Gibbs Calls for Barton's Head

| Thu Jun. 17, 2010 6:51 PM EDT

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs thinks Joe Barton (R-Texas) should lose his position as the ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee for his BP brown-nosing earlier today (which he later apologized for … sort of).

Gibbs even took the issue to Twitter:

Who would the GOP put in charge of overseeing the energy industry & Big Oil if they won control of Congress? Yup, u guessed it – JOE BARTON

Here's what Gibbs said about it at today's press conference, via The Daily Caller:

Prior to Barton’s apology, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs indicated that the Texas Republican should lose his status as ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee because of his apology to BP’s chief executive Tony Hayward.
"Republicans are going to have to ask themselves whether Representative Barton should be the ranking member on a committee that is doing what it is doing," Gibbs said.
"It’s a fairly pointed comment about the notion of whether BP is going to be responsible for the damage it has caused," Gibbs said. "Is somebody who’s going to oversee — as we look into what the company is doing, to begin by apologizing to the company, I think is an interesting way to start." Asked whether he was calling on Barton to resign his ranking member seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Gibbs said, "I will let Republicans make that decision."

Actually, Gibbs is a little off. We can at least rest securely in the knowledge that, even if Barton isn't forced out over this incident and even if the Republicans retake the House in the near future, the Texas Republican would be precluded from retaking the chairmanship of the committee by term limits. At least that's one thing to be thankful for.