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. dinah

    Maybe if this Republican really have seen the light in the tunnel after this election. Maybe they should consider the possibility of the outcome they are all clamoring for. The hurdles they created could be a thorn on their side. Everything they had done with malicious intent since the Clinton years had backfired to them a hundred of times. At this very minute they are assuming to replaced the majority. But they will share the negativity they tried to pin this President from.

    September 8, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. Ray Jackson, MS

    This fat pig and his republican buddies stole 600 million of your tax dollars that were intended for Katrina victim housing in Mississippi to IMPROVE not rebuild IMPROVE the port of Mississippi. There are still people here that don't have proper housing because of this criminal. That fool Barbour couldn't get elected dog catcher here. Even the idiot republicans that supported him can't stand him now. Oh and he didn't live here when he was elected governor. He was a Washington DC lawyer and tobacco lobbyist that just happened to own a house here. He was sent here by Bush and his cronies as part of their take over of America. You know the take over that caused the recession and drug us into an expensive pointless war that killed thousands of Americans. This is the person that Barbour is. So yeah go vote republican people and she how bad your lives are then.

    September 8, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. NYCitizen

    Admit it...the Republicans have to turn away from the "Party of No" aura. We do come accross that way. (I am recently Democrat turned Republican.) I believe, for instance, on Health Care Reform, the Republicans were saying "Repeal." How about instead, saying "Amend and Refine." Sure sounds better than Repeal, doesn't it? We Republicans have to steer clear from negative language and replace it with constructive ideas and language.

    September 8, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    SPEED KILLS (JOBS) – they just want more wealth for corporations who out-source our jobs. That's not fixin' anything in the U.S.A.

    September 8, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. Edward

    Keep their foot on the accelerator and drive the US into a canyon again like they did with Bush for 8 years! Not.

    September 8, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. ST

    Keep their foot on accelerator? On what car are they driving?

    September 8, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Yeah GOP, keep your foot on the accelerator going backwards while President Obama is driving forward to get this country out of the ditch you drove us in. If anyone doesn't believe the Republicans plan is to save the rich only, read Boehner's economic plan.

    September 8, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  8. Uh Oh!!

    Step on the accelerator right over a cliff. I love how Bohner in a previous artilcle NOW wants to unvail the GOP's "plan" for recovery of course around election time. The people suffer just so you stupid politians can get a few more votes, they could have unvailed this months ago i'm sure when the dems were trying to olive branch but the GOP again said "no" just so they could display it now to again try to get a couple more votes. arrrrrrrrrrrr!!!! I hate politics and mind games when my money and family are pawns of the political games. NO WONDER WHY GOVERNMENT AND BAUROCRACY ARE AT AN ALL TIME LOW. I want revolution!!!!! to bad the American people don't care enough to get involved to do it but thats mainly because we all know it will just be the same anyway no matter what we do.

    September 8, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. NVa Native

    Yea, stay on message which means keep up the lies and dodging the facts.

    BTW – hey dumb ass red necks – you are here in our country – learn to speak our language – and in case you are too stupid to know what it is – it's English!
    Not this pig-gibberish you (Haley Barbour) keep spewing at us.

    September 8, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. once upon a horse

    step on the accelerator and run the car right into the ditch! You guys know how to do that for sure. Unlike some voters, this one will NOT have amnesia come Nov 2nd.

    September 8, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Lisa P

    The only problem with Barbour's plan is that the Republicans have no clue about how to fix the economy. More of the failed same is not an option.

    September 8, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. Renea

    Yeah by keep lying to American people that you have a economic plan which is the same ole same ole yes keep lying until we put you back in power then we will see whats really your plan is.

    September 8, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. steven harnack

    Stay on message? The only messages that I hear from Republicans is the President is a Muslim! the President is a communist! we must make the President fail! no to everything until we are in control! bomb someone! kill someone! no! no! no! I have not heard one positive plan put forth by Republicans, only assurances that they will shut down government until they get their way. No taxes for the rich and no one looking over their shoulders while they rob us to death.

