Tony Hayward, the chief executive of BP, appeared in the House of Representatives to apologize again for the destruction caused by his company. In the meantime, Rep. Joe Barton , R-Arlington, apologized for apologizing earlier to Hayward.
Barton earlier apologized to BP for the “shakedown” of the oil company by the Obama Administration, which has demanded that billions be set aside for victims and damage.
Barton called a $20 billion escrow account for damage claims nothing more than a “slush fund.”
Republicans made it clear that this was not the line they wanted to pursue — even as some conservative leaders continue to suggest that the spill was caused by environmentalists or even a government conspiracy.
Barton issued the following retraction:
“I want the record to be absolutely clear that I think BP is responsible for this accident, should be held responsible and should, in every way, do everything possible to make good on the consequences that have resulted from this accident. If anything I’ve said this morning has been misconstrued in opposite effect, I want to apologize for that misconstruction.”
Back in his district, Barton’s Democratic challenger, David Cozad insisted that the controversy had changed the election and “we’ve got the buzz.” Perhaps, but what Cozad does not have is the cash. He has $253 in his campaign account versus Barton who has more than $1.7 million.
With all of these apologies flying around the Beltway, this prior column on the “art of apology” might be instructive.
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