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

Barr: Obama and McCain the real spoilers

CNN

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. martin

    i voted libertarian in 2000 for harry browne.bob barr is not a libertarian.i hope he takes votes from mccain,though.

    May 26, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. A CANUCK

    He didn't even mention Clinton......even this jerk knows she's out of the race.

    May 26, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. Sharon

    This is hillarious, where has he been. I watched the debate on Saturday night and this is a bunch of has beens that are trying to get the attention of the media. Their ideas and thoughts of tearing up the government and letting states run everything is dumb. You and I know that this will only cause the individual states to raise taxes and guess who ends up paying. This campaign season has been enough already, we don't need something else started now.

    May 26, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. Cathy in MD

    Our future President, Barack Obama, is a shining light on an otherwise bleak and dismal political landscape. The only ones out to spoil this race are Hillary and Bill Clinton. Barack Obama is the one candidate who has shown true grace, dignity, respect and intelligence throughout this endless campaign. Should we even care what Bob Barr has to say? I don’t.

    May 26, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. BILL AND HILARY ARE FOOLISH

    HOW CAN PARTY LEADERS LIKE HILARY AND BILL ACKNOWLEDGE THE RULES WHEN THEY WERE AHEAD, ANDNOW WANT THE SAME RULES CHANGED BECAUSE THEY HAVE LOST?

    BOW OUT, THOUGH YOUR DIGNITY IS LOST! HILARY WE DON'T TRUST YOU. YOU WILL SAY ANYTHING, THATS WEAKNESS. YOU DON'T HAVE BUSINESS BEINGINTHE SENATE. I WILL NOT TRUST MY CHILDREN WITH YOU!

    May 26, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. politicalwatch

    Let me get this straight. If Jimmy Carter says that Hillary should get out, and he needs to make a decision this week, then there is only one person left. I wonder who he will select. Duh? I would guess he would select Obama. So what is his big secret?

    May 26, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. JamesAAMale

    Hillary supporters, just stay steadfast and stick to your guns. We will either have Hillary or we must all vote McCain in order to save this country from the ULTRA-LIBERAL destruction that is going to be the end of this country.

    May 26, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  8. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Barr looks like a fine alternative for those who
    believe both ot the major parties–will promise the moon, and only deliver an ever growing federal budget.

    I perceive that there are many Americans who appreciate a fourth option (finding McCain, Clinton, and Obama somewhat lacking).

    I'll gather my independent friends to support him.

    May 26, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  9. Carl

    I wish these third rate candidates would go away. They know very well they won't be elected and only take away votes from the major candidates. However, if he takes away republican votes, then sure, the dems welcome him since Nater is going to take away some democrat votes come November.

    Get real Barr – you have no shot of doing anything but selling a book.

    May 26, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  10. Calimari Caty

    What a Nut Barr!

    May 26, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. Hates Matt from Oregon

    Matt, you're a fool. Barr won't pull many votes from Obama, every vote he gets will be pulled from Mccain. Second of all, if you take every dime we spend on foreign aid, individual welfare, etc, it won't account for 1/10 what we spend on corporate welfare. You've been lied to, and you don't have enough individual thought to realize it.

    May 26, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  12. Wayne

    Hillary, McCain and Barr will be all loosers.

    The Obama train is rolling and won't be stopped.

    America and the World want change and that is what Obama will bring.

    Get that straight!

    May 26, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. rachel

    I really don't want Obama in the white house he is slickest politican there is. He is like the pied piper fooling all the children with his words everytime he opens his mouth they dance. I have no opitions that satisfy me for the nov ballet. I will check into bar. My only hope is that if Obama wins is that after18 months of serving as president he will decide he has better things to do like he decided with his senate seat. Maybe he can go ahead and help will smith make that movie about himself and cement his hollywood rockstar staus. POST CNN

    May 26, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  14. carmen

    I like this candidacy. It gives Barr 15 minutes in the spotlight and it will be a small pain on the Bush/McCain side. Perhaps, enough to make a difference.

