June 18th, 2010
03:10 PM ET
10 years ago

Republican says Barton apology not good enough

Rep. Joe Bonner on Friday called on fellow Republican Rep. Joe Barton to step down as ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Rep. Joe Bonner on Friday called on fellow Republican Rep. Joe Barton to step down as ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

(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.

Filed under: BP • Energy • Joe Barton • Popular Posts
soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. Jim in San Mateo

    Barton won't resign his post. He will remain a clueless republican in a leadership position.

    June 18, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. Hendrik

    The Repukelicans eating their own. Poetic justice. Morons. All of them. No exceptions.

    June 18, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. carolyn

    Boy, when those Republicans smell blood in the water they go for the throat.

    June 18, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. Moderate

    I hope he stays and is continually questioned by the media. His answers will reveal the plots of the GOP.

    June 18, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Ditto from me. Resign. The Republicans are their own worst enemies. Only a stupid comment like that can make the Administration look even slightly competent.

    June 18, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. Ralphybouy

    Has a Democrat ever called on a fellow Democrat to step down, no matter how absurd what they say is?

    Etheridge did 10x the damage of Barton, yet Democrats circled the wagons on him as did the media and blamed the videographers.

    Not saying Barton is right.

    June 18, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Raise your hand if you're a GOPer who complained earlier that the WH was still giving ole Joe the what-for but suddenly have no problem with people squeezing political mileage out of his stupid comments.

    June 18, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. GI Joe

    Barton let their true colors about how they adore big corporaions come out on national tv. Now they try to shut him up so they can spend 6 months denying it.

    June 18, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  9. paulbark

    The Republicans have a little mess on their hands, here.

    June 18, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. DinkyDauBilly

    Almost everyone has their panties in a twist over Joe Barton's apology to Tony Hayward for Obama's shakedown of BP.


    I don't think Barton should have 'apologized' to Hayward; after all, BP has screwed the pooch so badly that I don't think they'll ever be able to dig their way out of it. If I had any BP stock, I would have dumped it long ago. Hayward certainly did not do BP any real favors by appearing to be the most oblivious excuse for a CEO in the history of corporations. I'm not sure he is even aware at this point that he is the CEO, or that that company is British Petroleum.

    The problem with listening to lawyers is that when you do, you have to essentially admit to being completely oblivious and completely brainless when you 'testify'.

    But back to the shakedown.

    I don't have any problem at all with that term. Because that's what it was. A good ol' Chikaga-style shakedown. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the room where the arm-twisting took place.

    Too bad Obama didn't do it with Chrysler and GM and SEIU and the United Auto Workers. And the teachers' unions.

    Nope. In those cases, it was fine for We the Taxpayer to take that hit. After all, the UAW and SEIU are voters. Democrats for the most part.

    But in the case of BP ... well. Did you know that part of the shakedown included the detail that BP will not pay any dividends this year? To its shareholders? Can you imagine what would have happened had Obama done that with Chrysler and GM, rather than having We the Taxpayers bail out his voter pool in the unions?

    BP's dividends are a big chunk of pensions – 17%- in Great Britain. That means a whole bunch of British pensioners are going to take it in the shorts. But they don't vote Over Here. They aren't Democrats. Can you imagine how The Vote would have been affected had Obama's bailout of GM and Chrysler included cutting UAW pensions by 17%?

    About half of BP's shareholders are reportedly here in the US. It really isn't all that British a British company, despite the political spin Obama and his cronies are putting on it. But the pensioning arrangements are a bit different on this side of the pond. I'd love to see some demographics, political demographics, on BP shareholders. Do they tend to be Republicans over here?

    Let me be perfectly clear (I love that line. Obama ain't the only one who can use it.) BP needs to pay up. BP screwed up. BP owes the people damaged by its negligence and incompetence.

    But part of that finger-pointing needs to be aimed at the Obama administration, where the buck is in the pocket in the Orchid Office. Once the government sticks its nose into making sure industry complies with government-established rules and regulations, government assumes responsibility. Obama's administration failed as miserably as did BP. The evidence for that is in the reports about Mineral Management Service, and the subsquent firing of Birnbaum. Obama can go on all he wants about how all that started in the Bush adminstration. But, he was supposed to clean it up, and he had the time to do it, and he didn't.

