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.To me, the really hilarious part of this story is the way that the GOP messaging machine assumed that Barton was laying down the party line. Republican bloggers rushed to their action stations and began to spread the word: "Chicago Shakedown"! The fix was in, the GOP was going to get a bailout for BP, only to have the GOP leadership yank the rug out from under them.
“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.”
Republicans, particularly Gulf state lawmakers, had fumed all afternoon over the comments, and some wanted Boehner to force him down as the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee.
"People are calling for his head," said a GOP member of the committee.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
GOP in complete disarray over Barton's apology!
Eric Cantor was forced to stop fundraising from big oil companies for fifteen minutes today and issue the following statement along with John Boehner and Mike Pence: