At a House Committee hearing on June 17th designed to give BP Executive Tony Hayward a political flogging while simultaneously giving U.S. Representatives the opportunity to grandstand as oil continues spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, Barton seemed to channel Wilson, stating the uncomfortable truth. He called the $20 Billion escrow fund BP was ordered by Barack Obama to create a "shakedown" and "slush fund". He also apologized to Hayward for it. The Democrats immediately went into shrill-mode, decrying Barton's comments.
Now, House Minority leader John Boehner is leading the charge of Republican House leaders in doing to Barton what John McCain and other Republicans did to Joe Wilson - turning on him for speaking the truth and forcing Barton to apologize.
Showing just how involved Republican leadership was in damage control over Barton’s comments today, the retraction was forwarded to the media by House Minority Leader John Boehner’s office. Moments after Boehner’s office publicized Barton’s retraction, Boehner, Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) sent out a statement condemning Barton.These are the same leaders who've no doubt seen what this administration has done with money it has control over. Boehner himself once said, "Oh, my God" in reference to a previous shakedown.
“Congressman Barton’s statements this morning were wrong,” the GOP leadership trio said in a rare joint statement. “BP itself has acknowledged that responsibility for the economic damages lies with them and has offered an initial pledge of $20 billion dollars for that purpose. The families and businesspeople in the Gulf region want leadership, accountability and action from BP and the Administration.”
Republican leadership once again shows that when forced to play a game of chicken with Democrats, it always bows out. Here are Barton's comments.
h/t to Big Journalism for the video