Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) is taking major fire from the demagoguing left and, sadly, the right, over remarks he made to BP earlier today regarding the $20 billion dollar “deal” that was struck w/ the WH:
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) is under fire from the White House and the Beltway media for his statement to BP today: “I’m only speaking for myself. I’m not speaking for anyone else, but I apologize. I do not want to live in a county where anytime a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong, [it is] subject to some sort of political pressure that, again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown.”
Barton should have been apologizing to the American people, not BP, but other than that he is 100% correct. What happened in the White House yesterday was a “shakedown” of Godfather-like proportions. Lets review:
Make sure to read the whole thing.
It’s despicable how not only Democrats like Nancy Pelosi are outright lying about what Barton (and, in fact, other GOPers have said/did on the “shakedown” issue (“Americans are suffering in the Gulf while Republicans apologize to Big Oil. We need clean energy now,” but also how House Republican “leaders” responded after the slams from the WH and Democrat “leaders”:
Rep. Joe Barton, R-Tex., was ordered by the top House leadership to retract his apology to BP and to apologize for making the statement in the first place or risk losing his position on a powerful House committee.
A GOP leadership aide tells The Washington Examiner that House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio and Rep. and Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., met with Barton this afternoon and warned him, “Apologize immediately or you will lose your position, immediately.”
But the damage may be done. The GOP rank-and-file are quite angry over the comment and some are calling for him to lose his position as ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“Now that he has apologized we’ll see what happens going forward,” the aide said.
I can tell this “aide” what will happen going forward, at least as far as many conservative voters are concerned. They will continue contributing money to individual candidates rather than giving any to the NRCC precisely because of BS like this. Here you have a Republican Congressman standing on principle regarding what the WH is trying to do to BP, and as soon as the Democrats start wailing about “this just proves the GOP are in the pockets of Big Oil” they retreat and go into “crisis” mode when really they should be standing by his side. This is nothing more than throwing one of your own under the bus in the interest of political expediency … something Barack Obama normally does, but something we should not.
Don’t they ever learn?
BTW, here’s was Barton’s apology – which was actually more of a “I’m sorry my comments were minsconstrued” than an actual “retraction”:
By midafternoon, Barton was back on the dais with a statement that was something short of what the leaders had demanded.
“I want the record to be absolutely clear that I think BP is responsible for this accident,” he said. “If anything I said this morning has been misconstrued, in opposite effect, I want to apologize for that misconstruction.”
Barton then issued, and Boehner’s office forwarded out a somewhat different written statement.
“I apologize for using the term ‘shakedown’ with regard to yesterday’s actions at the White House this morning, and I retract my apology to BP,” it began, and finished: “I regret the impact that my statement this morning implied that BP should not pay for the consequences of their decisions and actions in this incident.”