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. 2012

    Joe wrote: "Libertarians will have to form a new party to get a true libertarian on the ticket"

    Sorry, Joe, we "true libertarians" are called "independents". We do not kowtow to the elitist hierarchy of any political party. We think for ourselves and make our decisions based on the individual merits, or lack thereof, of each candidate and each issue. We do not jump on bumper sticker slogan bandwagons. We, typically, support the rights of state and local governments over federal mandates and might be described in general terms as "fiscal conservatives, social moderates", though some might lean far left or right on particular issues.

    To put it simply, we believe in "government of the people, by the people, for the people".

    Neither leftist socialism nor rightist fascism fit the profile of the government our founding fathers fought to establish and so many of us over the years have fought to preserve.

    May 26, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. Larry

    This article is inaccurate. While Bob Barr has held positions contrary to the Libertarian platform in the past, he has renounced those positions today. He has worked with the Marijuana Policy Project and is squarely in the legalization camp. This weekend, he directly apologized for DOMA and is in favor of same-sex marriage, which is more than we can say for any of the major-party candidates. These changes are what allowed him to earn the nomination–it was no cakewalk.

    If anything, his support of a FairTax is the least libertarian position he has remaining. What do you pay your reporters for if they can't provide up-to-date information on the candidates? This is the equivalent of reporting that Hillary Clinton is a conservative because she was President of her College Republicans all those years ago. I'd suggest a correction.

    May 26, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  3. Nancy for Hillary 08

    Are you surprise for another candidate? coming from the no where and don't know nothing about him....well millions of voterS feel the same thing about your Obama who keep brainwashing "educated people". No experience, arrogant, unpatriotic, DISRESPECFUL and NOT able to answer tough questions only after Hillary gave him the all the debates one to one very little preparations and youuuu will seee how his nice talking decrease a lot. He can give just good speeches, but that is all. Why not another candidate just like himmmm.


    May 26, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  4. Lex, Tampa FL

    Yay Barr!

    You identify more with I hope you siphon lots of votes from McCain.

    May 26, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Pat M

    What Next? ro should I say Who Next?

    May 26, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. imad

    wow not only does mccain have to face off against bob barr, but dont forget about ron paul. the republicans are in for one really interesting election to say the least.

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


    May 26, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  8. Observer

    It sounds like a lot of old grudges are coming back to haunt this election process!

    May 26, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  9. Rusty Shackleford

    Sad - the Libertarian Party has being taken over by a right wing nut with a disturbing background. Google "Barr abortion" and you can read all about his twisted hypocrasies.

    May 26, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  10. Get Real Hillary Fans

    Coquelicot May 26th, 2008 12:03 pm ET
    leased do not get too execised at Canadians. I know virtually NO Canadians that talk like that Moron logged in as "Concerned Canadian". It sounds more like Lanny Davis or that idiot Cunningham from Ohio to me!
    As far as minding our own business, your election is also our business and the worlds business. We are not allowed to vote, but since CNN broadcasts in our country and throughout the world, we are entitled to our opinions...just like you!

    May 26, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  11. Rosa

    This failed politician tried to wiggle back as a Rep. candidate but lost in a primary. Let's hope that voters see him as what he really is.

    May 26, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  12. Get Real Hillary Fans

    Typo – "Please do not get too exercised"

    May 26, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. Dan, Idaho Falls, Idaho

    I was ready to vote Lib...until they picked this guy. Anyone know a good write in candidate?

    May 26, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. Mike

    Trouble ahead for McCain!

    The Boortzs and the Becks won't be blowing their Libertarian horns for too much longer – it's time time for them to tow the (Republican) party line. Don't look for help from them Barr. Hopefully their listeners are too far gone on the rhetoric to be swayed this late in the game.

    Result: Landslide for Obama!

    May 26, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. Christoffel van Vuuren - Montreal - Canada

    Barr too will score zero delegates like all the spoilers before him.

    May 26, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  16. j

    We need Barr to destroy a man called Romney who in turn wants bring an end to social security in this country.

    May 26, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. js

    We need Barr to destroy the man called Romney who wants to discontune social security for the American People.

    May 26, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  18. kelly WI

    If he got 10 votes he'd be lucky.
    McCain 08

    May 26, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. Ian

    I take comfort when I go to sleep at night knowing that my government is watching over me. ; )

    May 26, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. Shirley, Silicon Valley, CA

    I am ready for President Obama to lead US in the next 8 years!

    May 26, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. Ian

    Interesting that you are telling a Canadian to mind their own business when we have a military presence in 150 countries.

    May 26, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. Mike

    @ JamesAAMale (and the 10 other names you posted on on this article)

    DUDE – this has nothing to do with Hillary and we know that you are the same person posting all the "Vote McCain if not Hillary" posts on every ticker page.

    Give it and Operation Chaos a rest!

    May 26, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. BillJ

    I'm a Democrat voting for you Mr. Barr.

    May 26, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. JC

    I don't think Bob Barr will spell trouble for McCain, but Dr. Ron Paul will IF he runs as a non-Republican.

    May 26, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  25. TJ Johnson

    Go home, Barr. There's no way you can win anything. This idiocy of your present party will finish you off for the rest of your life politically.

    No one can win in USA except Democrat or Republican. You left the Republican Party, so just go home.

    May 26, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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