It's only been a few hours since GOP Congressman Joe Barton apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward for the American government's handling of the oil disaster, but he's already being forced to reject speculation that he'll be asked to resign.
Republicans, particularly Gulf state lawmakers, are furious at Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and may ask him to cede his job as top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee in the wake of his apology to BP Thursday.
"People are calling for his head," said a GOP member of the committee.
... Barton, headed into Minority Leader John Boehner's office, said calls for his resignation are "news to me."
Asked whether he planned to stay put as top Republican on the committee, he declared "Damn straight."
Lawmakers were "hunkered down" in Boehner's office to discuss the flap, according to the member who said people were calling for Barton's resignation.
So, let me get this straight: a top Republican apologizes to the head of the company that has caused the biggest environmental disaster in the history of the United States and GOPers have to have a discussion over whether or not they want him to resign? That's seriously a question they need to mull?
The fact that they are thinking about it tells you that they agree with Barton. Their only real concern is the political stupidity of his words.
Update: The GOP leadership may be in a panic, but one Republican Congressman is furious:
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), whose Pensacola district is among the most-impacted areas in the Gulf by the oil spill, condemned Barton for apologizing to BP CEO Tony Hayward during a committee meeting on Thursday.
"I condemn Mr. Barton’s statement. 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," MIller said in a statement. "He should step down as Ranking Member of the Committee.”
-- Barbara Morrill