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. Democrats UNITE!

    Bob Barr..... who?

    May 26, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  2. change in my pocket

    CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN

    Screw our corrupt 2 party system.

    Nice to have another choice in the mix.

    May 26, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. Teresa, Georgia

    Mr. Barr,

    When you announced in April that you were running for Office of the President, I thought....hmm, maybe he's the one to make a real difference. And you start out by criticizing two of three candidates (Obama & McCain) rather than talk about the issues. You have put yourself in the same box as HRC. That box is labeled "POLITICS AS USUAL...WILL DO AND SAY ANYTHING TO WIN"!

    Barr, you dont even define why 2 of the 3 candidates are s"spoilers" What do you mean by that? I'll help you...the winners are the "spoilers"...is that what you are trying to convey?

    You are just another one of those who think the voters are just plain dumb. Sorry, but we know better. Go back where you came from.

    May 26, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. HAWK,TEXAS

    TO ALL OF THE HILLARY SUPPORTERS THAT SAY THEY WILL VOTE FOR MCCAIN IF OBAMA WINS THE NOMANATION DON'T. THE ANSWER IS EASY .JUST WRITE HILLARY IN. THAT WAY YOUR VOTE WILL COUNT FOR HER AND NOT MCBUSH.AND AS FOR BOB BARR HE WAS TOSSED OUT OF OFFICE FOR HIS ROLE IN THE CLINTON IMPEACHMENT, AND HE WAS DOING WORSE THAN WHAT BILL DID.

    May 26, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. GEORGIA

    Welcome aboard, Mr. Barr......The DNC has lost all credibility and the RNC was robbed by the man in charge of the money. Go figure......As am African American female voter, loyal supporter of Hillary Clinton and admire and respect former President Bill Clinton, I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THE HEADLINES WHEN MY AFRICAN AMERICAN SISTERS AND BROTHERS WAKE UP AND REALIZE THAT BARACK OBAMA IS A FRAUD AND HAS TOO MANY SKELETONS IN HIS CLOSET...... TALK ABOUT A PROBLEM...YOU HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING YET....................

    May 26, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  6. fouzi

    that the ticket barr/clinton two out of wack interests we all need our side shoe two of the baffons occupied

    May 26, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. TheRightNut

    Barrr is the BEST!

    May 26, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  8. Enlightened Voter

    Bill Clinton was impeached by this clown. How interesting?

    May 26, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  9. M from the UNITED STATES

    Concerned Canadian...your opinion doesn't even matter. Go clean up your own front yard and quit being a "nosy neighbor" who has no vote and no solicited opinion in OUR election.

    May 26, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. k williams

    what a guy. maybe he and hillary can run on the same ticket.

    May 26, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  11. la dictadora

    who is this guy? when how, what where??
    Hillary should run with him. she is so desperate.............

    May 26, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. What if?

    You are right about that Ralph
    He's just a Republican who doesn't have enough support to be a real candidate.
    ----------------------------
    Key QUOTES to REMEMBER my fellow democratic voters:
    1. Prominent Georgia Republican in the House.
    2. Left the REPUBLICAN Party in 2006, can we risk 4 yrs? QUESTIONABLE at best.....
    3. His positions on SOME issues have left some Libertarians UNSURE about his candidacy.
    4. OPPOSED legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.
    5. Supported the Patriot Act.
    6. co-sponsored the DEFENSE of Marriage Act.
    7. Questionable time frame from 2006, until April 2008 that he would form a presidential exploratory committee.

    Who is he and what party is he truly for again?

    May 26, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  13. Joe

    I suppose some conservatives might vote for him because he does have conservative values, but not libertarians... he is anything but that.

    Libertarians will have to form a new party to get a true libertarian on the ticket.

    May 26, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. Coquelicot

    Is he serious? I will never understand how some people do not realize when one looks silly.

    May 26, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  15. Dee, St.Louis

    @Obama the Politician; if you want to be that stupid and blame Obama's people for statements Hillary has made several times then that's on you but to suggest that the rest of us beleive Hillary was making a comment regarding history IS A SHAM!!! Get over it fool, Hillary is losing and is the BIGGEST SHAM.

    May 26, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. Lorraine

    I would vote for him any day before I voted for Nobama.

    May 26, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. james

    A real alternative for the "true" conservatives. ----Go get em, Barr

    May 26, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  18. MavTx

    Go Barr! Even as a Libertarian, you make a better Repubican than McCain, the flip-flopper. McCain

    McCain graduated 3rd from the bottom at Naval Academy, not ready for prime time in 2000 and past his prime in 2008 – – clueless on the economy, foreign policy, flip-flops, double-speaks, extremist and flawed spiritual advisors, close ties and friends with unscupulous lobbyist – – at best he’s an enigma and at worse he’s the 16 personalities of Sybil.

    May 26, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. MavTx

    Go Barr! Even as a Libertarian, you make a better Repubican than McFlip-Flop.

    McCain graduated 3rd from the bottom at Naval Academy, not ready for prime time in 2000 and past his prime in 2008 – – clueless on the economy, foreign policy, flip-flops, double-speaks, extremist and flawed spiritual advisors, close ties and friends with unscupulous lobbyist – – at best he’s an enigma and at worse he’s the 16 personalities of Sybil

    May 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  20. Will in Richmond, VA

    Countdown to Hillary Declaring Bob Barr as her running mate:
    Ten Seconds from mark...

    10 ... 9 .... 8 .... 7 ....

    May 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  21. Brad

    Nothing would please me more than to see our two current and worthless parties split into 4 or 5 or 6 others.

    May 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  22. Hilda

    This is ridiculous, who cares what Bob Barr (WHO IS HE?)says, this is not news, this is not an issue, it is a waste of time. Where is Ralph Nader when you need him, atleast we know who he is.

    May 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. Hans-Erik Iken

    I guess Bob Barr is another reason why Obama will win: Barr will be the main attraction for the die-hard conservatives.

    The mess gets bigger every day for the republican party. Gonna be fun this fall.

    May 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    So this guy is a 'former' Republican? Funny, but after the egregious handling of the economy, gas prices, health care, the quagmire war, and just about everything else, there's NO WAY I'll be voting for anything resembling a Republican, former or present. Now go away, like a good little political pawn, Mr. Barr. I'm sure your GOP masters have some cloak and dagger dirty work for you to do....

    May 26, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  25. james

    Bill was caught "having sex" with one woman and denied it to Congress. The Republicans are "screwing" everyone since gaining control of the Presidency and both houses of Congress. The whole bunch shoud be impeached.

    May 26, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
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