- Associated Press - Thursday, June 17, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Thursday said it’s “outrageous,” ”astounding” and “incredibly out of touch” for a GOP congressman to criticize the White House for demanding a BP victims compensation fund.

Mr. Biden responded to comments made by Rep. Joe L. Barton, Texas Republican, at a House hearing earlier in the day.

Mr. Barton, an oil industry ally, said he was “ashamed of what happened” and accused the White House of conducting a “$20 billion shakedown” by requiring BP to establish the fund to compensate those hurt by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mr. Biden said Mr. Barton’s comments were “incredibly insensitive, incredibly out of touch.”