    It was a shakedown, pure and simple, in the best politically-motivated Chikaga ward boss style.

    It certainly does do away with the inconvenience of due process, doesn't it?

    June 18, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. Rick McDaniel

    Barton needs to quit the Congress......not just his leadership post. His comment was about as bad an attitude towards the common man, as you can get. he obviously cannot represent the people, that way.

    June 18, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. Deb

    He said something very stupid to be in such a high ranking position. He needs to resign from congress and go home.

    June 18, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. Sandy

    Was Joe Barton one of the shareholders who were set to get a large dividend check from BP that was not going to be paid out for the rest of the year after the negotiations and agreement on the $20 billion escrow? If so, this may be a small motivation behind his offensive remarks don't you think? (In addition to the other republicans who agree with him)

    June 18, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. don't go Barton

    you are the dems best friend


    we need you next election cycle, you help us understand how the GOPers work and provide examles from which to see better where your decisions came from

    don't go

    June 18, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Mr. Bonner I am going to agree with you on three points:
    _ "It does take a big person to admit they were wrong"...BUT HE DID
    _"The damage his comments made are BEYOND repair".



    Barton's apology should've been aimed first of all at the President, and in the same breath at the American people, not just the people of the Gulf.
    He embarrassed US and HIMSELF for THE WHOLE WORLD TO SEE; all because of his lack of respect for the office of the President, and his overwhelming GREED.

    June 18, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. Mike Madden

    Apologize for what.............telling the truth??????

    June 18, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. Katherine Romberg

    A very typical statement coming from a politician who has a history of receiving money from the Oil and Gas companies. As a Texas, I am ashamed that he is a representative of my State.

    June 18, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  18. D. Bunker

    Congratulations to one of the few sane GOP members for stating the obvious. Barton was way out of line in his defense of BP instead of the public.

    June 18, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. Darth Vadik, CA

    Sensitive and Republican do not belong in the same sentence, or in the same book for that matter. You do need to have some sense of ruthlessness to be a Republican. There will always be sociopaths amongst us, that is why there are a number of crazy conservatives around the world.

    BTW, did you hear about that very Christian thing that family did in South Africa, the father (husband) wanted to watch a world cup game, his family wanted to watch a gospel channel, so like I said, the family did the Christian thing and beat the father (husband) to death. Hope that gospel show was worth it.

    June 18, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  20. Eric

    Hey RINOs, grow a pair and be bold.

    It IS a slush fund.
    It IS a shake down.
    Barton was right the first time.

    My only fault with Barton is his lack of testicular fortitude re backpeddling on calling a spade a spade.

    That said, BP *WILL* need to pay out the wazoo to clean up this mess.

    However, Big Thumbs Barry doesn't need to get the fat lumox fingers of the Big Gubmint involved...not unless they want a whole f**kload of fraud, waste and abuse of the $20B.

    Big Gubmint is really good at that... f***ing things up.

    June 18, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |

    Keep talking wingnuts. Where is the tan man minority leader?

    June 18, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  22. Katherine Romberg

    As a Texan, I am ashamed that Barton represents my State. Typical statement coming from a politician that has received substantial amounts of money from Oil and Gas companies. One hand washing the other...both extremely dirty.

    June 18, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  23. Randy, San Francisco

    Rep. Joe Barton is only saying out loud what most GOP politicians believe, but afraid to make known.

    June 18, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. Pat F

    It is EXACTLY this cowardly behavior that makes the Republicans lose elections.

    Barton expresses a Constitutionally required, principled statement – that BP should pay what it LEGALLY owes, but should not be subjected to shakedowns, intimidation tactics, threats and other actions by Hugo Obama-Chavez.

    We still have the rule of law in the country, for a little while still anyway. Barton swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States, which gives DUE PROCESS OF LAW TO ALL. The Obamessiah swore the same oath – but another lie is all in a day's work for him.

    June 18, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  25. mike

    what is the difference if Barton is out they are just going to say the same thing but behind close doors Barton is from texas and all texas
    republicans think and act the same remember they are the party of no
    they can't think on there own if they do they are history

    June 18, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
1 2 3 4 5