UPDATED: Barton caves under pressure from republican leadership and retracts his apology to BP CEO Tony Hayward.

Joe Barton retracts apology to BP

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) is apologizing for his apology.

After infuriating Democrats and Republicans alike with his public apology to BP and suggesting that a $20 billion escrow fund was a “shakedown” by the White House, Barton is now “retracting” his statement, made at a hearing with BP CEO Tony Hayward.

“I apologize for using the term ‘shakedown’ with regard to yesterday’s actions at the White House in my opening statement this morning, and I retract my apology to BP,” Barton said. “As I told my colleagues yesterday and said again this morning, BP should bear the full financial responsibility for the accident on their lease in the Gulf of Mexico. BP should fully compensate those families and businesses that have been hurt by this accident.”

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.

“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.”

Whatever you may think of BP, Barack Obama setting up an escrow fund for the injured parties of the gulf states is totally un-American and goes against our ‘rule of law’.  The power to decide who gets what will no longer be decided in a court of law, but by the Executive Branch.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) apologizing to BP CEO Tony Hayward for the strong-arm tactics used by the Obama administration.

For those of you that don’t understand what Barack just did, here are the words of Judge Napolitano from yesterday’s Glenn Beck program.

The Feds trumped BP engineers, and the Feds trumped the wishes of the folks that live along the Gulf Coast, and the Feds decided where this oil well would be drilled. Disaster struck. The Feds did nothing. Oil gushed out in an amount so great as to be immeasurable. Political pressure grew. The President eventually panicked because he believes that his federal government can right every wrong, regulate every activity, and protect us from every catastrophe. He’s wrong. Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal was ready to build barriers to protect his state’s coastline and the Feds incredibly said no. The President even invoked powers that allow him to supervise the cleanup using BP personnel and equipment, and the oil still gushes. Last week, the president stopped all drilling in the gulf, putting thousands of Americans out of work. Last night, he demanded billions from BP so his team could decide who gets it, and today, a terrified BP gave him all the cash he asked for.

So the government, the government that foolishly limited BP’s maximum liability, the government that claimed it knew where best to drill, the government that actually stopped locals from protecting their own shoreline; that would be the same government that has bankrupted Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Post Office, Amtrak, and virtually everything it has ever managed. The government now wants to decide who gets BP’s cash. The last time this government had this much private cash to give away during the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies, it disregarded well settled law, and it gave it to it’s friends in the labor unions. To whom will it give this cash? The innocent injured or it’s political buddies. The government cannot protect us from every catastrophe, especially ones it’s rules have facilitated.

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