(CNN) – Republican Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour may or may not run for president in 2012, but he has an opinion about a possible presidential bid by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
"I hope Mayor Bloomberg won't even consider that," Barbour told CNN. "But if there were a strong third party candidate there's no question in my mind, that candidate would draw votes away from the Republican." He added a third party bid by Bloomberg would be "the best thing that can happen to President Obama."
Bloomberg, the independent mayor of New York City is sometimes mentioned as a potential presidential candidate but recently said he didn't think a third party candidate could win the White House. Barbour said he agreed with the mayor on that point.
Barbour, who is also the head of the Republican Governor's Association, challenged those who said the Tea Party movement would hurt Republican chances in 2012.
"Those people don't really know what they're talking about," Barbour said insisting the economic and spending issues the Tea Party champions will unite voters.
He argued the Tea Party could have been trouble for Republicans if their candidates hadn't folded into the Republican tent.
"If they had run as independents like in the Perot period and divided the conservative vote, divided the anti-Obama vote, now that would have hurt us. But that did not happen."
Instead he said "The Tea Party helped us this year."
As for 2012, he said President Obama is "vulnerable" but points out history favors the incumbent president.
"I believe that Obama's policies are so far to the left that they're even more unpopular than Carter's policies," Barbour said. "I believe there's a real, real chance, but it would be going against history."
And Barbour wouldn't reveal his plans for a possible 2012 presidential bid. He only said, "It's not like I've got to decide by Christmas, or I've got to decide by Valentines, or I've got to decide by any day, but I am going to seriously think about it and come to a decision in the next few weeks or months."