April 11th, 2010
04:18 PM ET
5 years ago

Barbour: Obama, Congress 'the most liberal' ever


(CNN) – As Washington girds itself for another Supreme Court confirmation battle, a prominent Republican is predicting that President Obama will use his second high court pick to try to push the court in as liberal a direction as possible – in a reflection of Democrats’ liberal tendencies.

Associate Justice John Paul Stevens announced Friday that he intends to step down later this year, stirring speculation about who Obama will appoint during a midterm election year when Democrats already appear to be facing a challenging political environment.

“The president’s going to appoint a liberal successor to Justice Stevens who's one of the most liberal members of the Supreme Court,” Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

Barbour added that he thought Obama is going to “appoint the most liberal person that he can and he thinks he can get confirmed. And that, that person will be a liberal. That’s just a fact.”

The former RNC chairman and current chairman of the Republican Governors Association told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that the upcoming Supreme Court confirmation process will affect November’s midterm elections by reminding the public where Obama and the Democratically-controlled Congress sit on the political spectrum.

“Do I think it'll affect the election?,” he said. “Only to the sense that it reminds the American people of something they already know - that this is far and away the most liberal administration that we've ever had in the White House, and candidly, in the Congress.”

Barbour noted that historically both liberals and conservatives have used Supreme Court vacancies to stir up support and enthusiasm within their respective bases. But he said that Republicans may not need the extra boost that will likely come from a high court confirmation battle during a midterm election year.

“The good thing for Republicans right now is we’ve got plenty of energy,” Barbour told Crowley. “The policies of this administration and this Congress have energized our people.”

Asked whether Senate Republicans should oppose Obama’s nominee at all costs and risk taking on “the party of no” label being pushed by Democrats, Barbour was indifferent.

“I’m not worried about ‘the party of no,’ as long as we’re saying no to what the American people know are bad policies,” Barbour said. “The American people will reward you for trying to stop something they think is bad.”

But Barbour was quick to add that no one knows yet who the president will nominate to replace Justice Stevens.

soundoff (229 Responses)
  1. Chuck

    Why don't the CNN journalists take issue when the interviewee makes false statements. John King and Candy Crowley are quilty of not taking issue with many of the people they interview, especially those of the Republican persuasion. C'mon, guys and gals, where is your professionlism?

    April 11, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. MikeH

    Haley Barbour, the biggest piece of treasonous Republican fecal waste EVER.

    April 11, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. PA WEAVER

    So what if President Obama appoints a very liberal Supreme Court Justice – George W. appointed two very extremely conservative justices during his eight year administration. It's Tit for Tat !

    April 11, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. AndyBlue

    Candy Crowley has made a career around interviewing republicans for CNN.

    Strangly lobsided. I dont get CNN. Its almost like they are trying to push republicans as equal politician when they are really nothing more than sideline complainers who obstruct and not much more.

    Why doesnt Candy interview more dems and have them explain policies put into law by those in power instead of the deadbeat complainers?

    April 11, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. Jeff In Ohio

    Of course, that's what commies do, appoint liberals.

    April 11, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. Carl

    Gee, its not like the Republicans would put an arch conservative on the court if they could.

    The only thing even keeping Republicans in the game is their ability to lie and misrepresent the facts. Well, that and the Democrats inability to predict the obvious and prepare for Republicans to do just that.

    April 11, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. KLS

    Let's see GOP President Ford appointed Justice Stevens. GOP President Bush appointed Justice Roberts who is more far right in his views than all the others on the Supreme Court. Over the years Justice Stevens has held true to his values and how to interpret the law it's the GOP viewpoints that have changed. Why is the GOP criticizing President Obama?

    April 11, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  8. Daniel

    What's so liberal about a congress that's run by a bunch of right-wing thugs from the Pentagon and powerful Lobbyies.We are currently fighting two useless wars,spend needlessly on the military and increasing our foreign aid givaways.

    April 11, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  9. david from oregon

    It is called progressive...not liberal...of course, that requires intelligence and sadly that is lacking from the GOP side of the aisle.

