This excerpt from Politico.com's Jonathan Allen and Jake Sherman (full story here):
'It would have been bad enough for the GOP if a backbencher had accidentally strayed wildly off message, but Barton, the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is the face of the party on energy policy - and his comments were intentional. So rather than talking about BP's culpability and the Obama administration's response, Washington was fixated on a Texas Republican's seemingly tone-deaf comments. The damage control was swift and the pushback severe - leaders in Barton's own party threatened to yank his ranking-member status on the committee. Gulf-state Republicans seethed, and the top three GOP House leaders were compelled to put out a joint statement saying, 'Congressman Barton's statements this morning were wrong.'