Romney without reaction to Barton's apology

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June 18, 2010, 2:00 pm
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(NECN/CNN: Charlestown, S.C.) - Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) did not offer a reaction to the apology made by Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas) to oil company BP.

"I don't have a comment," Romney said during a campaign stop in South Carolina for gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley. "I'm pleased that funds are being put aside to assure the people who are being affected by this terrible oil spill that they will receive some reimbursement."

The comment on funding would seem to indicate Romney's opposing stance to Rep. Barton, who said of BP's relief claims fund, "It is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown -- in this case a $20 billion shakedown." President Barack Obama announced the fund following a meeting with top BP executives at the White House.

The Gulf coast has been damaged by the oil spill, which stems from the explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. A complete fix to the leak source is not expected until August, when a relief drill is scheduled to be operational.

"The real challenge, of course, is making sure that we have the leadership to actually stop the oil from coming out of the earth and damaging our environment. I'm hoping to see that leadership from the White House," Romney said, criticizing the president's immediate response to the oil spill.

He said he believes the president should not have delegated the responsibility of finding solutions to the thus-far unstoppable oil leak to BP, the company behind the problem in the first place.

"I think it was a mistake to rely on BP for 60 days or so," Romney said, calling the continuing damage "very unfortunate."

Video courtesy of CNN.

Tags: south carolina, Mitt Romney, Gulf oil spill, BP oil spill, Joe Barton , Charlestown
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