June 17th, 2010
05:54 PM ET
10 years ago

Republican given ultimatum

Rep. Joe Barton was told by House GOP leaders to apologize 'immediately' for saying he was 'ashamed' of the Obama administration for asking BP to establish a fund for damage compensation.

Rep. Joe Barton was told by House GOP leaders to apologize 'immediately' for saying he was 'ashamed' of the Obama administration for asking BP to establish a fund for damage compensation.

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.

Related: Congressman: 'I am ashamed' of 'shakedown' of BP

"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.

Filed under: BP • Joe Barton • Oil spill
soundoff (217 Responses)
  1. Jonathan

    "If anything I’ve said this morning was misconstrued from that I want to apologize for that misconstruction."

    That's his apology?

    News sources should just refer to him as Joe Barton (R – oil industry) from now on. I can't imagine that he thinks he actually represents the American people with this trash.

    June 17, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  2. Katie

    What was the guy thinking?! Of course BP needed shaking down – they screwed up and they have to pay for it. Not just the well fix, but everything from the clean-up to compensation. It probably means less for this guy, but he doesn't deserve the money, now does he?

    I'm surprised the other GOPs had the guts to go after one of their own. Usually they just stand around making excuses for why they're standing around and then they blame everyone else for their stalling.

    June 17, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  3. David G Owings Mill, MD

    It's really sad that we still have to deal with racists who will spin anything the President does some kind of criminal activity. Barton represents a large segment of the Republican party. Racism is one of the big reasons the party does so well in the South. Racism has blinded Barton and others to the realities of governing the country and dealing with some very serious problems. Scoring political points and assassinating the character of the opposition is now more important than dealing with real issues. No wonder people outside of the Congress are so angry.

    June 17, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  4. A keen observer

    What can you say about a republican who sold his soul to business as most republican legislators have?

    Barton is a traitor to his country and should resign his position immediately.

    June 17, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  5. barry

    damage is already done..we all know these politicians that apologize
    only do so to keep their positions and influence..and rush is on a roll with this but no republican has the guts to tell him to be quiet...double standard..

    June 17, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. Richard Komi

    That is how you know those who are for big oil and those whose campaign is financed by oil money. This congressman does not feel the pain of people in the gulf whose source of livelihood is gradually being taken away by this oil spill. An apology is not enough he should resign.

    June 17, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  7. Linda

    Hopefully it's a case of "to little to late".

    June 17, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  8. M.K.

    It doesn't matter what any Republican says or does, The poor, ignorant folks in the south will support them. They think Ronald Reagan was the second coming of Jesus, and as long as a Republican mentions Reagan's name and thumps the bible as they wave the flag, The folks that live in the poorest section of the country will vote for them. I drove through the poorest sections of Appalachia a while back, and there were Republican stickers on the walls of the old, worn out, house trailers. The sanitary systems are an outhouse with a small stream running under it to catch the human waste that folks down stream have to wash their clothes in. I really feel sorry for them, but they have nobody to blame but themselves for voting the Millionaire Republicans in office

    June 17, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. Albert

    Joe Barton is a true modern Republican. He believes that the purpose of government is to protect and serve stock holders. To him the Republican Party is the Party of "Stock Holders Incorporated Together, by Stock Holders Incorporated Together, for Stock Holders Incorporated Together!" He would rather see the gemeral public pay for the clean-up so the BP Stock Holders can make a bigger profit and to modern Republicans that is what government is for.

    June 17, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  10. Native SCian in West TX

    GOP has held these business-at-all-costs positions for decades. It is only when their policies blow-up in their faces and they try to hid that their standard statements become "offensive" to GOP leadership. Contract with America set the stage for this Disaste, NeoCon rise in last decade solidified the path to disaster, and TEA Party influence has the potential to insure future repetition of environmental and sociological disasters that we have experienced ove the last three years.

    June 17, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  11. Lynn M.

    It would be really if he meant it. This man has no concept of reality. People are losing every thing with this mess. Our elected officials need to stop their partisian political bull special interest fueled bull crap and do the jobs they were elected to do.

