What Barton Said a Few Hours Later The New York Times reports on Barton's mid-day clarification: "I want the record to be absolutely clear that I believe BP is responsible for this accident, should be held responsible and should in every way possible make good on the consequences that have resulted from this accident. If anything I’ve said this morning was misconstrued from that I want to apologize for that misconstruction."
Joe Barton then:
I'm speaking now totally for myself. I'm not speaking for the Republican Party, 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 is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation could 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 which sets, I think, a terrible precedent for the future ... There is no question that BP is liable for the damages. But we have a due process system where we go through hearings, in some cases court cases, litigation, and determine what those damages are and when those damages should be paid. So 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, he's subjected to some sort of political pressure that is again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown. So I apologize.