“BP doesn’t need an apology; they need to apologize to us.”
“The president himself is in charge of developing a contingency plan to deal with oil spills. What happened to it?” the minority leader said. “The administration has a role to play in this, and they haven’t done a very good job so far.”
And while Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Republican, said Mr. Barton’s words were “wrong, absolutely wrong,” she also criticized White House efforts to make a political issue of the matter as a needless distraction. She said Mr. Emanuel’s description of her party “couldn’t be more wrong” and accused the administration of blood politics.
“For the White House, for the administration to be running with this as the issue - let’s not forget; we had 11 people die; we have an environmental disaster unfolding; we have an economic disaster that is unfolding. Let’s not be distracted by saying ‘Joe Barton made this gaffe or this inappropriate comment,’ ” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Let’s focus on providing what the people of the Gulf need, not pointing fingers back and forth and saying, ‘Oh, you know, what you said was wrong.’ “
Lawmakers from both parties on Sunday criticized BP PLC Chief Executive Tony Hayward for taking part in a yacht race along the English coast two days after testifying on Capitol Hill regarding his company’s role in the oil spill.
Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao, Louisiana Republican, said he was “very disappointed of how out of touch the executives at BP are.”
“Our people are suffering tremendously down here,” said Mr. Cao on “Face the Nation.”
“I just received news from a staffer of mine that a Vietnamese fisherman actually tried to commit suicide. So it’s a situation that is quite desperate for thousands of people.”
The president’s top adviser also attempted to bolster the administration’s image by reaffirming its promise to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan by July 2011, distancing itself from Pentagon comments that the move could take longer.
“The July  date, as stated by the president, that’s not moving, that’s not changing. Everybody agreed on that date.”
In contrast, Gen. David H. Petraeus told a congressional committee last week that any U.S. troop withdrawal would be “based on conditions,” and that “July 2011 is not the date where we race for the exits.”
Mr. Emanuel said the White House and Pentagon positions are “not inconsistent” because both have agreed that “what will be determined [in July 2011], or going into that date, will be the scale and scope of that reduction.View Entire Story
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Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at email@example.com.
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