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. Karen

    Just please tell me what has been "good enough" in this disaster on the gulf coast? Certainly not this administration – wrong side of the USA for them to care enough.

    June 18, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Terry

    Regrettably, Mr. Barton doesn't have a lock on stupidity. I think it's quite contagious and spreading like wild fire in D.C..

    June 18, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. jimbo

    Mr. Barton was just being honest, now the rest of the republicans want him to resign so they can cover up what their all about. Corporate america over the average American, banks over people living in their homes, and big oil over the environment or even peoples way of life. When will you people realize the republicans only care about money and the people who have it, and are perfectly willing to do their biding. Don't believe me look up how much they got from the insurance industry. They call the money they received campaign finance instead of bribes. Do you think they would have gotten any money if they weren't doing what the insurance companies wanted. Case closed.

    June 18, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  4. Walt

    Joe Barton was right to apologize for obama taking away BP's Constitutional Rights. They have not been convicted of anything and therefore are not required to put $20 billion in a slush fund through arm strong tactics by obama. This is what the courts are for, even the terrorists who have attacked the U.S. get a trial, (stupid because they are enemies of the U.S.), but BP is not a terrorist. This was an accident until proven otherwise. There should be no exceptions to the Constitutional rule. We all know that obama has stated that the Constitution is in his way and needs to be revised, (NO WAY) it needs to be protected and upheld. What happened to the oath that obama took at the start of his office to uphold and protect the Constitution, isn't this treason? Yes, BP needs to take care of the mess, if they don't then they need to be taken to court where it belongs, not king obama adjudicate and levy judgment by and through himself. You need to listen to what Joe Barton apologized for and not just take out a little piece so that you can make something horrible that was not there to try and destroy someone's life and our Constitution.

    June 18, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Charly

    Just remember, if the Repubs take back the house, he becomes the comittee chair. Do you think he's objective when it comes to "big oil"?

    June 18, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. Don Prosser

    While he's at it, does Mr. Barton want to apologize to the terrorists who
    took down the twin towers on Sept. eleven? Well maybe not. They
    haven't given him over $100,000.

    June 18, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Crystal

    ABSOLUTELY This guy should have been kicked off the committee as soon as he made the stupid aplogy! What an insensitve JERK!

    June 18, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. renell echols

    Here go again another republican defends a big company rather than the citzen of the country how dare him say that he give BP a apology .what about people out work,that has no imcome, that just like a republican just thinking about their pocket.

    June 18, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Duwayne Anderson

    The reason that the Republican Party is up in arms about Barton's comment is that Barton's comment is spot on, and illuminates the central theme of the new Fascist Right: "Corporations rule, and the rest of you "little people" don't matter."

    That was their reigning philosophy leading up to the financial mess on Wall Street, and it's the central tenant of the Cheney/Bush administrations "energy" policy.

    The Republicans want to keep their *real* platform a secret, so their mad at Barton for spilling the beans - but *not* mad at him for what he said!

    June 18, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  10. Driller

    No No Joe Must stay On. George Bush was wrong about Iraq and he stayed ON. Whats this compared to George Bush? peanuts. Just a few drops of oil in a big ocean. No biggie. Drill baby Drill!!!

    June 18, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  11. hal

    Even though it was a "stupid" comment- he has the right to say what he wants- it's called- freedom of speech.

    June 18, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. Probama in Paradise

    He's right–they were stupid and insensitive. Never thought I'd agree with a republican–

    June 18, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. ja

    Barton thought the 20 billion would cut into his money from BP

    June 18, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    Could the GOP get any more sleazy than this? "It takes a big person to admit they were wrong", says Bonner. Ha Ha.

    Wrong Mr. Bonner. It takes a big person to admit this is exactly WHAT most of GOP Congressionals believe. Bachmann did at least have the balls to say it. Why isn't the GOP condemning HER?

    Barton never admitted he was wrong. Barton was forced to retract his apology for fear of losing his high prestige job.

    Guess he can kiss it good-bye anyway.

