August 19th, 2008
08:05 AM ET
6 years ago

Barr makes his case


Watch Barr on CNN's American Morning

(CNN) - Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr Tuesday said he’s lost his faith in government since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

“The government has taken tremendous liberties with our liberty, taking away our liberty in the name of fighting terrorism, using fear to take away people's rights and their privacy in this country,” Barr said during an interview with CNN American Morning’s Kiran Chetry. “And that's caused me and a lot of Americans to lose a great deal of faith in the government, which ought to be protecting our liberties, not taking them away.”

Barr, a former Republican representative from Georgia, is fighting to be included in the national dialogue. He unsuccessfully sued to be included in last weekend’s forum hosted by Rev. Rick Warren that included Sen. Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, and Sen. John McCain, the presumed Republican presidential nominee.

The former Republican said the two major parties were excluding him from the national debates because they want to maintain their lock on national politics.

“They simply don't want the competition from an outsider, so to speak, somebody that might make them feel uncomfortable by raising some issues, some new perspectives, some new choices for the American people,” Barr said. “They like playing the game within the confines of their very closed system that they can control.”

The libertarian nominee, who is currently polling at 3 percent nationally according to a CNN/Opinion Research poll conducted last month, said his goal was raise his support to 15 percent nationally so that he can participate in the official presidential debates this fall.

Filed under: Bob Barr
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. rob

    Bob Barr is the lefts new favorite Republican, but you will only hear his views on "losing our civil liberties" which is the lefts ridiculous ralling cry against the practical protections from more terrorist attacks on our soil. You won't hear his very libertarian views because it doesn't fit the script for the MSM to try to keep McCain down against Obama.

    August 19, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. Tammy - KCMO

    He should be allowed to participate. While right now I plan to vote for Obama, I would like to hear from the 3rd party candidates to see what they have to offer. Anything has got to be better than the Republicans.

    August 19, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  3. lost soul


    Who should we vote for? Give us a sign.

    If not you then……

    HELP us who are lost

    August 19, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. Brenda

    Bob Barr is hands down the best candidate in this election. Both Obama and McCain would really be a detriment to our country's future (and those of future generations, who will certainly be ones paying the price for the Bush era). Go to his website and check out his stance on issues. The man is not afraid to stand up for what is right and just. We all have rights guaranteed to us by the Consititution, and Bob Barr is the only candidate who acknowledges that our rights as Americans have been ignored/infringed upon.

    v.a.–in response to your comment: Sure it may seem fruitless to vote for a third party in this election, like you're "just wasting a vote". However, it's people like you who keep us stuck with a two-party system, when we should have other options. The ONLY way we will ever have a quality candidate is to heighten the stakes. The ONLY way we can do that is to vote for the best possible candidate–third party or not. Not voting for a third party just because it's a third party only adds to the corruption known as the U.S. electoral process.

    If you are unhappy about either of these two candidates or with this two-party system, the change lies with us–the voters. Demanding for change to happen overnight is ludicrous. The only way for third parties to truly matter is if WE acknowledge them and give them a chance, instead of discrediting them right off the bat. Sure, it might not be so significant in THIS election, but who's to say four years from now progress can't be gained? We have had the patience of putting up with Bush for eight years. If we can do that, we can have the patience of allowing third parties to make their presence known in the political arena.

    August 19, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  5. Thomas

    With the continued existence of the Electoral College, any vote for a Libertarian will be a wasted vote. There has been one time, and one time only where any electors cast a vote for the Libertarian candidate. That was in 1972 when the Libertarian party put their first candidate up for the office of President. The electors from Virginia cast one vote for the Libertarian candidate.

    The Electoral College makes the United States a de facto two party state when it comes to Presidential elections.

    First abolish the Electoral College.

    Then we can start having non-Republican and non-Democratic political parties become viable.

    Until that happens, I am afraid that a vote for the Libertarian Presidential candidate is just throwing your vote away.

    Contact your state and federal representatives and keep on asking them to consider abolishing the antiquated, and politically repressive Electoral College.

    August 19, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. Bulldog

    I like Barr, he is the real "Straight Talk Express". He tells it like it is.

    August 19, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. Nick

    The Libertarian Party needs to move in and take the place of the republican party. We need a true conservative stance on issues. Not Neo cons, and Rockefeller Republicans like McCain. Step one is voting for Barr.

    August 19, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  8. Obama Supporter VA

    I encourge Barr to run, even more so that the 17,999,990 Republicans (There are probably 10 true democrats out their who are not backing Obama) who have encourged Hillary to stay in the race claiming they will write in her name. We all know the Republicans want Hillary to run and cause division so they can galvanize their base.

    So, I say RUN BARR RUN! Shame on Rick Warren for not inviting another far right figure to the forum who would continue to expouse on the politics of division... In the words of Dubya "You either for us or against us" (even if we are wrong as all get up)

    John McCain and the Republicans especially the die hard Bush Republicans are so judgemental , elitist, and divisive!

    Our Country is the United States of America!
    And we Unite behind the Uniter that has been Raised Up for a Time Such as This

    Senator Barack Hussein Obama, the Next President of the UNITED States of America!

    August 19, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I know the media does not like it when we say any thing derogatory about John McCain, because he is a War Hero and a former POW. He is also honest and has great moral character, However this is something that should be talk about.