    April 11, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  10. jackstraw, SC

    uhh yea, thats kind of the point isn't? Were John Roberts and Samuel Alito not clear reminders of teh Bush adminstrations ideology? would it make any sense for Obama to appoint a conservative especially since its replacing a liberal justice? you don't even have the argument that it upsets the balance of the court.

    April 11, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  11. Zip

    Anyone Obama picks even only one degree to the left of attilla the hun will be considered "a left wing activest judge" according to the right. No matter who he nominates will be bogged down in debate until all the Fox pundits get their chance to trash this person before they let their GOP lackeys the OK to vote on them. Fox news has become a shadow government in this country. One that no one voted for.

    April 11, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. John

    Mr. Barbour is a true hypocrite. He is pre-judging the president's intentions and choices and pre-judging the candidates. HIs very reason for doing this is the same reason he gives for justifying his disqualifying any candidate that he perceives to have an ulterior agenda!

    April 11, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. save my state.

    Why do the liberals hate america? Why do you hate the form of goverment that has kept this country going so long. Why do you hate people that only want to modivate you to do better. Why do you only stand and wait for hand outs? Why have you replaced if can't do it the goverment will do it. Why have you placed your trust in ideas from the 70's that came from people that blew up building. Killed people ,and started riots. It's a said day when the people of america only hold out their bowl to the goverment, and say please sir can I have some more.

    April 11, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. Ken

    The Republicans want to greatly narrowband America. America needs to be managed more openly and open mindedly. That is why we need to get out and vote Democrats on Election Day

    April 11, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. Hawk in Texas

    Barbour is a theif and a liar. period. he and karl rove railroaded the democrat that was in the way of their agenda. down with republicans forever may they go the way of the whigs.

    April 11, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  16. CR

    The GOP is pathetically reduced to just making things up. Pres. Obama has not even made an appointment, and Barbour charges it's the most "liberal" appointment ever made. How absurd.

    The Republican Party has zero credibility.

    April 11, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  17. Kathleen

    Republicans look and act tough, but they are truly "wimps."

    April 11, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. John

    If this doesn't solidify the GOP's "party of no" designation I don't know what would.
    This is just another disguisting politician's attempt to get the mindless sheep foaming at the mouth again.

    April 11, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. Francisco Cardenas

    This is why he was overwhelmingly voted in ... to change the course! Hope the GOP'ers hate his nominee ... and he gets in anyway!!!

    April 11, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. Bob

    Who cares what a confederate governor has to say about this?

    April 11, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. gg

    Barbour is a right wing hack.

    April 11, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  22. Larry

    A true Mississippian in every respect: fat, ignorant, backward, hillbilly, reactionary, crafty and sly. He's 'Deliverance' personified. Law degree from 'ole Miss; I mean, straight out of central casting. If you had to cast the part of the 'Guvner of Missippi', it would be Barbour. Nationally, the GOP loves this guy, because he stands for everything they embrace. No wonder the Republican Party is fading into history.

    April 11, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  23. The Unsub

    Barbour is an idiot. And being liberal is wrong? Please explain?

    April 11, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  24. Obama 2012

    Isn't this rich? Of course President Obama will appoint a justice who has leaning's similiar to Justice Stevens'. Mr. Barbour speaks as if this is SOMETHING TOTALLY UNHEARD of. As if a conservative Republican President would appoint a liberal justice. I can see the party of NO is at it again!! Idiots!!!

    April 11, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  25. Ben

    Indeed, the current Republican party is the most conservative party ever. Remember, in 1980 Reagan proposed a 50% tax rate for the upper income bracket and kept it there until 1988. By the standards of today's Republican party, Reagan would be considered a Socialist.

    Obama has proposed a 42.5% rate while campaigning but hasn't even implemented it. Obama is *more conservative* on tax rates than Ronald Reagan. He is only liberal from the vantage point of true conservative extremists, which unfortunately is the majority of the current Republican party.

    April 11, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
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