    May 26, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  15. MD in OK

    Bob Who? This guy is too late in the race. You know he's not serious about running. He only wants to see his name on the ballot. He played a leading role in impeaching Bill Clinton, and now he wants Bill back in the White House? How very strange!

    May 26, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  16. mr.g

    Poor Terry mad because your votes will not be valid SORRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    O B A M A IN 08 -12 HILLARY SIT YOUR D.A.D. NOW

    May 26, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  17. Raindog

    To Matt from Oregon- You are right on! I love these insiders who not only try to tell us who we should nominate(whichever the party) and also say third partys should not even be considered. As a life long Dem. I am so fed up with the old lions of my party–you know all those losers in the pres. elections trying to shove Obama down our throats. If I were a conservative I could never vote for McCain. He reallly has stabbed the conservatives in the back so many times. As a liberal I will never vote for Obama since his premature grab for power has torn my party apart. All in the name of putting up the first "Black" candidate. I will show the party the same loyalty that they have shown Hillary. No from now on I will only work for and donate to individuals on the ticket. Both major partys have proven to be so morally bankrupt that only the third party's offer any real hope of meaningful change. You are also right...Obama will ruin this country trying to save the world. Then his wife can be really proud of our country for the first time.

    May 26, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  18. 2012

    Chris, Middletown, CT wrote: "Can you imagine a Libertarian president (yeah….I shivered too)"

    Yeah, I'd agree with that in regards to a member of the fringe lunatic party currently using the name, but don't forget that we had a true libertarian president early in our country's history......ever hear of Thomas Jefferson? He's the one rolling in his grave over what our government has become.

    OBAMA SUPPORTER, what exactly does a person have to do to "earn the right to be on the ballot"? Read the Constitution, Articles One and Two, moron. You're just a typical sheep on your way to the shearing house, bleating all the way.

    May 26, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  19. Bob

    If Obama supporters are smart, they will work very hard in states where Bob Barr still needs to get on the ballot.

    When John McCain picks the wrong VP candidate, a LOT of conservatives will prefer to lose with their principles than to try (and likely fail) to win with McCains. Bob Barr will not be the 1992 Ross Perot in 2008, but he could well be the 2000 Ralph Nader of 2008.

    If Barr can take enough potential McCain voters away in states like GA, VA, NC, NV and CO it could very easily swing the election as virtually no potential Obama voter would consider a right wing hack like Barr.

    May 26, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  20. Son

    It's unfortunate that some people are making fun of Bob Barr because he's running. Especially those on the left. Just like the right would want Nader to run, the left wants Barr to run. And a Barr/Nader ticket is impossible as Nader has a running mate of his own already.

    I really hope that something like this puts the Libertarians in a position to become the third national party. That's the fun thing about the Libertarians. While they're generally to the right, there are several positions that liberals also have in common. So this is a party that could really form something. If they do it right.

    May 26, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  21. Nick Ann Arbor, MI

    I say we encourage Ron Paul to run as an independent as well. Those two would ensure democratic victory.

    May 26, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  22. mr.g

    IT SEEMS THAT ALL THE MAJORITY OF THE FEMALE BLOGGERS ARE MAD BECAUSE HILLARY IS LOSING AND WILL NOT GET TO MOVE INTO THE WHITE HOUSE TOUGH GET OVER IT SHE TRIED AND LOST SHE HAS DONE EVERYTHING EVEN AS FAR AS HINT TO THE DEMISE OF OBAMA WHAT A SHAME SHE DOES NOT REALIZE IT IS OVER STAND DOWN HILLARY ,STAND DOWN

    May 26, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  23. Andre

    Another yahoo with a big ego!!!

    May 26, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  24. ECHEWEOZO

    I LIKE THIS MAN

    May 26, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. GERALD STROTHER

    JUST GET A LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND GO AWAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 26, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
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