    June 18, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. Samuel L Kaplan

    Rep Joe Barton had it correct. This was an intentional shakedown by the Obama Whitehouse. Now that he has gotten his way, no more bashing BP. What $20 Billion dollar shakedown did was to get Obams off of the BP bashing it was taking. Obams did not mention Transocean nor Halliburton and their failures, only BP.
    Rep Barton should not have to apologize to anyone for his honest opinion, unless of course that if the Democrats and/or Republicans do not agree on his comments, as apparently they do not, what right do they have to stiffle honest comments. Every member of Congress and the Obama Whitehouse should apologize for what happened to BP. No wonder the Congressional rating is in the toilet. Lack of Balls!

    June 18, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. Rosslaw

    Maybe the repubs should just plug Barton, although Barton does represent a refreshingly honest face of republican party and its "values".

    June 18, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. KJ

    I may disagree with Rep. Bonner's political leanings, but I respect him for having the courage to call out one of his own.

    June 18, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  18. Bob in PA

    Our current congress is just chalk full of scum.
    The man said whats on his mind and BP is most certainly entitled to "due process" under the law.

    June 18, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. Daniel

    Well said Mr Bonner

    June 18, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. Rowe

    Barton was only sorry that he forgot there was a TV camera in the room while he was grovelling to his corporate owners, and that's what he apologized for.

    The other Republicans are only mad at him now because he embarrassed them by confirming in public what everybody already knows: that the GOP is owned by big corporations.

    Don't get me wrong, most of the Democrats are owned by corporations and special interest groups, too. Trial lawyers, trade unions, etc. It's just that Democrats are usually owned by a different subset of corporate masters. Also, the main difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Republicans believe that what is in the best interests of corporations is ALWAYS in the best interests of American citizens, and that the market place will take care of both corporate misbehavior and human rights. ("What's good for General Motors is good for America.") Democrats are in a state of denial. While they realize that corporate and public interests are not always the same, and are sometimes in conflict, they can strike a "balance" between corporate and public interests, and hopefully take just enough bribes from a certain subset of corporate interests to win elections without abusing the public TOO much.

    We need campaign finance reform BADLY!

    How about a new "contract with America?" Politicians wishing to be elected will sign a contract that says they'll sponsor or vote for a bill or a Constitutional amendment defining business corporations as NON-PEOPLE, and banning corporate donations to political campaigns and banning corporate lobbying.

    America has been a corporate plutocracy for a long time, now. The only thing Barton is sorry about is the fact that he made it so obvious.

    June 18, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. Randolph

    Use Barton to plug the oil leak in the Gulf.

    June 18, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Sarah

    The only reason why he said what he did to the BP CEO is becuase he more than likely gets royalities from BP and other oil companies, so the fines and trust fund set up by BP could very well hamper his next check that is suppose to come his way.

    June 18, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Wisconsinite

    The only reason the RepubliCAN'TS are coming out against that idiot's stupid remarks is because they know it's going to cost them votes in November and they aren't going to have very many votes to spare!

    June 18, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. andyoo

    I think Barton is right.
    BP did a bad thing getting the gulf polluted.
    However, it's up to the law and courts to decide how much they should pay up. You can't just change the existing law like what the congress want to do now just to re-tro punish a company.
    You play by the rules that is set today. If you change the rules, it shouldn't apply backward.
    What obama did is just blackmail the company to pay up by their power.
    It's the right thing for BP to do to clean up and pay for those affected, but it's according to their free will. What Obama did has no legal binding what so ever. It's like highway robbery.
    If you got stop by a traffic cop because you speeding , can he charge you a million dollar just because he think you did bad?
    He can only charge you up to what the existing law allows.
    Judges however, can fine you more but it's not up to the executive branch to do that....nor the law markers to make law to punish companies.
    The drilling stop on oil in gulf is killing TX and LU because other than no fishing, the government is double damaging their economy by also restricting drilling.
    Obama has no plan on stopping the oil flow. He just want to use this
    to push for his energy reform .

    June 18, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. Justin

    The most outrageous part of his apology to BP was saying that BP paying for the damage they've caused is a "tragedy of the first order". What order of tragedy does Rep. Barton think the Gulf spill is? Maybe it's only one of the second or third order?

    June 18, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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