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Barton and GOP leaders walk back BP 'apology'

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) walked back his "apology" (he didn't use the word) to BP, saying just now that "BP is responsible for this accident, should be held responsible" and "if anything I have said this morning has been misconstrued to an opposite effect, I want to apologize for that misconstruction."

Nonetheless, the House GOP leadership of Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), and Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) put out a response to Barton -- released after his apology-about-an-apology -- making crystal clear that the GOP did not agree with his initial statement.

"The oil spill in the Gulf is this nation’s largest natural disaster and stopping the leak and cleaning up the region is our top priority," said the leaders. "Congressman Barton’s statements this morning were wrong. 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."

All of that said, there really is Republican disagreement with the escrow fund, and the way the fund was set up. I'll have more on that shortly.

By David Weigel  |  June 17, 2010; 3:58 PM ET
Categories:  Energy  
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Next: Republicans happy with Barton apology, but disagree on the 'shakedown'

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