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."
I DON'T CARE FOR LIBERALS OR CONSERVATIVES. I WAS ENCOURAGED AT THE THE SIGHT OF THE TEA PARTY UNTIL IT WAS HIJACKED BY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. AMERICA WAKE UP WE NEED A "REAL" 3RD PARTY. DEMS AND REPUBS DO NOT WORK FOR AMERICA. THEY BOTH WORK FOR THEIR BANK ACCOUNTS!
Governor Barbour would have to lose the southern dialect for the elites to consider him a viable candidate, much the same way they needed Obama to have a light skin and no negro dialect, except when he wanted to. Haley 2012 sounds good to me, though.
Cohen His poor son crying got to me as he had to see his hero quit. Quinn and Durbin are scum as the whole party is all the way to the top. I am now independent and will remain that until the consevative dems take the party back. I will vote and campaign against Quinn and Durbin and by the way why hasn't Gianoullias stepped down since his bank dealings were found to be corrupt with Resco and the mob oh wait those are his lip marks on obama's ass
OH YEAH.....THAT'S GREAT !!!
Can't we find a guy who looks even older
than he does to represent our party ???
McCain worked out so well last election!
WHAT THE HAY HAS HAPPENED TO MY
PARTY ????????? Is there a candidate
under 70 we can find ?????????????
I wish politicians would just do their jobs instead of worrying about their next step on the ladder
A job well done will get you to a next level quicker than sucking up
Now he could be a serious candidate. Palin's OK but she cannot win and would not be a good president. Barbour could get through the primary's as well where some of these other guys cannot.
Haley Barbour is old-school, states' rights, southern Conservatism. He is against everything the federal government might do or has ever done, except give money to Mississippi. I think he would be an excellent VP nominee for a ticket headed by Palin.
Yeah, that's just what Uhmurika needs - another pig-faced, white-trash, mush-mouthed, teabagging hillbilly racist southern cracker running for Prez.
What is wrong with these people.....All they think about is winning the next election.....HOW SAD
Great. This guy brought into his state off-shore auto manufacturering facilities, and woks for (owns??) a lobbyist group. Shouls speak well of the GOP and garner MUCH support from the tea-baggers.
The one thing I can thank Bush for is that he ensured that no southern Repugnant will be president for a looooong time. Much less one from the benighted state of Mississippi. It'll take generations to wash that bad taste out of our mouths.
Why do all three guys in the photo look so miserable? And so pasty? Ah, that's right – they're members of the angry white male party.
No thanks Boss Hogg
You gotta be kidding me. This guy can't even speak English.
White House bid? HHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As someone who wishes I had not voted for Obama......I hope Palin does run, she gets my vote for one reason:
She scares the Liberals absolutely to death! And that pleases me for the Liberals scare me to death!
I bet this man has a confederate flag tatoo.
He should ask Phil Gramm why he never became president. They both have faces for C-span radio.
Once again the Republicans don't care nothing about the American people.
No southerners. R or D
Barbour has shown no particular insight, foresight, or creativity as a statesman. The big item on his resume is having been head of the Republican National Committee. We don't need yet one more party hack pushing the same worn-out ideas. Let's hold out not for someone who's politically correct but someone who's actually good - who uses evidence and not ideology to craft solutions to problems and someone who's interested in power to bring us to consensus instead of pushing a party agenda. If Mr. Barbour is that man, I'd vote for him. If he's not, then he's useless to the majority of Americans who don't give a toss about party or political purity Democrats aren't better; Republicans aren't better. Only better is better.
He just enough of a right wing nut to keep the tea partiers from forming their own party.
No more ole white guys
Are the taxpayers of Mississippi paying for these trips?
Right. Another GOPer who thinks that America would have been better off if Strom Thurmond would have been elected president.
These guys WANT to take America back to the Dark Ages, and there are plenty of you neo-nitwits out there who actually delight in the thought of it.
It is staggering, the level of delusion and hypocrisy that it takes to be a [R] these days!