Barbour adviser: 'He’s running until he says he’s not'
February 4th, 2011
07:04 PM ET
7 years ago

Barbour adviser: 'He’s running until he says he’s not'

Washington (CNN) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is increasingly likely to embark on a campaign for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, a source close to the Republican told CNN Friday.

“We have definitely shifted gears, there is no question about that,” the source said. “He's running until he says he's not.”

That Barbour is seriously thinking about a White House bid is hardly a surprise. He built up his profile substantially during the 2010 election cycle as chairman of the Republican Governors Association and recently spent time in the early primary state of South Carolina meeting with GOP donors and activists.

Barbour has a national network of support dating to the 1970s and 80s, when he worked as a political strategist and served in the Reagan White House. He went on to start a successful Washington-based lobbying firm and, later, served as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

But people close to Barbour are now operating on the assumption that he will run.

The governor has started to call in some of the chits he collected during his long political career, soliciting support from donors and political consultants in several early nominating states.

“He is doing the things you have to do” to gear up for a presidential bid, said the source.

Barbour recently made a speaking appearance before Republican activists in Florida, an important state for any potential presidential candidate, and he is planning forays into other key states in the coming weeks.

And in an effort to bone up on his foreign policy chops, Barbour is traveling to Israel this weekend to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other government officials. Next week, he will address the Conservative Political Action Conference along with several other potential 2012 contenders.

In describing the governor’s reasons for thinking seriously about a presidential bid, the adviser pointed to Barbour’s work trimming the Mississippi budget and his efforts after Hurricane Katrina.

“Bold leadership is required to get us off the path we are on in this country,” the source said. “It’s going to take somebody who is willing to make some hard decisions, to provide some authentic leadership.”

Filed under: 2012 • Haley Barbour
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    The guy couldn't "run" 50 feet without having a heart attack. He couldn't physically withstand the rigors of campaigning, much less the stress of leading a country. Enough with the pasty dough boys!

    February 4, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  2. OneMoreTime

    I don't care what this old fool does.
    RE: Palin Trademark, since the comments were closed I just want to say that this story has caused me to leave CNN Ticker.
    One too many stories about this twit, and I don't care what she does, I just don't want to see nor hear about her anymore.
    So, Ticker, post this, don't post this, I don't care about that either. Good bye.

    February 4, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  3. StevieBoy

    And just when is the last time we had a president that looks like a freakin' hog??? Get real Haley!

    February 4, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  4. Sick of Tea

    “He's running until he says he's not.” Great, then please ask the man to lose weight. He’s a senior, and he’s about one sausage and biscuits breakfast away from having a heart attack or stroke. This doesn’t instill much confidence in his ability to make it to the 4-year finish line.

    February 4, 2011 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. NVa Native

    The sad thing about this good-ol-boy is that we'd go broke providing interpreters if this mush mouth got into any national office. The only people who can understand his jibberish are the toothless wonders of the south.

    February 4, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  6. GOP = Greed Over People

    Yep, that is just what we need, the governor of the state consistently ranked 50th in nearly every category runnin' the country!

    February 4, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  7. smith

    Do we realy need a old heavy white guy ( with bad memory of segregation)from a poor state to be president?

    February 4, 2011 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  8. rusty155

    Barbour can run but he won't win. Right now the only person that Is thinking of running I would vote for Is Mitch Daniels.

    February 4, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Come on people, let's get real, this guy Barbour looks like a loser, talks like a loser and walks like a loser. Let him stay in Mississippi where he belongs.

    February 4, 2011 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  10. Sherri W.W.#1~ILLinois

    The ONE thing this Country Does NOT Need,is a Republican President anytime soon! Good Lord! I Hope Americans are smarter than THAT.but I SURE wonder sometines.

    February 4, 2011 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  11. gypsydaveywithablowtorch

    Might as well start drafting his concession speech.

    February 4, 2011 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  12. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Central Casting could not have picked a more backward oaf to play the part of a redneck hillbilly!

    February 4, 2011 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  13. Clwyd

    Get rid of the southern drawl first! No northerner is going to vote for that kind of talk!

    February 4, 2011 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  14. michaelam

    Just like Newt, the only vote that Boss Hawg will capture is the ignorant, southern, white male vote. Happy Nascar!

    February 4, 2011 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  15. lgny

    It is going to require some very good politicking to convince me that being the Governor of Mississippi is a qualification for presidency. The state is near the bottom of most demographics.

    February 4, 2011 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  16. mesamick

    All this hick is gonna do is waste the (R)'s and (T)'s time, money and energy to the benefit of the (D)'s. Why? That good ole boy is just drippin' to much Dixie sauce for 21st century America to take serioulsy that's why. Go for it Haley – – – Really stink up and divide the conservatives into yet another split-off faction...

    February 4, 2011 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  17. thomas

    Take the Money and Run Barbour !

    February 4, 2011 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  18. al in memphis

    One thing he can not run on is his record. How can he when the state of Mississippi is at the bottom in most categories, educational, health care, etc. I guess he atleast finished his term and has been very critical of the current administration.

    February 5, 2011 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  19. midwestmatt


    He may be running until he says he's not but that doesn't mean squat. He's completely, 100%, NEVER going to be the POTUS,

    February 5, 2011 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  20. Aaron

    He's big a house. He needs to do some running somewhere. I hope that he doesn't plan to include a ban on fastfood or push Americans to stay fit in his agenda. That might be a hard sell.

    February 5, 2011 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  21. BeverlyNC

    Just what we need – another loudmouth Republican racist trying to take away the rights of the American People.

    February 5, 2011 04:37 am at 4:37 am |
  22. Larry

    Its amazing that people like this is even being considered.

    February 5, 2011 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  23. JP

    This guy runs a state thats last or near last in every socio-economic category. Education, wages, unemployment, porverty level, health care, crime, etc. But he is a brash southern redneck that will appeal to their uninformed, illiterate base and may do well within the party.

    February 5, 2011 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  24. mike

    Barbour who calls himself a conservative this guy is a joke to say the lease here is a guy who is the governor of a state that has the highest amount of people on food stamps then any other state in the country and he talks about government spending in cutting the same programs that the people in his state depends on that is the reason why people in the south are stupid they like to cut there nose off despite there face if this idiot couldn't create jobs for the people of mississippi what makes you think he would create jobs if he were president

    February 5, 2011 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  25. Marie MD

    The only running this guy has to do is to run to lose some weight. He is almost as disgusting looking as limberger. Never mind he is too southern and racist!

    February 5, 2011 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
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