Republican Congressman Barton retracts apology to BP

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Washington, June 18 (ANI): Republican Congressman from Texas Joe Barton has retracted his apology to British Petroleum (BP) in connection with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Barton had not only apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward, but also infuriated both Democrats and Republicans by suggesting that a 20 billion-escrow fund was a "shakedown" by the White House.

Barton now says that BP should bear the full financial responsibility for the accident on their lease in the Gulf of Mexico and 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, 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 (Republican-Virginia) and Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Republican-Indiana) sent out a statement condemning Barton.

Florida Republican Jeff Miller was the first in his party to call for Barton to resign.

"I am shocked by Congressman Joe Barton's reprehensible comments that the government should apologize for the 'shakedown' of BP. BP has caused the greatest ecological and environmental disaster our nation has ever seen. Mr. Barton's remarks are out of touch with this tragedy and I feel his comments call into question his judgment and ability to serve in a leadership on the Energy and Commerce Committee. He should step down as Ranking Member of the Committee," said Miller.

Barton said calls for his resignation are "news to me." (ANI)

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