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)

    Get out of dodge! We only have room for the next 2 candidates! You have not earned any right to be in the whitehouse! or on the ballot for that matter.

    May 26, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. David Menifee, Ca

    Now the plot thickens. Maybe he will bring something to the table other than a bunch of talk. Good luck.

    May 26, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  3. Mary In AL

    Good! Let him syphon off some of McCain's support. Sounds good to me.

    May 26, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  4. andrew s. rostolder hillsdale nj

    yeah, what we need is more advice from another loser....

    May 26, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  5. pinky_50

    I noticed you did not mention HillBilly out to spoil the race. Why is that Barr. Just Go Away!!!

    May 26, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. Michael, an independent Canadian

    Its too bad that politics is so entrenched in a two party system. I am not suggesting that Barr would be the better President, but why not vote for a centrist (who would probably represent more of the population)?

    Wouldn't it be interesting if everyone were true independents with no bias towards being Republican or Democrat? Wouldn't it be interesting if corporations, lobbyists and organizations were banned from the political primaries and general election? Wouldn't it be interesting if news stations were banned from allowing pundits and analysts to air their biased views for either Republican or Democrat parties?

    It continues to amaze me that most States are firmly red or blue. I guess its more important to be Democrat or Republican than being an independent American.

    May 26, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  7. NoHillary

    It's a good thing that Bob Barr is running for the Presidency of the Untied States "for" America, and not "of" America. He's going to have a difficult time if he can't even get that right.

    May 26, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  8. Chipster

    Ironic – Barr is the polar opposite of what the Libertarian Party represents. The Libertarian Party opposes government/state interference in personal liberty. Barr supports government intereference in the most personal decisions we make and the intrusion of government into our personal financial and medical decisions. He's support for government interference in our personal lives and legislating his idea of morality should disqualify him as a Libertarian candidate.

    May 26, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. Obama Supporter From England

    This will definitely make the November election one of the most eagerly anticipated in history.

    May 26, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  10. Sue

    Since the press tells me Hillary is not an option I guess I now have another option other than McCain. Who knows. I would rather have 4 years of anyone than a month with Obama.

    May 26, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  11. DaveW

    Barr is a pure politician. He imagines that he has his finger on the nation's pulse. Nothing could be further from the truth. He thinks he's going to capture the extreme right vote. Good luck Barr. You may appeal to a certain segment of Georgia constituents and capture more than your fair share of media attention because folks at CNN know about you (baceause you are from Georgia), but you will not pull enough away from McCain to earn the pedigree, "spoiler"

    May 26, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  12. Marc

    I'm sorry, can someone explain how federal regulation of marriage between American citizens is in any way individualistic? It would seem that the express purpose of DOMA is to prevent individuals from marrying who they want if the gov't (state or federal) disagrees with their choice. That's not libertarian, that's republican,

    May 26, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  13. walt ohio

    Hey Bob! Couldn't make it as a republican? Now your a Liberatarian? You are just as phony as Leiberman! Seems you guys can't decide what you want to be!!! The best thing you could be is GONE!!!!!!

    May 26, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  14. Alice

    At least it gives all those disgruntled Hillary supporters someone to vote for who is against the war (the guy who impeached her husband.)

    May 26, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  15. Steve From Oregon

    Another former Republican escaped from the nutcase home.

    Vote Obama!

    May 26, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  16. Obama v McCain

    How gullible ARE the Hill Supporters?.. these blog are filled with "she's winning in the pop vote". Bolonga! Just because she says it DOESNT MAKE IT SO!!.. to do this she would have to NOT count 4 caucus(legal and Obama's) states, then add Florida(NOT) then add Michigan as it stands with Obama 0 votes...and with Michigan only could she jump up!..losers and cheaters dont prosper.!

    "NOT THIS TIME!"-Barak Obama 2008

    May 26, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. AJ, IL

    I'm not complaining. Barr will take away some of McCain's Republican base support and help Obama in the general. This 2008 race may shape out to be even more similiar to Bill Clinton's 1992 race than people think. Ross Perot helped Bill Clinton by taking some the Republican and Independent support away from GHW Bush, Sr. in 1992.

    Obama in 08!

    May 26, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  18. Matt from Oregon


    His party nominated him to be their presidential candidate. Who are you to decide if he has or has not earned the right to be on a ballot? Oh wait, that's right you're a Democrat, the party that hates and sues third parties because they were to stupid to pick up Al Gore in 2000 and blame Nader for their pathetic defeat.

    Sorry pal, but your party won't win in defeating third parties, we will still remain on ballots nationwide. Now go back and drink some more kool-aid while Obama bankrupts America trying to bring the world out of poverty.

    May 26, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  19. Enlightened Voter

    As a democrat I say Hello President Obama.

    May 26, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  20. Gabriel

    I think a Barr / Nader ticket is just what this country needs. Imagine the laughs!

    May 26, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  21. D.

    I'm nearly as opposed to the Libertarian Party as to the Republican Party, but all the same, I'd relish getting to see both anti-humanitarian groups tear each other to shreds in the coming years, rather than watching "my side" do the same over hangups on individual pet Issues.

    May 26, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  22. Hillary 08

    Get out you fool...Hillary will run as an Independent and become the President

    May 26, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  23. Donna

    Anyone that can further damage McCain's choices has my support...he won't have my vote though...

    Where is Nader by the way????

    May 26, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  24. Barry

    What a loser.

    Time for Hillary to go Independent. Then she can split the votes up and she might win. At least that creep Obama won't win.

    She can't be his running mate. That would be like the housekeeper trading places with the CEO. Give me a break.

    May 26, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  25. Herman in LA

    One a republican always a republican... A vote for this guy is a vote for McSain.

    Phew! where do we gets these people from?

    Obama 08!!!

    May 26, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
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