June 23rd, 2010
04:18 PM ET
13 years ago

Barton retains position, controversy continues

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/23/art.bartoncu0620.gi.jpg caption="Rep. Joe Barton will retain the senior GOP slot on the House Energy and Commerce Committee."]Washington (CNN) – Despite calls for Rep. Joe Barton to be stripped of his powerful committee position, House Republicans decided Wednesday to allow him to retain the senior GOP slot on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

A handful of fellow House Republicans wanted Barton to lose his post after the Texas GOP lawmaker described BP's agreement to establish a $20 billion fund for oil spill victims "a shakedown" by the Obama administration and apologized to the oil giant. Barton later retracted his comments after being shelled by criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, emphasized that Barton had apologized again for making those remarks and noted that the issue was now "closed."

"Joe Barton apologized, retracted his statement last week, he apologized this morning, he apologized to his Republican colleagues," Boehner said. "We should not though allow this distraction to get in the way of the real problem. The administration has no plan that will stop the leak in the Gulf and help clean up this mess. And frankly, they want to use this distraction in order to push their national energy plan, their cap and trade bill. We are going to do everything we can to make sure they do not impose this job killing tax on Americans."

But just as Boehner was trying to close the book on this embarrassing controversy, a Barton aide sparked a political firestorm when he sent out a link to an article that expressed support for the Texas Republican. Barton spokesman Sean Brown acknowledged that he had "tweeted" to supporters The American Spectator's story "Joe Barton was Right."

"Without thinking about it much, I added a headline from one of the daily news clips to a website that is, in turn, linked to the congressman's Twitter account," Brown said. "Mr. Barton was not aware of the Tweet."

Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse said the tweet was evidence that Barton's earlier apology was "bunk."

Filed under: Joe Barton
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. american patriot

    this FAT overweight SLOTH of a man should be investigated for his Voting on behalf of Corporations over the best interest forthe American Citizen.

    He is a Lobbyst's best friend.

    He should be investigated by the FBI, and if found to have used crucial Votes for Corporation over the People of the United States.

    He should be arrested for TREASON against the American People.

    June 23, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  2. Darth Vadik, CA

    GObP, hahahahahaha
    that pretty much sums it all up.

    Boehner may think that this is over but its pretty far from over, they need to play Barton apology on a loop 24/7, kind of like the GOP played that Kerry idiotically mumbling of "I voted for it before I voted against it"

    And the Barton loop is not even taken out of context, he meant it.

    So do the GOP who are letting him stay in his spot. How could they lose their big oil cheerleader after all, damn the gulf and drill baby drill...

    June 23, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. Augsbee

    Are you guys seriously upset at this man when numerous comments posted on CNN previously were of people saying President Obama did a great job getting us $20 billion and basically we should be happy of it as if we didn't expect BP to pay for the damages they caused us?????

    What this man said is just as bad as people thanking BP for giving us $20 billion to cover the damages they caused us.

    We should be mad at this man and at people who thank BP for paying us $20 billion for damages.

    June 23, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. Darth Vadik, CA

    Let me get this straight,

    The Republikkklans, who are pro drilling even their own mothers house if they can make 2 cents, blame Obama, who is pro stricter drilling regulations, for the spill.

    At the same time, the Republikkklans, apologize to big oil because they are asked to clean up their mess???


    June 23, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  5. katiec

    The problem is many , many republican politicians think just like Barton but do not have the nerve to say so. They would much prefer to rape the taxpayers than see their idol, BP etc have to suffer any consequences.
    Voters, do we need any additional proof that the republicans will continue with their undying love, support for Wall St and continue to sacrifice us and our country in any way they can?? Just look at their voting records, the obstruction against finance reform or anything that will not give continued control, perks and favor to big business.

    June 23, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. 8 years of the Bush Error = How many years of recession and unemployment?

    Great news!

    I see the "apology" on an endless loop of political ads starting about 11/1.

    "Do you really want to return the majority in the House to the party that would allow Barton to be head of the Energy Committee?

    "You remember Barton, he the one that wanted to give the lawyers anywhere from a quarter to a third of the 20 billion President Obama secured for Gulf Coast citizens and let the lawyers not pay you the remainder of the 11 billion or so for another 8-10 years?

    So, do you REALLY want a Republican majority in the House?"

    You betcha' that will be a sure fire winning strategy, come midterms!

    So, while you cons are on a streak, here is the Republican dream team.

    Palin/Bachmann 2012!

    June 23, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. REG in AZ

    Without hesitation or concern for other than their own interests the Republicans are all too quick to play politics with everything, regardless of any real needs of the people. After refusing to responsibly offer bipartisan cooperation to fine tune and adjust policy and instead constantly only criticizing and obstructing everything they continue to disregard the problems and concentrate solely on manipulating public opinion with their subterfuge. The people better start recognizing who has their best interests at heart, whether they totally agree with everything or not, and begin rejecting those who just put their political ambitions above all else. Remember that ever returning to 'more of the same' would be a catastrophe in the making, no matter how it is rationalized.