    September 8, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. p

    This lying SOS has been saying lately that in 1964 Mississippi was all integrated, civil rights for everyone granted, everybody getting along nicely with each other. Mississippi! 1964! OMG. What a pack of lies! Ol Miss admitted their first black student in 1962 .Medger Evers was murdered in 1963! But by 1964 everything was hunky dory?
    He cannot be allowed to get away with such a completely outrageous RE-WRITE OF HISTORY. His boys went to all-white private academies in the 60's.
    He is an old white racist windbag, trying impersonate somebody white from Mississippi that was always open-minded, always pro-civil rights. Rubbish.
    He's a bad joke.

    September 8, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. GI Joe

    When you're on the wrong track, you should turn around, not go full speed ahead.

    So sick of these wealthy corporatists that defend them out-sourcing our jobs and STILL want us to reward them with even more money.

    NO NO NO NO NO - Hell NO

    September 8, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. GI Joe

    BORROWED money for the wealthy. MORE deficits.

    September 8, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    Mississippi is a freekin disaster...but leave it to the poorly educated voters that states like Mississippi purposefully churn out to vote for this bloviating Boss Hogg impersonator.

    BTW, in the spirit of knit-picking quotes...this joker just came out today or yesterday claiming that nobody knows anything about Obama's childhood or college education, etc. You know, despite Obama writing a couple of best-selling books about it all. Just more proof that a cornerstone of the GOP's plan, given that they're dealing with a black dude and it would make it all the easier, is to falsely paint Obama as "not one of 'us'...and aren't you scared?"

    September 8, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. Danny Cali

    But I think your party cause another problem again "BURNING-CHURCH" so, that's is the problem Americans going to face. SO, DO NOT VOTE FOR REPUBLICAN.

    September 8, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. Michael from Ventura

    "You can't have the keys back, you don't know how to drive". So take your foot off the accelerator and start thinking of solutions -instead of your #1 ambition- to cause the President to fail. You are PATHETIC.

    September 8, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  20. patrick

    Step on the accelerator to campaign, but not a single one of you has spoken out about the church that is planning to burn Qurans. Personally I think republicans want this to take place knowing that it will inflame the Muslim radicals and will cause them to carry out some kind of terrorist act and then the republicans will say " see we told you that Obama could not protect the country"

    That is the bottom line.

    September 8, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. T'SAH from Virginia

    They better be LQQK'N at where they are going because they just might CRASH into the "AWAKENING BEAST"!!

    Democrats are NOT going to sit around and allow the most EXTREME candidates take over the WH!!!! We elected President Obama and it's a SHAME he is being 'kicked to the CURB after only two years!!!

    President Obama tried to work with the Party of NO for the past two years but, all they want to say is NO to everything he tried to accomplish!!! DON'T THINK SO!!!

    Democrats UNITE and please 'Get Out the VOTE in NOVEMBER!!!

    September 8, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. water bearer

    Yeah, keep your foot on the accelerator, TeaPublicans . . . so you can drive America into the ditch even FASTER than you did before!!!!!!

    September 8, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  23. Sgt. Joe

    Yes, Repubs, by all means "keep your foot on the accelerator" just like the drunken drivers you are. You're very lucky there are so many voters who seem to be suffering from memory loss and are willing to hand the steering wheel back over to you in spite of your lack of viable solutions; especially for us middle class.

    September 8, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. Von Bismark

    How many lynching did this gov watch as a youngster?

    September 8, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  25. Jacob

    and America needs to realize that the GOP is hoping the economy continues to FAIL for the next eight weeks. WAKE UP AMERICA! GOP has stood idle watching Americans suffer so they can pick up seats in November! and hopefully regain the White House back in 2012. they are a pathetic bunch of losers, and half of you vote for them!

    September 8, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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