September 8th, 2010
01:17 PM ET
8 years ago

Barbour to GOP: Step on the accelerator

Gov. Haley Barbour said Republican candidates will be elected this November if they stay on message this fall.

Gov. Haley Barbour said Republican candidates will be elected this November if they stay on message this fall.

Washington (CNN) – Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour's message to Republican candidates this fall: stay on message.

"The intensity since last year is greater than it was in '94, but we're still eight weeks away from the election. Republicans need to understand they need keep their foot on the accelerator," Barbour told a group of journalists at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor Wednesday.

Barbour, who is widely considered a potential 2012 presidential candidate, said for now he is concentrating on his job as chair of the Republican Governors Association.

"I am not giving serious thought to a run until after November 2," Barbour said. "I'm giving all of my attention to electing Republican governors."

During the hour-long breakfast, Barbour took questions on range of topics, including a Florida pastor's controversial plan to burn the Quran on September 11.

"I don't think well of the idea of burning anyone's Quran, Bible, or Book of Mormon. I don't think it's a good idea."

Barbour also shot down suggestions that Republicans are actively spreading rumors that President Obama is a Muslim, insisting that there is no such conspiracy, and that he did not know why people believed otherwise.

A recent poll by Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that nearly one in five Americans falsely believe Obama is a Muslim, and that most of those who think Obama is Muslim are Republicans.

"This is a president that we know less about than any other in history. I don't know why people think what they do. I accept totally at face value that he's a Christian," Barbour said.

Nonetheless, Barbour said by focusing on Obama's religion, Republican's are "taking their eye off the ball." Candidates should instead be focusing on Republicans' message of fixing the economy, he said.

Republicans need to "stay on issues on people's minds – the economy, jobs, the failure of the stimulus package, concern about spending, the deficit, debt. Nothing is done until it's done," Barbour said repeatedly.

Barbour also weighed in on the success of Tea Party-backed candidates this election cycle, saying the intra-party competition is healthy.

"The worst thing for Republicans would have been for Tea Party candidates to run as independents," Barbour said. "I hope they continue to run as Republicans in the next election cycle.

Yet there is one Tea Party candidate about which Barbour seemed less enthusiastic.

When asked if he plans to support embattled Colorado GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes, Barbour conceded that the RGA is reluctant to put money into races it considers un-winnable.

"We have put money in Colorado. Past tense," Barbour said, signaling that RGA support in the race may be dwindling.

Maes narrowly beat former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis in the GOP primary last month despite several campaign controversies. He has faced calls by many prominent Republicans in his state to step down, but recently vowed to remain in the race.

Filed under: 2010 • Haley Barbour
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. E. Tree

    As a former leader of the civil rights movement, Mr. Barbour has already displayed the guts, smarts and skin color we need to finally beat them evil Ruskies...I mean mooselems.

    They always said "the South shall rise again!"

    September 8, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Sgt. USMC

    Why are they still living in 94?

    September 8, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. Haley's Comment

    Stay on Message?? WHAT MESSAGE?? The GOP has nothing, no plans, no solutikons, nothing except to criticize, bully, deride, misinform, and generally try anything the smokescreen the fact that they have no plans at all for this country.

    And...we know less about Omaba than any other President?? MORE misinformation, more lies, more garbage.

    September 8, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. BeverlyNC

    WHAT MESSAGE? Republicans have no message unless it is to spread hate, fear, lies, racism, intolerance, and extremist ideas.

    Know what Republicans in Congress are saying they will do if they gain power....
    -eliminate Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment benefits
    -eliminate the Dept of Education and close all public schools
    -eliminate the EPA and the FDA so now ALL our food can be dangerous
    -eliminate Federal funds to states to help them keep teachers, police and firemen as well as other critical community services. This means your local taxes will go up to make up for the shortfall
    -repeal everything the Democrats passed for the benefit of YOU and other American families (healthcare, consumer protections from the banks and credit card companies, equal pay for women, re-regulation of the corrupt Wall St banks that destroyed our economy, no investment in clean energy technology so China will end up owning all the patents, all efforts to bring manufacturing back to America etc etc)

    The only thing they want to do is keep the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% of the wealthiest Americans – which will add 4 Trillion to our deficit but Republicans don't care about the deficit when it involves their rich white elitist buddies. Hypocrites as always. They want to end the middle class tax cuts Obama implemented.

    Is this the America you want? Extremists who want to rip up our Constitution to use it as a hate tool against Hispanics and Muslims. Can you live without YOUR Social Security that you have been paying into your whole career? Can you live through another Bush recession with no jobs being created except overseas? Can you afford to pay for all your medical care out of your own pocket? Can you go back to paying 39% on your credit card balance when Republicans remove the consumer protections? Can you afford to send your children to private schools since public education will be eliminated?

    Better know what you are voting for if you vote for a will be total destruction of our recovery advancements, the end of the middle class, and the end of all social programs that reflect American values of human decency and the American dream for all.

    Democrats are the Party of the PEOPLE and have worked hard for you all year. They have stood up and fought for you at every turn. Republicans have done NOTHING but vote NO on everything regardless who it hurt. They have brought an environment of hate to our nation, extremism that formed the tea party who wants to tear apart our govt and believes in violence as the answer to their wants.

    Democrats will keep moving America forward – ALL of America. Republicans will destroy our nation again through their own words.

    Make a wise choice for YOU will have to live with the results.

