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. The Lone Ranger

    Libertarianism is a very dangerous philosophy. It is fortunate that most Americans discount it. If we had a Liberatarian President, a Libertarian Congress, and a Libertarian Supreme Court, we would only be a short distance from a corporate dictatorship. Not that Libertarians support dictatorship; they certainly do not. But, if they had the opportunity to weaken all levels of government to the point that governement becomes irrelevant, which is their goal, then a corporate takeover would be inevitable. Large corporations seem to support Libertarian goals, but in fact they do not. In fact, they support greater power and income for themselves and to hell with the rest of us. The weak Libertarian government would simply be brushed aside by people who are interested only in increasing their own power and income.

    May 26, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  2. d

    I am personally glad someone else is stepping up to the plate.

    Pay attention America. For those of us who are FED UP with HAVING to choose between the "evils", perhaps, just perhaps those of us will call it like it is. Our election process is a fraud. The Democrats are heading this country towards SOCIALISM AND MARXISM. The Republican party IS NO BETTER THAN THE DEMOCRATS THIS YEAR. It's time to realize we as voters need to FIGHT these candidates that elitists and our Media have given us. The major candidates are not going in the direction I want this sovereign Nation going?

    IF you voters cherish this lands freedoms, liberties and Nation's BEST PAY ATTENTION to what our major candidates agendas would do to our beloved Country. IT'S TIME TO TAKE BACK OUR GOVERNMENT FROM ALL THESE CORRUPTED POLITICIANS!!!!


    May 26, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  3. Mwananchi, FL


    I am tired of this argument that polls (in MAY) shows that Cilinton will win in November.
    Folks in December 2007 polls were showing Clinton wining by large margins over Obama and Edwards. Guess what that never happened.
    The Clitons have lost their BEARING.

    My November prediction
    Obama 52% 340 Electoral Votes
    MCCain 42% 195 Electoral Votes
    Barr 4%
    Others 4%

    FLORIDA FOR OBAMA 2008 & 2012

    May 26, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. Bill

    Go ahead and run against McCain – thank you for helping the democrats out byt taking votes away from McCain – who cares!
    And where is Nader that is the biggest joke also! -he is nothing. People has had it with him also!

    May 26, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. slewis

    bob bar and rev. wright are the same bill clinton said its a cover-up! to insure a barrack win! right?

    May 26, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. Truth B Told

    Barr is a morally bankrupt individual who in my opinion needs to keep his coments to himself.

    May 26, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. Sue in MI

    So wait, he voted for the Patriot Act and now, rightfully, wants to repeal it.
    And he's against the rights of marriage for all loving couples. So just WHO will vote for him?

    May 26, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. Naomi

    LOL, this is a joke right!

    May 26, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    I am happy to see this guy in the race. One more nail in the coffin of McBush's run for POTUS. This race will surely go down in history as the most interesting ever...

    Obama – a message of change and hope (gasp!) from a relatively unknown Senator who inspires millions to support his campaign.

    Clinton – a message of inevitability (no, scratch that!) ... experience (no, wait a minute.. I meant change....), honesty (oops, blew that one with the Bosnia sniper fire lie), racism (he can't win because he's black), "I'm with you, not them" (wait a minute, I AM them!), sexism (it's ok for me to use sexist humor, just not anyone else), and now... conspiracy! (we all know that you cannot argue with a conspiracy theory nut)

    Barr – a message of "I couldn't cut it in the primary, so why not go Independent? What's a label, anyway?"

    May 26, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    Oh, yeah... I forgot McBush, but then, what could he be about that we haven't heard, felt and seen over the past 8 years?

    May 26, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. peter in PA

    I am a Obama supporter. I will send some money to Barr's campaign.

    He will take some votes from McShame. Go Barr!!!!

    May 26, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. ALECO1 -----NOKOMIS,FL


    May 26, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. Obama

    Remember there are republicans in the blog that belong to McCains – 527 group along with the conservative rights groups! BEWARE!
    But McCain doesn't play the nasty as his wife says. He only wants to run a clean campaign. – What A Joke!

    May 26, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. Coquelicot

    Since when Canadian had a say in American politics.
    "Concerned Canadian" you should be concerned by Mulroney airplane's deal for which he is going to be prosecuted.
    Even if we as Americans are fighting between ourselves to have the right nominee, it isn't your problem and we do not appreciate foreigners taking part in our business. Make no mistake, long before the elections take place we will be all united. Mind your own business.

    May 26, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. Zeleni

    Another former Georgia Congressperson will most likely get the nomination of a third party. Cynthia McKinney is the favored candidate for the Green Party nomination, which will occur July 10th-13th in Chicago. McKinney has been a strong opponent of the war and the erosion of civil liberties and would make an excellent president. Please cover her candidacy and the Green nomination as well. With a strong conservative Libertarian candidate and a stronger progressive Green candidate, anyone who speaks of "spoilers" is just full of it. Vote for whichever candidate truly represents you and reflects your own positions. This is the year of third party! Vote Green '08!

    May 26, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |


    May 26, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. Brian

    Repubbies are easily manipulated by the fear tactics of the GOP so they won't vote for him.

    May 26, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  18. La Raza

    You simply cannot beat a Movement!

    Obama 4-ever!!!!

    May 26, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  19. La Raza

    Ummm Hello! Ron Paul is still in the race. If Obama doesn't get the nomination, I will vote for him. Never Hillary!

    May 26, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. John M. M.

    Now the Clintons knows what its like to be homeless. Just take your eviction papers and go away from the White House. You can'nt live no where in the united states for eight years for free. Welcome to the ghetto my brother, lol, now (slowly back away from the white house, NOW PUT THE MIKE DOWN, NOW TELL YOUR WIFE & DAUGHTER TO DROP THE MIKES, PUT THEM DOWN. NOW GO AWAY

    May 26, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Bob Barr did not stand up tall enough for Republican Principles of Low Taxes, Smaller Government, Spending Control, and Individual Responsibility so anyone think he will stand up for Libertarian Policy?

    May 26, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. Californai Girl

    My answer to Bill Clinton's speech:
    I agree with President Clinton, the voters should decide our nominee, not what goes on behind closed doors with politicians negotiating a job with the next administration. After all do we want the same situation as Gore? Politicians that go against their constiuencies should be null and void. The American people have voted their choices in their states; superdelegates should vote by their constinuencies' choice not follow the leader or who is ahead. Let's complete this contest. Go by the will of the people, not the corrupt politicians.

    Hillary, keep fighting!

    May 26, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  23. independent

    I am born and raised in Nepal, one of the poorest country with crook and opportunistic politicians Bill statement reminded me of Nepalese politicians who speaks anything to bring things in their favor regardless of ethics,honesty and integrity. I have always respect for American politics and American leaders because i have found them very ethical and principal -driven. But when I go through Bill speech and statement I wonder how american people elected him president twice with delusional statements all the time. Or has Bill got changed after his wife became presidential nominee or american people never realize his power hungerness when he ran for president.May God gives you more wisdom and you will be more down to earth.

    May 26, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. USAF Staff Sergeant

    Oh boy. He sounds as delusional as Clinton.

    May 26, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  25. Teta

    I'm going to be running for president as well. Anybody else want to join?

    May 26, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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