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. Amazed!!

    I wouldn't want Joe Barton as dog catcher! The man is apparantly unable think before he speaks which makes him a dangerous man and he is completely lost as to which side of the oil disaster he is supposed to support. Well, then again if big oil is paying his bills then I guess he did try to support the right side. Texans I hope your watching this loser and throw his A$$ out in November!!

    June 18, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |

    Will the media also show what the other Repug's said . like bachmann of minn. and angle of nev and other that agreed with Barton. Listen to Rush, and Mitt they all back the oil companies. Sarah Palin thinks Obama has been to hard on BP so drill baby drill is still on. Remember who was in charge when the regulations were written on off shore drilling back in 2001. It's time people open their eyes and see what would happen if these people would be in charge again.

    June 18, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. Me

    It seems the White House cares more about Rep. Barton's constituents than he does.

    June 18, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. Uh.....linsky

    It's because they've got nothing else.

    June 18, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. EBC

    Barton is a complete moron. Who voted for this idiot should be slapped silly.

    June 18, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. sifto77

    BP had already said they would pay all damages. They did not need a "shakedown" from Obama and co.I wish Barton had not apologized–he was right–the "shakedown" was all political posturing by the WH...anyone with half a brain understands that....all of the underhanded dealings by WH will come out in the wash....

    June 18, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. Annie, Atlanta

    It is something people should be considering during the upcoming elections. We are electing people who side with corporations against us. Some of these corporations don't really care who gets killed or what gets destroyed, as long as they make money. 11 Men are dead from the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the eco system that makes up the Gulf of Mexico is ruined for God knows how long, and Barton apologized to BP for a "shakedown," saying he was ashamed of the Administration (what else is new). And he's not the only Republican to feel this way. This is obscene.

    June 18, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. NVa Native

    Barton Fink wouldn't have said it unless it was a talking point approved by the Repub hierachy. But the Frank Luntz cheap slogan back-fired. That's all there is to it.
    Except that is what the pointy heads of the Repub party truely do believe – that no one should interfer with some one making money.
    Repubs worship the dollar, anything for a buck.

    June 18, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  9. Ken in NC

    If Democrats lose control of the House, Republican Congressman Joe Barton should not be qualified to be the chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee's Bathroom.

    June 18, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. David in Houston

    If the republican leadership truly stated what they think they'd all be searching the classifieds after the next election...

    June 18, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. jaybally

    Tom Lemay is NO Longer, Now its time for Joe Barton to hit the Trail !
    Houston and that District can do so much better.

    June 18, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. Peter s

    Republicans are owned by big corporations and lobbyists!!! no integrity no dignity they just know how to blow hot air like the Vuvuzelas at the on going world cup soccer tournament!! NOISE AND MORE NOISE

    June 18, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. William Jefferson

    pubbies are furious that barton pulled back the curtain to remind voters of who he republicon aprty represents. In case you all forgot, it is not American taxpaying hardworking citizens. The gop is no and has been since 1877 a wholy owned subsidiary of Big Business.

    June 18, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. Fair is Fair


    Is the white house this desperate as to make a huge deal out of remarks made my a previously unknown congressman in a pathetic effort to distract from their utter incompetence?

    Obama-La-La Land

    June 18, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. Gil

    Nice to see and hear that Barton isn't afraid to show and tell us that the Party of No is already in the pockets of big oil and other corporate lobbyists. The rest of them lie and cover-up! The Party of No has got to go!

    June 18, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. obama victim

    democrats should apologize for their existence

    June 18, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. AEK

    Yes! Please keep hammering away. These people have to be shown for what they really are!

    June 18, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. Gary, Hunt Valley, Md.

    Thanks for the election campaign sound bite, Joe. Priceless. I'm guessing the next Big Oil check is in the mail headed to Barton's PO Box. Way to take one for the team of multi-billionaires, Joe. You are a truly a man of the (rich) people. The only thing more amusing is watching corporate whores such as Boehner showing Palin-like mock outrage at Barton's revealing comments.

    June 18, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  19. Ramon

    Republicans have no ideas for the future they're just counting I may seat they’re going to win in November.

    June 18, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. Charlie in Maine

    "Drill baby drill" Drill here drill now " (my favorite since he was standing on a boat when he said it)

    Remember these words the next time you don't think Obama has done enough.

    Okay now take a deep breath and try to remember why you voted for Obama.

    And if that doesn't jog your memory then ask yourself who we would be invading now to take the country's mind off the spill if this had happened during the Bush Error.

    June 18, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. Dano

    Congressman Barton was just voicing the same opinion that most republicans hold, but now that there has been an uproar over it his pals are moving away from him. They even forced him to retract his apology to BP or lose his committee chair. I didn't know you could take back an apology once given. He obviously felt strongly enough that President Obama was being too hard on BP to make this outrageous statement, so now he'll have to suffer the consequences of his actions come election time.

    June 18, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. mark

    White house waited until this week to finally do something about the mess.

    They are just trying to save their pathetic skin

    June 18, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. Doug

    I love it,. the republicans are showing their true colors. they can't even hold back during a big election year. Please, keep the stupid comments coming, it only helps the Democratic party take more control in governemnt 🙂

    June 18, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. Jilli

    As a resident of this clowns district, you can bet I'll have Barton and every republican on my brain when I cast my vote in the upcoming elections.

    June 18, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  25. Nadeem

    The pressure the Bhonner put on him to appoligize or give up his position on the commitee is unethical.

    This is GOP style politics at its worst.

    June 18, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
1 2 3 4