Barton’s Apology to Conference Saves His Ranking Slot

Posted June 23, 2010 at 9:07am

A humbled Rep. Joe Barton made his latest in a series of apologies on Wednesday, this time to the House Republican Conference during its weekly closed-door meeting.

“If a Texan can be humble, I’m humble,” Barton (R-Texas) told lawmakers assembled at the Capitol Hill Club, according to Members present in the room.

It appears his tour of contrition since his now-infamous apology to BP CEO Tony Hayward during a televised hearing last week has paid off and that his job as ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is safe.

Barton told lawmakers he used “the worst choice of words” and that he was wrong to apologize to BP, according to several House GOP sources in the room. He added that leaders were right to demand he retract his comments.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told members “it’s time to move on” and said Barton did the right thing by apologizing, the sources said.

Over the weekend Barton made calls to several Gulf Coast lawmakers and members of the energy panel to express his regret for the comments that nearly cost him his post as the top Republican on the panel.