April 11th, 2010
10:58 PM ET
5 years ago

DNC: Barbour 'defended the indefensible'

 Gov. Haley Barbour's comments 'portrayed a Republican mindset that is not only out of touch with this century, but the last one as well,' a spokesman for the DNC said Sunday.
Gov. Haley Barbour's comments 'portrayed a Republican mindset that is not only out of touch with this century, but the last one as well,' a spokesman for the DNC said Sunday.

Washington (CNN) – With the nation’s first African-American president occupying the Oval Office, the South’s Confederate history is ensnaring a second Republican governor in as many weeks in a controversy over how the nation ought to remember the institution of slavery.

Trying to defend a fellow Southern Republican governor, Mississippi’s Haley Barbour drew fire from the Democratic National Committee, which issued a statement Sunday after an interview with Barbour aired on CNN’s State of the Union.

Earlier: Concern of slavery omission 'doesn't amount to diddly,' says Barbour

“I don’t know what you would say about slavery,” Barbour told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, “but anybody who thinks that slavery is a bad thing – I think goes without saying.”

Barbour was explaining his belief that Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell had not made a mistake in omitting any mention of slavery from a recent proclamation declaring April Confederate History Month in his state.

Responding to allegations that McDonnell’s omission was insensitive, Barbour said, “To me, it's a sort of feeling that it's a nit. That it is not significant, that it's not a – it's trying to make a big deal out of something doesn't amount to diddly.”

The DNC slammed Barbour for the remarks.

"Governor Barbour defended the indefensible this morning and in doing so portrayed a Republican mindset that is not only out of touch with this century, but the last one as well,” DNC national press secretary Hari Sevugan said in a written statement. “To say that the systematic condemnation of millions to bondage and generation upon generation to servitude is ‘not significant,’ or that the tearing apart of families and the selling of human beings as cattle ‘doesn't amount to diddly’ is outrageous for any public official to say, let alone a man Republicans have placed in a position of leadership.”

Sevugan added, “These comments are unacceptable and should be universally condemned in the strongest terms. A failure to do so will send a strong message to all Americans that Republicans endorse Governor Barbour's sentiments and are content not only to be left behind in another century, but that they deserve to be a small regional party in the permanent minority “

Last week, McDonnell announced that he was amending his proclamation to refer to slavery and call it “an evil and inhumane practice.”

Related: McDonnell apologizes for initial proclamation

"The failure to include any reference to slavery was a mistake, and for that I apologize to any fellow Virginian who has been offended or disappointed," McDonnell said last week.


Filed under: DNC • Extra • GOP • Haley Barbour • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. HELLO? wake up

    Once again another Republican moron spouting out nonsense.

    April 11, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  2. ray

    this racists should be hang, these people on the right like this racists should vanishe off the face of the earth. the sad part of this is that he is caught now and tomorrow he will make an excuse. these FFFF should be hang.

    April 11, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  3. SCOTO

    Dont have to scratch the surface too hard for these guys...........

    April 11, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. German, Irish American

    Ah, yes, the racist Democrats playing the race card. Obama continued to play the race card by lying on his census form declaring himself totally African-American while not admiting that he is just as much caucasian as he is black. But you will never hear this from the hate filled racist Democrat Obama followers or the corrupt MSM that is trying to tear this country apart. To them it is all about spreading hate and fear, like they did during the Bush administration, to further their agenda.

    April 11, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  5. Yossi Gestetner

    Well well well... The Democrats from the South had the slaves. I doubt the DNC wanst that to be on everyone's mind...

    April 11, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  6. jim atmadison

    Would the last non-racist Republican lock the door behind you as you leave? The GOPers in Congress and the southern state houses are more comfortable among their own kind, anyway.

    April 11, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  7. Mike R

    So, slavery didn't amount to "diddly" Governor Barbour? My response and the response for my "entire family" to you will be delivered at the Ballot Box come November, which can't get here fast enough for me....

    April 11, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  8. gg

    The Republican Party is sinking to new lows. They have truly earned our contempt and disgust.

