June 18th, 2010
12:48 PM ET
12 years ago

White House keeps hitting Barton

Columbus, Ohio (CNN) - The White House on Friday continued its assault on controversial comments made by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas.

At a hearing on Capital Hill Thursday, Barton apologized to BP executives and said that the White House was trying to "shakedown" the company for a $20 billion fund to help with the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill. Barton later issued an apology for the statement.

During a gaggle aboard Air Force One Friday, Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said he "saw the tourtured construction" of Barton's apology for his initial statement, calling it "an example of what some folks in the Republican party truly believe."

Burton then warned of the consequences of a Republican controlled Congress, pointing out that Barton would be chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee.

"This is something people should be considering" during the upcoming midterm elections, he said.

Filed under: BP • Joe Barton • Obama administration
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. marxist dogs are out of control

    It the Coast Guard interception of oil recovery boats is the result of orders from the White House, Mr. Obama is guilty of high treason. CNN seems to not understand what is going on.

    June 18, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. rocknwroll

    Barton's initial comments typify in general the Republican party mindset toward the average American (corporations 1st, people 2nd or maybe a distant 4th behind dogs and cats). Think about it next time you vote.

    June 18, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. AQ

    Yet another reason why Texas is destroying this country. And while we're at it – will the Southerners (especially LA) stop whining about the oil spill – maybe if they had been informed voters and not simply racist, party line votes this wouldn't have happened. THEY voted for the party that allowed oil companies to get away with murder so THEY should suffer for their actions. The animals in the Gulf region are truly the only victims.

    June 18, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  4. sammieb51

    Barton, Bachman - on their knees before one of their Gods. Unreal with this mess happening in my front yard to hear this man and woman beholden to BP. Means me and mine would get nothing, absolutely nothing, if the Republicans were running the show.

    June 18, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. Independent_me

    He is absolutely right!
    The Republicans are in bed with Big Oil and if they had been in power, all they would have held BP responsible for would have been $27 million ... Thank God Obama is in office!

    June 18, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. Pam

    Apology not accepted Joe Barton!!!
    If you did not truly believe what you were saying, you never would have said it. When will you politicians understand that a "retraction" is meaningless?

    You have been cozy with oil companies for many years Joe.
    Just wait until that oil starts to show up on the Texas beaches and then see where you stand with your constituents!!

    June 18, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. norma

    Oh we have and we will.

    June 18, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. scott

    most repub agree with but they r afraid 2 say it in public.his apoligy was forced on him by thd repub leadership

    June 18, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Rita Nalette

    The remarks of Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas yesterday were beyond the pale and just one more example that the GOP doesn't play well with others and has no concern for America or American people.

    June 18, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. Republican party truly believe

    we actually have Barton to thank for bringing this back to the front, but this is NOT new

    these GOPers have been saying all kinds of just off the wall things

    things that show the insensitvity of their thinking process and the me first as well as the lobby workings from behind the scenes

    DON'T let this go away, look a little deeper

    these GOPers don't care at all and after 8 years of damage to the U.S., we CANNOT let them run things again

    June 18, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  11. Craig

    ANYTIME there is a republican ANYWHERE is a good time to be concerned.

    June 18, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. notabushwhacker

    anyone with a plan would be a better thing for the country than the group of gropers that we have fibbing and fornicating the system today. the current group of porch monkeys has not done a thing to improve from the days of hope and change. the only hope that we have is that he does not get any more legislation throw before we throw him and his pets out. have a nice day you dumbocrats, your loser is on his way out with the bathwater.

    June 18, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. RAWoD

    Barton is an idiot. Pretty typical, however, for today's politicians.

    June 18, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. Right Leaning Independent

    It was a shake down! It was for a good cause but it was a shake down Chicago style. The scary part is when they start shaking down other companies in the US! There are laws and ways of dealing with these matters and this shake down flies right in the face of the way our country runs!! If BPsaid No, one has to wonder the consequences they would have faced from Obama...

    June 18, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. ronvan

    Not to worry. WE are so brain washed by these elected children that he will probably win another election while putting $$$ in his pocket from the oil companies.

    June 18, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. GI Joe

    The republicans want BIG business to get all the breaks so that they get the BIG campaign contributions. How's that working for the small people?

    June 18, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. rdepontb

    The Deputy Press Secretary has a strong point there...what if Joe Barton had been head of that committee? Would he then have said, "I speak for the committee and the Federal Government, sir, and I apologize for the United States of America that our coastline got in the way of the oil you are leaking. I apologize for having you waste your time. I apologize for the small people in this country. I love your accent and your money in my pocket."

    June 18, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. Liberal4Obama

    It's not news that Republicans are in bed with Big Oil, at least not to me, but what is truly despicable and disgusting is the way the GO(B)P condemned the people of the Gulf of Mexico, to threaten those poor people with the prospect of 20+ Year litigations a la Exxon Valdes is the single most shameful act of cowardice I have seen in my entire life.

    June 18, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  19. Darth Vadik, CA

    Only idiots, AKA hard core Republicans, fool themselves into believing that these freaks like Barton make sense. Well the idiotic Libertarians too, you are just as waco.

    BP needs an appology????????????
    For a shakedown??????????????
    After the mess they created?????????
    Due to carelessness and lack of following safety regulations??????????

    The gall of some people, especially you Republicans who have been wrong about every freaking economic and political thing for the past 30 years, from trickle down economics to they will welcome us as liberators.


    June 18, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. Hammerer

    If that was not a shakedown what was it? obama is drooling at the thought of getting his hands on that 20 billion. ALCORN needs help and he can see 100 ways to channel the money their way.
    With a hand picked panel to oversee the cash and out governments track record where do you think the money will go. To the "little people" right? Not on your life.

    June 18, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Debbie

    Don't always agree with the White House but Barton's comment is not acceptable. He did not voluntarily revoke his statement thus showing his true colors and those colors are not red, white, and blue but those of a traitor!

    June 18, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  22. ART

    This just says it all another Joe republican who basically is saying screw you to the people whos livelyhood are being decimated by whats going on in the gulf. This moron had the odacity to spew such trash, its time to hold these republicans responsible for the crap they say and do

    June 18, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. Rickster

    41% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president's performance. That’s the lowest level of approval yet recorded for this president. Fifty-eight percent (58%) now disapprove.

    Heading into the 30's % approval ratings in less then a year and a half. Heckuva job, Barry!

    June 18, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. Joseph

    I am scared of the Republicans. They are so conservative to the extent that their thinking is 100 years behind. They are offering apology to BP, suggesting that Social Security should be privatized, fielding Sarah Palin for presidency, trying to compare McCain with Obama, and suggesting Americans vote Republicans for Congress. Ridiculous!

    June 18, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. Wisconsinite

    Barton was only stupid enough to say out loud what ALL RepubliCAN'Ts believe! They want to turn us into America, Incorporated!

    June 18, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
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