February 8th, 2010
04:49 PM ET
8 years ago

Barbour to visit another key early voting state

Mississippi's Republican Gov. Haley Barbour will visit South Carolina on March 15 to keynote the Spartanburg County GOP's annual President's Day dinner.

Mississippi's Republican Gov. Haley Barbour will visit South Carolina on March 15 to keynote the Spartanburg County GOP's annual President's Day dinner.

Washington (CNN) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, one of several Republicans thought to be considering a White House bid in 2012, is making another trip to a key early voting state.

Barbour, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, will visit South Carolina on March 15 to keynote the Spartanburg County GOP's annual President's Day dinner. Spartanburg County GOP Chairwoman LaDonna Ryggs told CNN that the event – which she described as "a very large fundraiser" – was re-scheduled from its original date in February.

Barbour has already made trips in recent months to the presidential proving grounds of Iowa and New Hampshire, but at the time he said those trips were part of his duties as RGA chairman. South Carolina will elect a new governor in November.

One of Barbour's political confidantes said it's understandable the governor's political travels will raise suspicions about a possible 2012 bid, but said Barbour is genuinely focused of winning governor's races this fall.

"It's natural that people will make some assumptions because South Carolina is an early primary state, but if it had been Alabama or Florida or some other state, he would have been just as eager to go," said the person close to Barbour, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about his thinking. "It is who is he is. He loves going to these things. He calls it political recreation."

Ryggs said she reached out to invite Barbour to the dinner, because he is a strong conservative who "is very popular" in Spartanburg County. "He will be a good draw," she said.

Ryggs added that she has been in touch with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal about appearing in Spartanburg later this year.

She also said she reached out last year to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels about a visit, but was told that the governor was planning to focus on his home state for the time being. She said Daniels would "definitely be contender" for the Republican nomination if he decided to run.

But Ryggs expressed surprise that more potential presidential candidates haven't made early trips to South Carolina. Possible contenders like Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence and Rick Santorum have made recent visits, but the state hasn't seen the same kind of early foot traffic that it did in the two years before the 2008 election.

Ryggs said she was particularly surprised that she never heard back from Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty after reaching out to his staff about a possible South Carolina appearance.

"We want them to start coming to South Carolina," she said. "I was really surprised, because I thought if they were serious about running they would start to branch out by now."

Filed under: 2012 • Haley Barbour • Popular Posts • South Carolina
soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. Paul

    Doesn't seem likely Barbour would get the nomination, but if so congratulations to President Obama on his reelection.

    February 8, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. buckeye

    Mississippi is certainly the poorest and arguably the most dysfunctional state in the union. Any governor of this basket case state should hang their head in perpetual shame rather than throw their hat into a presidential race.

    February 8, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. chris l

    God, I cannot wait for all the American Al Queda Liberals in Congress to be thrown out in November. 2012 cannot come soon enough when our one and done Obamao is thrown back into the cesspool he came from. Im sure the ghetto he came from could still use someone to organize kickball games. Actaully Im betting on impeachment before then. LIBERALS ARE AN EMBARASSMENT AND DISGRACE TO THIS COUNTRY

    February 8, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. sportsguydave

    Just what the GNOP needs... a fat white guy running for President. Go for it, Barbour. Make our day...

    February 8, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. haren

    I hope he does not write notes on his hand.
    And sarah Pailin, I don't know what she was thinking when she was writing notes on her hand.
    It is beyond our imagination.
    A good looking stupid lady and america is in love with her?
    whole world must be laughing at us.

    February 8, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. CheneyIsDarthVader

    Dream on!

    February 8, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    Look at that picture – typical bigoted old fat white republican. Can't wait to see the UNSCRIPTED republican primary debates between the other republicans and sara.

    February 8, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. sharon

    but..............did he get palin's permisson?????????????

    February 8, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. Amanda

    Haley Barbour running for president is a very scary thought .... just ask anyone from his home state of Mississippi. He has done such a bang up job of governing our state let's give him the rest of the country to demolish. It could be good for Mississippi .... we are at the bottom of the food chain as far as education is concerned ... let him make decisions for the rest of the country and we are bound to move up the ladder. Sure ....... Barbour for President ...... I don't know if that is scary or just plain sad.

    February 8, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. SC-Pub "no" more


    While you are in S.C., be on the look out for those "stray poor people." They might be breeding this time of year. One of them is their Governor.
    You might get their Lt. Gov. Bauer to point them out to you. He and his grandmother are experts on "stray poor people" and their breeeding habits.

    February 8, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. Jim

    Another has-been GOP operative who has no solutions.

    February 8, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. Mark

    He's a fine governor, but will a very longshot at getting the republican nomination for president. Too many better republicans than he in the mix.

    February 8, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. Jim

    Gov. Haley Barbour for President, really, REALLY? Has a used car sales man kind of look. A better job is for him is to be peddling crap on late night TV. He could lose a few pounds too – scares me that my insurance premiums will increase incrementally due to him being extremely over weight and obviously out of condition, not a good example at all!!!

    February 8, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  14. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Listening to Barbour talk is sickening and he does nothing for Mississippi.

    February 8, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. AEK

    Oh good, another Klan member throws his hood in the ring.

    February 8, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  16. NC

    Anybody with any sense needs to stay away from that backwards crowd in S. C.

    February 8, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |

    This man has all the charm of a rattlesnake. He was the ugly face of the Republican Party's lies, fraud and divisive propaganda for years... just another hard-core reactionary intent on destroying the American middle class and dismantling the American way of life on behalf of fundamentalist theocrats and corporate statists. A traitor? No doubt.

    February 8, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  18. Just Another White Republic

    What a diverse party. I mean they have right wing white guys from every state in the Union. They also have right wing gals from everywhere, too.
    Now that's what make America Great

    February 8, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  19. Common Sense

    Add another right wing idiot to the GOP roster!

    February 8, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  20. Moderate

    He will excite the south but that will be it

    February 8, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. Reny

    Brown will be the Republican candidate in 2012. All these other pretenders to the throne are wasting their time and money.

    Of course, I am still voting for Obama so I dont care who they run against him in the end.

    February 8, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  22. TFH

    This guy would be a great President! Go for it, Barbour!

    February 8, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. Clint

    Boss Hawg has been out and about a lot lately. Hope he runs for Pres. because we really need another old Southern KKK member from the Party of NO running the country into the ground.

    February 8, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  24. D.U.T.C.H.

    For his state to be among the poorest in the nation, if not the poorest, POTUS is not the job for him. He needs to get his house in order before pursuing any higher ambitions.

    February 8, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. Dylan from Minneapolis Minnesnowta

    That's about as exciting as a pile of rocks.

    February 8, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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