May 26th, 2008
08:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Barr: Obama and McCain the real spoilers


Watch Bob Barr's interview with John Roberts

(CNN) - Former Rep. Bob Barr, the newly-selected Libertarian presidential nominee, rejected suggestions Monday that he could spoil his former party's chances of holding onto the White House.

"There are two folks that are out to spoil the race here - it's Senator Obama and Senator McCain. They're setting out, I think, to spoil our chances," he told CNN's "American Morning."

He added, "There are millions of voters out there that are not going to vote for Senator McCain, and we aim to reach those voters with the message of smaller government and more individual liberty."

For years, Barr was a prominent Georgia Republican in the House. He played a leading role in the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.

His positions on some issues have left some Libertarians unsure about his candidacy. He opposed legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, supported the Patriot Act, and co-sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act.

While the Defense of Marriage Act was backed by opponents of gay marriage, and allowed states not to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, Barr told CNN Monday that it was a "very sound individualistic and states' rights policy."

And he said he has been working for five years "to either amend or repeal the Patriot Act because of the way it has been used and abused by the Bush administration to curtail the civil liberties of American citizens in this country. We can defend America without taking away civil liberties and privacy rights of American citizens, and we ought to be doing that."

He also supports U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

Barr, 59, left the Republican Party in 2006, and announced in April that he would form a presidential exploratory committee. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1994 and represented a conservative district in the Atlanta suburbs for four terms.

He worked as an occasional contributor and analyst for CNN after leaving office.

The last two Libertarian presidential candidates, Michael Badnarik in 2004 and Harry Browne in 2000, drew fewer than 400,000 votes each. But Barr is a more prominent political figure, and his selection Sunday at the Libertarian National Convention in Denver is drawing more attention to the party.

He told CNN Monday he hopes to have his name on the ballot in all 50 states, and vowed, "We are going to launch a very vigorous campaign all across America."

Filed under: Bob Barr
soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. mya

    Go Bob Barr!

    May 26, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  2. PSK

    How VERY interesting that he did not once mention Clinton- does she take note? Doubt it. Keep going until the bitter end Hill- no sense in being party-minded this late in the game.

    May 26, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  3. Lilarose

    Sounds like Barr as done some really "important" stuff while serving in Congress.........

    Just what we need...another waste of time.

    May 26, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  4. Tim, Oakland

    . . . BARR / CLINTON 08.

    May 26, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  5. Robin Naresh

    Bob Barr is telling the truth.

    May 26, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  6. Marcus B

    He should be ashamed! He just got the nomination and already the media has found 3 issues he has flip-flopped on. What a joke! He is not going to do anything but take up space on the ballot.

    May 26, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  7. Parker


    May 26, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  8. Ralph

    He's just a Republican who doesn't have enough support to be a real candidate. As a Democrat, I think this is very good for our country.

    May 26, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  9. Charlie

    He opposes the legalization of marijuana and voted for the Patriot Act. This makes him a libertarian how???

    May 26, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  10. Sky- kissimmee, FL

    ummm..what does this guy do again?? (Y A W N)

    May 26, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  11. Susan

    Go ahead Bob, drain those McCain voters. You don't stand a prayer against Obama. You too, are part of the old Washington cronyism.

    May 26, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  12. AJ

    This is hilarious, now it's the Republican party that is falling apart. McCain should be worried, he is the one that is going to suffer the most.

    May 26, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  13. Ron L

    Senator McCain just lost about 5% of the people that were going to vote for him. This is a SERIOUS problem for him with Democratic enrollment being as high as it is from the Obama campaign.

    May 26, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  14. M S T

    Go Bob Barr! I bet you will get all the Rebublican support that you need. Especially the conservatives that will not suport McCain. Good luck!

    May 26, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. go away

    You are a spoiler Mr Bob Barr. Go away so that the candidates with a real chance can compete.

    May 26, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  16. FEDUP

    One question, What is the purpose of a convention? I guess it is just a place for hats, horns, hooligians...If it is not to determine the true nominee, why do we have delegates and superdelegates? It is a waste of time and money. I will write Hillary Clinton on my ballot in November, regardless of the convention party-time decision.

    May 26, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  17. Festus, Montana

    Hillary can always ask Bob Barr if he would let her run on his ticket. What
    could it hurt? (wink wink).

    May 26, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  18. Terry in Fl

    A vote for this man is as wasted as used toilet paper. Democrats UNITE in keeping OBAMA OUT of the white house!

    May 26, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  19. Gohi Simplice

    Welcome Mr. Barr in the presidential arena. But the truth is gonna evaporate your hope very soon.

    Good Luck

    May 26, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  20. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Can you imagine a Libertarian president (yeah....I shivered too)

    May 26, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |

    Good Lord, where has he been for the past 15 months. I haven't seen him on CNN or any other news station? Has he really even earned to run for Presidency? Well... sound like he is only in there to confuse voters more...well, the ones who can't think for themselves. Oh, and LOOK whose talking about spoiling chances. I have to say the present candidates at the moment have earned their rights to be on the General Election tickets. Mr. Barr...who are you? Did you just get nominated? I don't remember seeing you on any ticket so I guess you are the only one. You never had a popular vote, did you???

    May 26, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  22. paul

    To those who love this country very much, please read 'Hillary: The Politics of Personal Destruction' Hillary’s own words and actions. by David N. Bossie

    May 26, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  23. Bubba

    This guy makes Carville seem attractive ! ! ! LOLOLOL

    May 26, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  24. 1926

    What a joker

    May 26, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  25. susie

    Why can't the people vote who should be the nominee instead of the superdelegates? Don't the people have a voice in this government anymored? These same delegates are the ones who let the gasoline price go out of control and we are suppose to let them decide who the Presidential nominee will be? Thirty years ago, we had a gas shortage, what have these same people who have been in government done for us? Absolutely nothing!!!! Now, they want to be the ones who decide who should run this country, go figure!!

    May 26, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
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