Eric Cantor: Barton’s BP Apology Biden-Gaffe ‘YouTube Moment’

June 24, 2010

(ChattahBox)—Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) just appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to defend Gen. Stanley McChrystal AGAIN, saying his “frustration” with President Obama’s Afghanistan policies led to McChrystal and his aides spewing White House insults in the Rolling Stone article. But the most interesting segment of his appearance was his disingenuous characterization of Rep. Joe Barton’s (R-TX) apology to BP, as a Biden-like Gaffe and “YouTube moment.” When Joe Scarborough pointed out that Barton was reading from a written statement, Cantor immediately pivoted to Barton’s apology to the GOP caucus yesterday. “Joe Barton is not the problem,” said Cantor. But, Scarborough and his guests, including Time’s Joe Klein, started to roar with laughter as it was pointed out to Cantor that Barton took to his Twitter to take back his apology, by tweeting “Joe Barton was Right.”

“If the standard for resignation was a YouTube moment or an inappropriate statement, wouldn’t you think the vice president would be handing in his letters twice a week?” responded Cantor.

“Joe Barton is not the issue. Joe Barton apologized,” he said. “Some people want to make Joe Barton the issue, but the issue, as you say, are the beaches in Pensacola and the economy that’s being battered and the environmental disaster of epic proportions in the Gulf. That’s the issue, and how we stop this gushing of oil. That’s the issue, not Joe Barton. Joe Barton was wrong, I said Joe Barton was wrong on this network.”

Cantor gamely repeated the line “Joe Barton is not the problem,” as Scarborough continued to ask how the ranking Republican on the House energy committee could remain on the panel, if his comments while apologizing to BP, were so far removed from the views held by the Republican Party.

Well, the answer of course, is that Barton’s statement absolutely reflected the views of his Republican colleagues. Just the day before, the 114-members of the Republican Study Committee, led by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) issued a statement attacking the BP $20 billion victims compensation fund, as a “Chicago-style shakedown.” That’s a majority of the Republicans in the House.

Oh, and guess who is a member of the Republican Study Committee? Yep, Eric Cantor.

Cantor is right, “Joe Barton is not the problem” the anti-regulation, pro big oil Republican Party is the problem, which favors a foreign corporation against the interests of the American people.

Transcript and video of Cantor’s comical Morning Joe appearance to come:

“SCARBOROUGH: He [Barton] kind of is, though. If he is the most powerful Republican on the Hill right now when it comes to energy, he is the issue, isn’t he?

CANTOR: No, he [Barton] is not. […]

SCARBOROUGH: Eric, I press you respectfully here, but it was a written statement. You and I both know that sometimes you get tired. Sometimes you say stupid things. I spoke, of course, of myself. I say it every day. You’re like, oh, God, I shouldn’t have said that. You kick yourself. Joe Barton is sitting here reading a statement ‘I apologized to BP!’

MIKA: He’s calling it a poor choice of words.

SCARBOROUGH: That was a calculated statement that shows a troubling mindset and I know you agree with me. You just can’t say it.

CANTOR:Joe, listen. If the standard for resignation is a YouTube moment or an inappropriate statement, wouldn’t you think the Vice President would be handing in his letters twice a week? I mean, come on!”



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