    June 23, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  8. John

    Joe will never be voted out of office because he's from Texas. Just look at some of the nutcases that have come from that state. Naqib...keep looking for the 20B and you may find out where the 100B that disappeared in Iraq under the Bush Administration is stashed. You know...the wads of $100 bills that they were throwing like footballs.

    June 23, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. PMK

    Nothing to say than Americans should look each other in the face and do what is right and not bring and speak racism agains the incubent.

    June 23, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |

    Rep. Boner just proved the point that the GOP was not upset with what Rep. Barton said, only that he said it in public. In private this is exactly what the GOP believes. Rep. Barton just forgot to lie this time, something that Rep. John Boner is an expert at. This really is a wake up call to the American people, even the Tea Baggers should see this. The GOP wants to give everything and anything to the oil companies who bought them. So if BP doesn't pay for the spill guess who does, the American people. Somehow this seems to be just fine with the GOP.

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.

    June 23, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. Shari from Madison WI

    Leave it to the republican's to let this idiot stay in a powerful position! It just goes to prove again that the Republican Party believes that the rich are above the law and that the middle and lower class people are not important at all! The Repubs are repugnant. They will do anyting to demean President Obama because they are racist and they only care about keeping their pockets full with ill-gotten gain. They believe in big business and to H**ll with the average person. We are just insignificant pawns in their game of letting big business do anything it wants without having to face the consequences. Shame on them!!!!!

    June 23, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  12. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Yet more evidence that the Republican party has officially sold-out. Barton only worked for Big Oil himself. Who knew Bush and Cheney were CEO's of Big Oil companies and Sec. Rice was on the Board of Directors for Chevron? Good luck with that party of sell-outs for personal greed and agendas.

    June 23, 2010 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. Pat

    Let's admit it, money talks w/Republicans! What a sham! Barton & Bachmann – vote them both out.

    June 23, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  14. President Obama's "porkulus" package is bringing home the bacon!

    Thank you oh great Orange Oracle for deeming the matter "closed".

    You will see that America knows your party is for big business and not the average American, and the resulting "shakedown" at the polls in November.

    Great leadership and foresight, Orange One.

    June 23, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. a health economist

    @ Naqib

    While I would likely disagree with many of your political positions, and you mine, I have to admit that was pretty funny.

    June 23, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  16. Byrd

    Why should someone guilty of sedition and treason be allow to keep any position of responsibility? Let him move to England or Dubai where his real loyalties lie. Aftrer all, all of his Halliburton buddies are fleeing – did I say fleeing? – I meant, moving as fast as their accounts can be transferred.

    June 23, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  17. BeverlyNC

    Barton NEVER apologized.
    This absolutely proves Republicans agree with the comments of Joe Barton. Republicans believe the oil companies are more important than the People whose lives have been destroyed by them.
    Boehner wants taxpayers, not BP, to pay for the cleanup. Old Newt doesn't think this rises to the level of a "disaster. Republicans are blocking change to the Oil and Gas law that puts liability at $75M. There should be no limit. If you destroy it, then you pay to clean it up and compensate those you hurt.

    Republicans are mad because BP will not pay any more dividends to their stockholders this year. Guess that's because they all have so much oil stock. Guess they are also scared there won't be enough money for the oil companies to pay them their million dollar bribes this year either.

    When it comes to choosing what is best for the big corporations and what is best for the People, you can depend on Republicans to choose the big corporations every single time. They could care less what happens to the working families of the middle class. We are just "lesser people" as Republican Alan Simpson just said this week.

    Republican arrogance and disrespect for the People who put them in their fat salary/fat healthcare program and fat guaranteed pensions. Let's how these jerks who has the real power. WE have the VOTE and let's get all these corporate-loving, people hating members of the House and Senate out of office in November.

    Democrats are the Party of the People. Democrats have delivered for the People this entire Congress....equal pay for women, pay raises for the troops, better healthcare and post-injury care for our vets, putting consumer protections back in place to keep banks and credit card companies from abusing us, giving us the best healthcare options we have ever had with no more games over pre-existing conditions, fights over treatment our doctors have recommended, free preventive care checkups, caps on premiums etc. and a rebound of the economy. We had Cash for Clunkers that put over 1000 auto industry workers back to work, help to stop home foreclosures, tax credits for new homebuyers to get the housing market moving again, and extended unemployment benefits for those who still cannot find work.

    Guess who voted against every single one of these items??? The clueless, anti-People Republicans!!!

    They still think tax cuts for the rich is the answer for everything. We have been down that road and President Obama is still cleaning up the Republican disasters from the Bush years.

    It's time to put the PEOPLE first and that will only happen if we have more Democrats elected to national office.

    June 23, 2010 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. CEvans, Texas

    Do any Repubs have any common sense? Do any of you have any moral values? Do any of you even like you? I know the ones in Texas can probably answer NO to all of the above!! Just look at what the last one in office did to our country!!

    June 23, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
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