    Some more news about McCain on the Rick Warren Show! Wow!
    John McCain says he plans to consult with Democratic Rep. John Lewis when he's president. Someone should tell Lewis.
    During Saturday's presidential forum at Rick Warren's California megachurch, John McCain was asked to name the "three wisest people" he would "rely heavily on" if elected president. He didn't cite close confidantes Phil Gramm and Randy Scheunemann, possibly because they have gotten McCain into trouble politically. Instead McCain chose Gen. David Petraeus; former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, one of his economic advisers; and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a leading figure in the civil rights movement

    Rep. Lewis: McCain "Does Not Consult Me"

    I am sorry if I hurt the media’s feelings

    August 19, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. California Gold

    Interesting 3rd party candidate. I'll never vote for Songbird McCain. Signing statements against the USA for your captor is not the stuff of heros. Under the laws of the US and US Military his conduct was an act of treason. Yet he just smiles and says nothing when introduced as a hero. Opportunistic empty vessel.

    August 19, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. Tony

    If it weren't a two party system I'd vote Libertarian every election. But it's not so I usually vote for the right-wing party, especially on the federal level.

    That said, I think Barr is wrong here. The central government's main concern should be national defense. His claims of having our liberties taken away are exaggerations. Other than the Patriot Act, which is a textbook Lockean trade-off of surrendering certain freedoms to protect other freedoms, how has the government taken liberties with our liberty?

    August 19, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  12. Obama Supporter VA



    August 19, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  13. Former D.C. Resident

    I would never, ever vote for Bob Barr. As a former D.C. resident, I remember only too well his days on the D.C. oversight committee (that's right– our nation's capitol is run like a Congressional fiefdom). His high handed arrogance in dealing with (or, rather, ignoring) the very real problems encountered by ordinary, non-glamorous District of Columbia people is the last thing I would want in a national leader.

    August 19, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. Joe Kiloz

    Too important of an election to waste time on Mr. Barr.

    August 19, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. Emma

    Barr, stick it to McCain. You are the better of the McCain ragged!

    August 19, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  16. Tom

    You want to vote for a "conservative", Barr's your man. You want a Libertarian? NOT Barr. Look at his record.

    August 19, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  17. David

    I'd love to see him participate in the debates, but he has to be doing a lot more campaigning and fundraising to get to 15%...

    August 19, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  18. Deb, Allentown, PA

    Since the moderators didn't let me say this on the Rendell blog, I'll do it here, especially for people like Lost Soul

    Even if Hillary were to be named the nominee at the convention, the Republicans will chew her up and spit her out. Why? Two reasons:

    1) Campaign debt. If she can't run her campaign finances properly, how will she run the country's finances properly?

    2) PUMA's. Your divisiveness and bitterness is perfect fodder for the Republicans. How will she unite the country to move forward and fix the mess we're in if she can't even get her SUPPORTERS to give up the ghost?

    Like it or not, Obama is the nominee and the best option we have to get this horrible Republican administration out.

    Vote SMART, please, for the sake of your country and our sons and daughters.

    August 19, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. Jeremy

    yeah...uh... barr should be allowed in the debates. He is... uh... a really good alternative because... uh.... McCain is too liberal

    Obama '08

    August 19, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. Ian

    Thomas, I see your point but it seems to be a catch-22. What politician in their "right" mind would vote for something like that?

    I think the only option is to take to the streets but I really don't see that happening any time soon. In France the people fill the streets over a 35 hour work week, here we post our frustrations on a CNN blog. I'm just as guilty as the rest. : (

    August 19, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    "The government has taken tremendous liberties with our liberty, taking away our liberty in the name of fighting terrorism, using fear to take away people's rights and their privacy in this country,”

    amen to that, brother!!! and there are stil plenty of ignoramuses who will vote for it to continue; they want the end of america as it is now, the land of the free...

    August 19, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  22. W-Guy

    Why are you people counting on Barr to take votes from McCain? Barr is so far off the left side he is hanging on Obama's shirt to keep from falling off. If anyone should worry about lossing votes it should be Obama.

    How many attacks on US soil since 911? NONE

    August 19, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. Raymond Duke

    Barr is just as qualified as both of these canidates. A lot more in fact than both really to be honest. The only problem being he is not a pretty boy and does not have the charisma to win on an indepedent run.I would be just wasting my vote if I voted for Barr. It is too bad we do not have a viable third party canidate for I would definitely vote for that canidate. I will not be voting so much for McCain as I will be voting against Barrack Hussien Obama. As a twenty year veteran and a working american who has never received a food stamp or welfare check in my life I cannot in good faith vote for a socialist with his anti-american views. It goes against everything I fought to defend this country against.

    August 19, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  24. Brenda

    ObamaSupporter–I'm sorry. When did we start calling Obama the "Uniter that has been Raised Up for a Time Such as This"? What has he united? Nothing. Even as it stands now, he isn't uniting the country, nor would he. If almost half of the country is voting against him, that's half the country that isn't part of this "united" mumbo jumbo. To be this self-proclaimed advocate of change and "unite" the country, he has to pull all citizens together–supporters and non-supporters. And that will never happen.

    I enjoy watching Obama supporters bash on McCain, but fail to offer anything real in terms of his policies or what he has voted on to ensure he is the best man for the job. Of course, if you look at his voting record, you can see how often he abstains from voting (mainly over controversial matters that could potentially hurt his political agenda). Don't believe me? Go to the Senate website and check his voting records (it's public record). He's a good talker and quite the charmer, but that's all. When it comes down to it, Obama is just another run-of-the-mill politician. He'll say anything for your vote, and then do something completely different once elected.

    I'm not a McCain supporter either. *shudder*

    August 19, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. Nia

    Bob Barr is a distraction. If the people really believed in him, he would have been a Dem or Repub.

    August 19, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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