    April 11, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  9. Indy

    This is such a typical response from Republicans and Barbour is like the rest of them. They are such a sad bunch that do not care about people or history that is on the wrong side of humanity. Republicans have put the country in grave danger over the past nine years and are just so far from reality that it scares most of us to think they deserve to get back into the Whiteshouse.

    April 11, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  10. TexasDemocrat

    What do you expect, the Republicans represent: Ignorance and Racism. They are still stuck in that time when African Americans pick cotton, Latinos clean house, and where women were subject not to fullfill their destined place in society. Democrats will prevail in 2010, no doubt about that.

    April 11, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  11. eolufemi

    Time for good white folks to pick sides. You're either with the bigots and secessionists or you're with the rest of us real Americans in this century.

    April 11, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  12. Turnabout is Fair Play

    What do you expect from the neo-con right-wing of ignorance and racism? They are so out of touch with true reality in this country in the 21 century that it beyond pititful and pathetic. Keep that racist and ignorant mindset going Governor, you and Sorry Palin and watch your jaws drop in November when your redneck Southern boy party loses more seats. I'll be here to smile in your faces.

    April 11, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  13. silver foxx

    Two southern governors, with the same racist views, typical republician thinking

    April 11, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  14. DA

    Stupid is, as stupid does!!

    April 11, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  15. Doug

    Everyone should easiliy be able to see that slavery, in any form or fashion is wrong and any argument to the contrary is indefensible. I understand how things were back then but celebrating the history of the confederacy does not and should not mean or be interpreted as an acceptance of slavery. MANY misinterpret the civil war as a war over slavery which is a false argument. It was a war over states rights and slavery was merely one of the issues that the southern states wanted to be able to choose for themselves.

    April 11, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  16. addon

    and there are some weak minded individuals who would defend these republicans. I guess African Americans aren't real americans after all. Only the lighter complexion americans are worth didly.

    Yeah...great idea Tea Partiers. Let's bring the Repubs back to power because they speak for all of america.

    Geesh.....I just threw up a whole lot

    April 11, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  17. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    With the makeup of our nation being more and more diverse, it won't be long before the bigots will be replaced forever with colorblind people of intergrity.

    That day can't come fast enough.

    April 11, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. DB

    Both major parties in my opinion are out of touch with reality and the American people. The American people are for the most part out of touch with their own history. Slavery built this country. Centuries of European terrorism enabled this to happen. The country has yet to reconcile the sheer magnitude of social devastation that its original rulers have caused and thus is still a painful topic to deal with. Bigots like Haley Barbour and his colleagues serve to remind us how painful this topic is and that we need a massive nation wide educational effort so we can learn that our national history is based on terrorism and animalistic savagery.

    April 11, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  19. NEDemocrat

    Surprise! A racist, dumb Southern Republican Governor. I really can't wait to see who the Repubs nominate in 2012! It will either be a racist,a sexist, a dumbo, or a flip-flopper... Obama should dominate any of them.

    I am disappointed that my state of NEbraska would ever consider voting for anyone like Barbour.

    April 11, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  20. Eric in WV

    Folks, this is why racism won't die in America. At every turn we find a way to open old wounds in this country and it has to stop. Yes, slavery was bad but it happened 140 years ago. Let it go already.

    April 11, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  21. jbakaregit

    And the GOP thinks America will just hand them back the keys to the halls of government in November just b/c conventional wisdom and the media says so?

    Barbour's admission is tantamount to endorsing slavery. Simple as that.

    April 11, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  22. Marcus

    He sure miss the good ol' days (before MLK, Rosa Parks and all those brave others)!!!

    April 11, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  23. Elizabeth

    Well- the way things are going we will soon have folks saying that slavery never happened.
    Of course there are other delusional people out there – the leader of Iran for instance – what's his name? Oh yeah Ahminiejhad or something? He keeps saying 6 million Jews were never slaughtered too.

    Ah well....

    April 11, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  24. Marilyn

    Slavery ended 150+ years ago. Get over it people!

    April 11, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  25. joel palmer

    Of course the gop is insensitive to slavery; they'd reinstitute it if they could

    April 11, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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