon for this United States of America and the man is not powerful enough to stop it.
    Praise God.

    June 17, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  20. Peter S in LA

    Go, Joe go. Defend BP and apologize to their CEO for our country thinking about getting in their way while they permanently defoul the planet. In case anyone still doesn't get what Republicans are really about, this ought to clear it up.
    And when he says: "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" does this mean that now he is OK with strict federal regulations to "prevent a similar accident in the future?" Fat chance....What a moron.

    June 17, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  21. Tom from Texas

    God, what a moron. I would like to apologize to all of the gulf coast and in fact all of American for this dolt's apology to BP for having to actually pay for the mess they have created. The only thing that I can figure is that he thought that the money was going to come out of the 'contributions' he receives from BP. This guy is a first class fool and I am sorry that Texas has foisted him off on the nation. They should spell his name "Boughten" instead of Barton.

    June 17, 2010 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
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