If gaffes were a legitimate reason to resign, Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee Trump: Why didn't Obama 'do something about Russian meddling?' 2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states MORE would already be out of office, House Minority Whip Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorFeehery: The governing party 'Release the memo' — let's stop pretending that Democrats are the defenders of the FBI Raúl Labrador, a model for Hispanic politicians reaching higher MORE said Thursday.

The second-ranking House Republican, Cantor (Va.) appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," where he was repeatedly asked why House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Joe Barton (R-Texas) was allowed to keep his job after making controversial comments in front of BP executives at a hearing on Capitol Hill last week. Cantor compared Barton's gaffe to one of Biden's many offhand remarks, noting the vice president still has his job.

"If the standard for resignation was a YouTube moment or an inappropriate statement, wouldn't you think the vice president would be handing in his letters twice a week?" Cantor asked host Joe Scarborough.

Biden has made verbal miscues throughout his career; his most notable gaffe as vice president may have been when he whispered into President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Energy: Dems ask Pruitt to justify first-class travel | Obama EPA chief says reg rollback won't stand | Ex-adviser expects Trump to eventually rejoin Paris accord Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand Ex-US ambassador: Mueller is the one who is tough on Russia MORE's ear while next to a live mic that passing healthcare reform legislation was a "big f--king deal."

But Democrats and many Republicans have hammered Barton for apologizing to BP CEO Tony Hayward, the head of the company responsible for the Gulf oil spill, saying that the government engaged in a "shakedown" against the company by making it fund a $20 billion escrow account to pay claims.

Democrats painted his comments as representative of the Republicans' attitude toward Big Oil, while GOP leaders demanded that Barton apologize to keep his job, which he did.

But Barton came into the spotlight again Wednesday after his office tweeted a link to an article defending the congressman's comments, seeming to undercut his apology.

Cantor said that Barton personally did not know that the tweet was sent out. Barton's communications director acknowledged that he sent it out without the congressman's knowledge.

Nonetheless, the Virginia lawmaker reiterated that people have overplayed Barton's comments.

"Joe Barton is not the issue. Joe Barton apologized," Cantor said. "Some people want to make Joe Barton the issue, but the issue, as you say, are the beaches in Pensacola and the economy that's being battered and the environmental disaster of epic proportions in the Gulf. That's the issue, and how we stop this gushing of oil. That's the issue, not Joe Barton. Joe Barton was wrong — I said Joe Barton was wrong on this network."