    September 8, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. Marty, FL

    Are fellow Americans really considering putting team Boehner in charge? Seriously? His so-called "plan" to shut down governing repsonsibilities would be a disaster. Hooverville again, anyone? No thanks.

    If you do not want the GOP and their tea extremes ruining our government (again), please get out, volunteer & vote to keep our country moving forward.

    God bless America.

    September 8, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. Emerson

    Staying on message to the GOP means:
    1) keep hinting that the President is a closet Muslin who is against Christian America.
    2) keep saying the Preident has failed to fix the economy despite the fact that since 2008 we narrowly avoided a complete economic meltdown
    3) keep talking about stopping spending and running up a deficit after the GOP ran up the highest deficit in history during the Bush Presidency.
    4) Offer no plan to restore jobs other than cut taxes which Herbert Hoover did in 1930 to deepen the Great Depression.
    5) Offer no ideas or stategies to solve this country's problems except that we should try to turn the clock back to 1890.
    6) Keep repeating words like "patriot" and "freedom" while doing everything in your power to obstruct positive change in this country.

    Bring back the GOP and they will keep their foot on the accelerator until the United States goes over the cliff.

    September 8, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Well, let me know what you plan on cutting (spending) and why you won't even consider raising (taxes). The situation requires a two part answer. That means members of Congress cutting spending and raising taxes. That needs to be done without question.

    September 8, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  8. Blkman what message is the GOP sending, "how to hold on to a LIER and still remain in public office"? What a joke not even he can tell you what the republican message is only that it is anti President Obama, no solutions to all of many complex problems this country faces.

    September 8, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Candidates should instead be focusing on Republicans' message of fixing the economy, he said.
    the problem with that is that they can keep saying the economy, the economy, and no jobs, no jobs but as Bonehead just proved they don't know what to do about either. With the exception of putting us back on track to finish off the job of throwing the country off the cliff.

    You have a message, however stilted, but YOU HAVE NO IDEAS as to how to fix things, nor the willingness to do so if you did. It is more important for Rethuglikkklans to get richer off of the country's misery than to FIX ANYTHING.

    Kinda works out , doesn't it? NO ideas, and NO willingness to implement them if you had them.

    September 8, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  10. Cat

    Stay on message????? What's the Republican's message? The only message I've heard from the Republicans is "NO".

    September 8, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  11. lforlegend

    Haley knows about stepping on the accelerator, as it was his party of extremists/terrorists who drove Amerca into the ditch in the first place. Now they want control again and the second time the'll drive America into the ditch with both feet "on the accelerator." Good luck America, because you'll need it if this extremist gets out of the south.

    September 8, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    Thanks CNN for giving me the best laugh of the day.
    First of all somebody should step on barbour for the cockroach he is. Is it a coincidence that another loser like ensign (adulterer, cheater, C street gang member) is standing behiind him.
    barbour "wideloy considered a potential 2012 presidential candidate? On what planet? 🙂 🙂 Save your money. christian science monitor breakfast? Right up there, or worse, with mitt being a mormon.
    Obviously he has not read anything about President Obama because we know a LOT about him. He sounds like turtle man from KY, he accepts that the President is a Christian at face value. Even with that ugly wrinkly face that still sounds like you are lying, you pathetic rethug.
    I don't believe him either when he says that the idea of burning any religious group is not a good idea. I would think that he would be first in liine with the torch and his white kkk hood.
    Oil spiil in the Gulf. He is talking about where the President was, or not was, but he is at a picnic in Central Park in NY. Hypocrite!!!

    September 8, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. Marie MD

    oops! I meant "burning any religious group book"

    September 8, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  14. Shari from Madison WI

    Yeah, Republicans don't know anything about spreading rumors about President Obama. What liars they are. They endorse the Tea Party and the Tea Party spreads the same mud and half truth's that the republicans do. Both the Repubs and the Tea Party or repugnant, prejudice and liars. They wouldn't know the truth if even Abe Lincoln would appear and tell them.

    September 8, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. Duck Fallas

    Hour long breakfast? It takes a a normal person 5 minutes to eat breakfast. What a bloated hog.

    (It takes me five minutes to cook grits while it takes the rest of the grit eating world 20 minutes. I'm a fast cook.)

    September 8, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. GI Joe

    YES WE CAN – you big ball of blubber. YOU'RE WRONG.

    September 8, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  17. katiec

    What he means is continue to throw away all integrity and honor, continue the propaganda, lies, distortions, obstruction, no votes for the sake of trying to win this election.
    How can any American support the republicans and what they have done and are trying to do to our country, for what they stand for and their sacrificing us and our country for their win at any cost??

    September 8, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  18. Rob Johnson

    Barbour is a very savvy politician, but he is one of the few Republicans who Obama could beat easily in 2012. He is about as photogenic as Fat Bastard and as charismatic as a potted plant.

    Frankly, I don't think he is much interested in running for President. Barbour is more of a backroom, power-behind-the-throne kind of guy.

    If the GOP are smart, they will nominate a more personable and charismatic candidate, and let Barbour run the campaign.

    September 8, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  19. Hunter of the lib hunter

    Haley is a piece of work. In an interview, he said he attended an integrated college, (Ole Miss had two blacks when Haley was there) and he sent his children to private schools that had no minorities until the mid 1990's. He is the example of what is wrong with the deep republican south: last in public education and school funding.

    September 8, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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