Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) promoted an article on Wednesday on his official Twitter account by a writer who backed his criticism of the government's handling of BP.
Barton's office posted a letter to the editor from the conservative American Spectator magazine suggesting "Joe Barton Was Right" in his criticism of the government's decision to force BP to set up a $20 billion fund to pay out damages to victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Barton tweeted Wednesday:
Joe Barton Was Right http://amplify.com/u/75gf
The tweet would seem to suggest that Barton's office is promoting an article supporting his controversial remark.
Barton's account deleted the tweet shortly afterward.
Barton's communications director, Sean Brown, acknowledged posting the tweet on Wednesday. He said Barton was unaware of the tweet.
"Without thinking about it much, I added a headline from one of the daily news clips to a website that is, in turn, linked to the congressman’s Twitter account," he said. "I won’t be doing that again."
The Texas Republican was spared by fellow GOP lawmakers from having to step down from his position as ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this morning. Some Republicans had called for Barton's ouster from that position after his apology to BP CEO Tony Hayward during a hearing last week that gave Democrats an opening to attack the GOP over its posture toward the oil spill.
Democrats expressed glee this morning over the GOP's decision to allow Barton to keep his spot.
"Excellent! Expect More of this from us," Democratic National Committee Communications Director Brad Woodhouse wrote in an e-mail, referring to the ads the DNC has put out this week hammering away at Barton and the GOP.
Barton's office also sent out a series of articles on him keeping that spot, and attacking Democrats on taxes and budgetary issues.
Updated 12:48 p.m. and 1:11 p.m.