Watch as Rep. Joe Barton (Republican, Texas) apologizes to BP CEO Tony Hayward (I hope you’ve already had lunch):
I think he’s serious. He looks serious. And he sure sounds whiny.
Judging from Mr. Hayward’s composure during Mr. Barton’s remarks, even he was embarrassed.
Response from the White House:
“What is shameful is that Joe Barton seems to have more concern for big corporations that caused this disaster than the fishermen, small business owners and communities whose lives have been devastated by the destruction. Congressman Barton may think that a fund to compensate these Americans is a ‘tragedy’, but most Americans know that the real tragedy is what the men and women of the Gulf Coast are going through right now. Members from both parties should repudiate his comments.”
From the DNC:
“While the President has gotten BP to rightfully apologize to the American people for their reckless behavior, their inexcusable response and their insulting approach, Republicans are apologizing to BP. Republicans could not have this more backward, and it raises serious questions as to why they are on the side of BP and the oil companies instead of that of the American people. The only people Republicans and Joe Barton should be apologizing to are the people of the Gulf who they’ve turned their backs on to defend BP.”
P.S. Remember that if by some fluke the Republicans regain control of the House of Representatives this fall, Representative Barton is in line to become Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee (which oversees big oil).