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. Joe Texas

    Way to go Joe Barton. I support you 100%. America needs to stop fretting about the environment and focus on drilling more wells. DRILL BABY DRILL. When we are done drilling, lets invade Iran as well since i am damn sure they have a nuclear bomb of two some where. I think Bin Laden is hiding in Tehran too. Lets go get him baby! WAR WAR WAR!
    The tea party supports you 110% You ain't no patriot if you can't see Russia from Texas. You ain't no patriot if you don't drive a 2MPG oversized humvee and have an American lapel pined on your chest.

    June 17, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  2. R.E.B.

    Just another Texas boy wanting to get more oil money for his election.

    June 17, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  3. Charlotte Ash

    To: Congressman Barton of Texas...

    Your apology is too little, too late – much like BP's reaction to the original disaster. You should be ashamed of yourself for so easily showing the REAL face of Republicans in office today: greedy, self-serving, and ridiculous.

    Even your cronies are backing away from you because you weren't supposed to be so "up front" about how Republicans feel about the American People (we're too stupid to know what the original tea party was all about (opposite of what it's being used for today)? we're "small people" like BP says? we're less important than foreigners with money? we don't deserve a clean environment or representatives who care more about America than money?).

    I used to vote Republican, but I have been totally ashamed of all of you "chosen" representativesin Washington, DC the last 2 years. Republicans are acting like self-serving idiots and Democrats forgot where their spine was...

    President Obama should be more forceful and let his intelligence speak LOUDER than the rest of you! He is the only one I have respect for any more, but he needs to speak up, speak loudly, and speak NOW!

    June 17, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  4. GeorgeW

    I suspect if this wasn't an election year, the other Republicans would've cheered him on.

    June 17, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  5. debra ogletree

    Joe Barton– Wow. He should definately be ashamed. If I were a Texan I would be very worried. He needs to be reminded exactly why he is where he is and who he is working for AND THAT ISN'T BP! Is it? If he is so ashamed to be a citizen of the U.S. or a member of our government then he can leave. And by the way, these citizens he seems to be so ashamed of, PAY HIS SALARY. I, as a citizen of the U.S., feel ashamed that we have a GOP Lawmaker that so easily disregards the people and land that is such a vital part to our existence. He went way over the line.

    June 17, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  6. Mesquite

    I'm ashamed that Joe Barton is from Texas.

    June 17, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  7. Greg

    Republican Waterloo? Should we ask Demint? Let's think about this. Boehner, Bachmann, Steele, Limbaugh. Levin, Barton, Chamber of Commerce, Dick Army and many other conservatives have defended BP over Obama and America. If this doesn't wake up the American people to the agenda of the right, nothing will. To hell with the average American and lets legislate for Big corporation. Wake up America, this is your Republican Party. Screw the little guy. Help the top 2% get richer. This would be like the left defending Bin Laden. I know that sounds over the top but it's true. Is the political right who you really want standing up for the middle class? Pretty sad day in America. Pretty sad.

    June 17, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  8. richp

    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Barton throws out the most outrageous comment possible and, combined with Hayward dropping 50 points off of his IQ, throws everyone off the track.The rest of the Repubs express their regrets Barton takes a hit for the team and they all walk away without a mark on 'em. Well played, boys. Well played.

    June 17, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  9. Chuck

    Barton, if you neither remove yourself from Congress nor get kicked out by your Democratic and Republican colleagues in the House, YOU SHOULD GO HIDE SOMEWHERE AND NOT BE SEEN AND HEARD FROM FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS, YOU IMBECILE..

    June 17, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  10. Wicked Rich of the West

    OK, Joe Barton has seen the light and has been chastised for his crazy comments. Now how about we address Rep Bachmann's nonsense comments as well (redistribution of wealth). Keep it up, lunatic fringe, the rest of us are getting our fill of your ignorance and we vote!

    June 17, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  11. Bernard

    It's hilarious to see the House GOP leaders falling over each other trying to distance themselves from Joe Barton. To their horror, he revealed to the world what they all felt in their heart but dare not say in public, i.e. that horrible injustice was done to unfortunate, ol’ BP (Rep. Michele Bachman echoed those same sentiments in an earlier news interview). After all, the GOP’s energy plan can be summarized in 4 steps: drill more, regulate less, reject investment in clean energy and limit corporations’ fines.

    June 17, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  12. Ali, Tucson AZ

    Rep Joe Barton is not alone in carry water for BP... check out statements from Rep Tom Price (R-GA), head of the republican Study Committe.

    June 17, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  13. mike

    when are americans going to wake up and realize that republicans
    are not for the american people but for themselves we have known
    for years that these scum bags are the puppets for any company
    that is will to give them money but now what are they doing for you
    were are the jobs oh thats right they are going overseas so its time
    for the american people to start building and buying american again
    and tell these companies to go live in china and stop this dictatorship

    June 17, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  14. John N Florida

    Barton is safe. He's got the biggest oil 'slush fund' on the hill, to use Rush's terminology.
    Besides, he already got his statement on the record and every good lawyer KNOWS you can't 'unring the bell'.

    June 17, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  15. Ready for 2012

    i feel sorry for all the former Amoco employees who kept their stock in BP when BP bought out Amoco is 1999. That stock was an important part of their 401K accounts. I don't like how the US politicans and treating BP. It's not BP wanted this to appen. It was simply an accident. So get off of BP's back!!!

    June 17, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  16. Dave

    Barton shows you where this thing is going. Big oil and big politicans will help BP and the public will be left holding the bag. Of course it will all be Obama's fault.

    June 17, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  17. lasparky11

    What good is an apologize if you don't mean it?

    June 17, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  18. Dean

    At last, a Republican politician trying to help his oil company campaign donors and criticize the president, stepped so far out of bounds, even his party couldn't risk letting his statement stand. A very revealing episode, as Republican leaders quickly determined that the American people would not accept his defense of BP.

    Mr. Barton is so out-of-touch with the human and environmental tragedy unfolding day after day, you have to wonder what rock he's been hiding under.

    And will the ultimate leader of the party, Mr. Limbaugh, support him or the party?

    June 17, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  19. Amazed!!

    He should have lost his position immediately, never mind apologizing.

    June 17, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  20. lasparky11

    What good is an apologie if you don't mean it?

    June 17, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  21. Charlie Brown

    Yes, Barton, apologize for being honest. We don't want to be telling the American public how we really feel. What's wrong with you?

    June 17, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  22. BradKT

    In other words, they took Barton in the back room and shook him down.

    June 17, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  23. George

    Barton was slapped down by his party's leadership because he made "politically incorrect" (for the Republican Party) remarks, not because they disagreed with him.

    June 17, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  24. andy

    He could always run as a democrat where he can say what he wants or just drop out of the race and get a job offer from the white house

    June 17, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  25. Mike

    I want their job! I can argue with my coworkers all day like a 10 year old... and when I get in trouble, I can just say I'm sorry and its all better.

    June 17, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
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