While MSNBC's Joe Scarborough has repeatedly defended President Obama's handling of the oil spill, he used his show on Thursday to trash Republican Joe Barton and focus on getting the Congressman removed from his position on the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Scarborough quizzed Representative Eric Cantor, "Why is Joe Barton allowed to keep his job when Joe Barton apologized to a corporation that is destroying my hometown and its economy and destroying the environment across the
Cantor repeatedly asserted that Congressman Barton was not the issue, that he apologized for his statements (over how the administration has treated BP) and that the real priority was, “the beaches in Pensacola and the economy that is being battered and the environmental disaster of epic proportions in the gulf, that is the issue and how do we stop this gushing of oil?"
Barton's apology was, however, not enough for
This is accurate, because regardless if the Republicans regain control of the House, there are term limits on how long a Member of Congress can serve as either the ranking member or the chairman of a committee. Joe Barton has hit that limit.
The transcript of the June 24, 2010, "Morning Joe" segment is available here:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Eric, you and, obviously, a lot of your Republican allies on Capitol Hill are hoping to take over control of the United States House. And to that end, it seems to me the smart move would be to make someone step down who apologized to BP. I know that you were one of the first ones on call Joe Barton in and take him to the proverbial wood shed, but why is Joe Barton allowed to keep his job when Joe Barton apologized to a corporation that is destroying my hometown and its economy and destroying the environment across the gulf coast.
ERIC CANTOR: Joe, listen. Joe Barton is not the issue. Joe Barton apologized.
SCARBOROUGH: He kind of is, though. If he is the most powerful person on the Hill when it comes to energy then he, he is the issue, isn't he?
CANTOR: No, he is not. Some people want to make Joe Barton the issue when you say the issue is the beaches in Pensacola and the economy that is being battered and the environmental disaster of epic proportions in the gulf, that is the issue and how do we stop this gushing of oil? That is the issue, Not Joe Barton. Joe Barton was wrong. I said he was wrong on this network. He apologized. I spoke with him. You know, we've got to go forward and try and try to address the issue.
SCARBOROUGH: That is a mind set, though, Eric and you know it is. I know you have to defend Joe but I know at the same time you also know this hurts the Republican Party; it hurts the republican brand because Joe Barton is the issue because Joe Barton is the most powerful Republican on Capitol Hill when it comes to energy policy and that shows his mind set, does it not?
CANTOR: Joe, listen. Joe Barton apologized. He said he was wrong. I said he was wrong. If you look at it and you know, you were here, that the Energy and Commerce Committee, as the House is under control of the majority and Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer. They are in charge of these things. We are asking the questions that need to be asked to try and deliver some help to the people in the gulf to try and address the situation.
SCARBOROUGH: Eric, and 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 BRZEZINSKI: And he is calling it, a poor choice of words
SCARBOROUGH: That was a calculated statement that shows a troubling mind set and I know you agree with me. You just can't say it.
CANTOR: Joe, listen. If the standard for resignation is a you tube 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!
SCARBOROUGH: It was a written statement. He wrote it down. You got to admit, Joe Biden usually says things off the top of his head but this was a written statement.
BRZEZINSKI: This was prepared.
SCARBORUGH: To me -- go ahead, Eric.
CANTOR: Listen. Joe Barton is not the issue, Joe. You know that. A lot of people want to make it the issue because for whatever reason, because there's no answers right now coming from the gulf.
SCARBOROUGH: You don't think he is going to be the issue with the people that you are getting to run for congress because you believe Republicans can put this country on the right track? You don't think it's going to be an issue in their campaigns? You know Joe Barton will be the issue this fall.
CANTOR: Joe, Joe Barton has said he was wrong. He actually stepped before our conference, our entire conference yesterday and he said if a Texan' can be humble, I apologize, I was wrong. OK. The congressman has said it.
JOE KLEIN: The most amazing thing about this is Joe Barton tweets and right after that --
SCARBOROUGH: Oh my god, that was unbelievable! O wait, stop a second. Let's just look at Eric. You know what poor Eric is thinking? He is thinking this jackass has hurt the Republican Party and I'm out here defending him' the dumbass goes out and tweets! Talk about this tweet. Talk about this tweet!
KLEIN: He undercut his apology. This guy just doesn't get it, I'm sorry!
SCARBOROUGH: Tell him he can't tweet the next six months!
MIKE BARNACLE: Or ever again, for that matter.
SCARBOROUGH: Eric, you have to admit that was stupid to tweet after the apology that, Joe Barton was right.
CANTOR: I don't even think he knew the tweet went out.
COLONEL JACOBS: He went temporarily insane.
SCARBOROUGH: Let me just say, let me just say and put Eric's face up on the camera. Buchanan always talks about political athletes. Guys that go out and have to fight the good fight when they are running straight uphill with barbells on their back. This guy, Eric, is doing a great job, despite the fact he is having to carry Joe Barton's hulking mask up a mountain. Eric, come on! Good luck in the future with Joe Barton.
SCARBOROUGH: Seriously thank you for being with us, Eric. I know we been through tough times. We wanted to get to the president's poll numbers but maybe next time. Thanks for being with us.
BRZEZINSKI: Take care.
CANTOR:I would say a pleasure.
SCARBOROUGH: Mike Barnacle, listen. By the way, so everybody knows who is watching, Eric Cantor was the first person that got angry with Barton and summoned him to the leadership office. They dressed him down. You know how angry Eric probably is this morning? That he apologizes and sends out a tweet under Joe Barton was right, right after that. This is going to hurt the Republican party.
BARNACLE: I think he is more angry at 7:31 then at 7:21 when he came on. Have a nice day, Eric
SCARBOROUGH: By the way, the problem is, Mika, Joe Barton is the issue.
BRZEZINSKI: Of course!
SCARBOROUGTH: Because, he is so powerful.
SCARBOROUGH: And, he has hurt the Republican Party.