Robalini's Note: Though Barton later apologized for his apology to BP - under pressure from GOP leaders who realize being a shameless defender of BP at this point is too in-your-face outrageous for American voters - it is hardly outside the GOP norm. Here's a quote from nutwing Michelle Bachman of Minnesota:
"But if I was the head of BP, I would let the signal get out there -- 'We're not going to be chumps, and we're not going to be fleeced.' And they shouldn't be. They shouldn't have to be fleeced and make chumps to have to pay for perpetual unemployment and all the rest -- they've got to be legitimate claims."
GOP congressman apologizes to BP for $20 billion 'shakedown'
Jun 17, 2010
Things aren't all bad for BP. CEO Tony Hayward appeared before a House Energy panel Thursday and at least one Republican congressman spoke up in his defense.
Rep. Joe Barton called the $20 billion trust fund a "shakedown" and apologized to the oil company.
"I'm speaking totally for myself and I'm not speaking for the Republican Party and I'm not speaking for anybody in the House of Representatives but myself, but I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it's a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown. In this case, a $20 billion shakedown with the Attorney General of the United States who is legitimately conducting a criminal investigation and has every right to do so to protect the interests of the American people participating in what amounts to a $20 billion slush fund that's unprecedented in our nation's history that's got no legal standing and what I think sets a terrible precedent for the future," said Barton.
"I'm only speaking for myself. I'm not speaking for anybody else, but I apologize. I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong and is subject to some sort of political pressure that is, again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown. So I apologize," he said.
(Nicole): Does it surprise you that Joe Barton's largest campaign contributors come from the oil & gas industries? It shouldn't. Nice that he so blatantly shows his bias against Americans and the worst environmental disaster to hit this country and for his own craven interests. Frankly, I think Nancy Pelosi should make him apologize to Americans on the House floor since he was also the chief architect of the Cheney Oil Act that deregulated oil industry, waived EIRs and allowed this travesty to happen.