    June 17, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  12. Dianne

    His explanation was enough. He was very thorough. If he is ashamed, he is ashamed. Why make him apologize and lie. To lie is OK, just "look" good for Pelosi's school of mannerisms, right?

    June 17, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  13. Mary

    I am a republican voter and am appalled at Barton's apology. I can't believe he would even make this comment unless he either owns a lot of BP stock or he is benefiting somehow from BP. This man doesn't belong on this Committee. We as Americans should demand he be removed from this Committee immediately.
    Barton, you are clueless and sould be ashamed of yourself.

    June 17, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  14. Former Republican

    I can't imagine why any intelligent person would vote for a Republican!

    June 17, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  15. Chuck

    This guy is nuts. It goes to emphatically show that the Republican Party and their political ideology do not care about the majority of the Democratic and most Republican constiturents of this country. This party is failing us and does not deserve to ever regain political power. The Rush Lumbaughs and Glenn Becks and Michelle Bachmans and Sarah Palins and DeMints and Bartons need to be ignored by their current supporters and thus, put our of business..

    June 17, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  16. maripil

    I am not surprised to hear deplorable and shameful comments coming from a republican!!! This is the brand that the GOP carry on their foreheads!!

    It is obvious that the GOP only cares for the CEOs and wall street big companies even at the expense of the suffering of the American people and the townspeople in Louisiana.

    SHAME ON YOU MR. BARTON, ( I hate to even address you as Representative Barton as this will only tarnish the house of Congress)!!

    June 17, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  17. Perdidomike

    Apology not accepted Congressman Barton, we in the Gulf know your true feelings and no forced contrition will excuse what you stated. You sit on a committee of the Congress charge with regulating the oil industry. You have seen and heard the evidence BP cut safety corners repeatedly and you utter these words! You are unfit to be a member of the committee and hopefully your constituents will give you your just reward by dismissing you in November.
    I am sure you will make quite a good living serving your real masters as a lobbyist for the Oil & Gas Industry. Shame on you Mr. Barton!

    June 17, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  18. griggbos

    Texas we will see how long he keeps his seat with the Texas coast being destoryed, he should lose his chair now.......

    June 17, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  19. maripil

    Your comments Mr. Barton is idiotic and you should be kicked out from your job as a Representative of the American people. You sure are on the side of big corporation.

    I am not surprised if you are on BP's payroll, much like a lot of the GOP is!!

    SHAME ON YOU!!!!

    June 17, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  20. Chuck

    Is this the same Texas Republican idiot that screamed "baby killer" at Stupak during Stupak's speech on the House floor. Why do constituents continue voting for these idiots who go to Washington only to embarass and demean their state.


    June 17, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  21. Squigman

    Just a small sample of the blatant stupidity, running rampant in the republican party. How I hope the people remember this, come election time.

    June 17, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  22. Max

    So basically he was told to be an actor and act
    an apology – and by faking, and playing a character
    that is supposedly sorry, in front of cameras,
    ...we are supposed to fake being reliefed by his fake apology,
    which was just to keep his job?

    June 17, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  23. Shelly

    A Republican politician defending a corporation while trying to take a meaningless stab at a democratic president.


    or not...

    June 17, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  24. Greg

    Sure he apologized but did he mean it? Now he will become a hero to the right just like Joe Wilson. I thought what Wilson did was disrespectful to the office of the presidency but this was far worse to the American people. He seemed to forgot that we lost 11 American lives. He seemed to forgot that he was standing up to a FOREIGN CORPORATION over an American government and American people. This man has taken so much money from big oil and BP!!! it's simply insulting. We don't need an apology, we need a resignation from Barton. BP means more to him than the families and workers on the Gulf coast. If this man ever gets re-elected it will say all you need to know about conservative voters. I

    June 17, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  25. Ev

    It's very clear who pays his bills. Nice to know someone's looking out for America. GO GOP! Drill, Baby, Drill. Long live the W!

    June 17, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
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