Barbour not running for prez
April 25th, 2011
03:13 PM ET
4 years ago

Barbour not running for prez

(CNN) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Monday he will not run for president in 2012.

"I will not be a candidate for president next year," Barbour, a Republican, said in a statement. "This has been a difficult, personal decision, and I am very grateful to my family for their total support of my going forward, had that been what I decided."

Barbour, the former chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said he would continue serving as governor of Mississippi and work to "elect a new Republican president in 2012."

Although he is popular among Washington insiders, he has had trouble gaining traction in recent national polls. In an April CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll of likely Republican voters, Barbour received less than one half of one percent. But he did win a recent straw poll in Charleston County, South Carolina with 22 percent.

According to a source close to Barbour, the governor felt he received positive receptions on recent trips to the early contest states of New Hampshire and South Carolina, but that his decision in the end came down to a "gut feeling"

"He just wasn't quite there," the source said Monday. "It wasn't one particular thing. To run for president obviously is a big decision."

His announcement eliminates one name from a still crowded field of potential Republican candidates against President Barack Obama's re-election bid.

One of the likely GOP contenders for the party's nomination, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, praised Barbour as "one of the Republican Party's great leaders."

"When Republicans defeat Barack Obama next year, it will be thanks to the solid party foundation Haley helped build," Pawlenty said in a statement.

GOP consultant Ford O'Connell, who worked on Barbour's 2007 gubernatorial re-election campaign and for the McCain-Palin ticket in 2008, said Barbour's decision makes him "the most important man in the Republican Party not running for president."

"There are only three things Haley Barbour loves more than America: his wife, Marsha, his family and Mississippi. And it is time for him to focus on the things he cares about most," O'Connell said. "One of the hallmarks of Haley Barbour is his low-key behind the scenes effectiveness, and I don't expect that to diminish in any way."

From Gov. Barbour:
“I will not be a candidate for president next year. This has been a difficult, personal decision, and I am very grateful to my family for their total support of my going forward, had that been what I decided.

“Hundreds of people have encouraged me to run and offered both to give and raise money for a presidential campaign. Many volunteers have organized events in support of my pursuing the race. Some have dedicated virtually full time to setting up preliminary organizations in critical, early states and to helping plan what has been several months of intensive activity.

“I greatly appreciate each and every one of them and all their outstanding efforts. If I have disappointed any of them in this decision, I sincerely regret it.

“A candidate for president today is embracing a ten-year commitment to an all-consuming effort, to the virtual exclusion of all else. His (or her) supporters expect and deserve no less than absolute fire in the belly from their candidate. I cannot offer that with certainty, and total certainty is required.

“This decision means I will continue my job as Governor Mississippi, my role in the Republican Governors Association and my efforts to elect a new Republican president in 2012, as the stakes for the nation require that effort to be successful.”





– CNN's Peter Hamby, Kevin Bohn and Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012 • Haley Barbour
soundoff (217 Responses)
  1. ConservaFascists -aka- Mammon

    I'm glad he's come to his senses. He needs to focus on his current job as governor of that FAILED state called Mississippi.

    April 25, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    Let me guess: available for VP?

    April 25, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  3. GOP = Greed Over People

    Well, there is some good news, otherwise, we would have to change name to the "United States of Mississippis"!

    April 25, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. NYC REPUB

    He's right. That's why I'm going to vote to re-elect President Obama. The job we voted him in for is a 8 year job. Not 4.
    By the way, he's actually done some good in his 2 1/2 years in office. And he has youth on his side to provide that fire in the belly.

    April 25, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. Winfred

    Fantastic! That's one less extreme candidate to worry about taking all of the media attention. Even as a liberal, I'd like to see intelligent Republican candidates that will have an informed debate. I appreciate Gov. Barbour's decision, though I know my family in Mississippi doesn't as they now have to continue to deal with him.

    April 25, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. GOP = Greed Over People

    "less than absolute fire in the belly from their candidate"

    Haley, your belly is bigger than the boilers on the Titantic.

    Wait, never mind, I think I see what you mean.

    April 25, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. ja

    it would have been a waste of time and resources, his accent is to deep, stating mildly

    April 25, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Thomas Hood

    Maybe his image-makers couldn't get that Boss Hogg stench completely stanched.

    April 25, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. cherrystrawberry

    He knows he could never Win!

    April 25, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. This will make Foghorn Leghorn fans very upset

    He could have won a bunch of Southern States, the Mountain West and that's about it.

    April 25, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. Ken, AZ

    A smart move by Barbour. It's much easier to critize the sitting president than to provide solutions to the many problems he faces. I'm sure that many more of the field of GOP incompetents will make the same decision.

    April 25, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. Nellie Bly

    Thank you! This truly is the best for America. Now, hopefully, Palin, Bachmann and Trump will follow suit.

    April 25, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. Retired Army in San Antonio

    1. He ain't runnin' because he KNOWS he wouldn't win.

    2. He's greatful to his "family for their total support". Guess his wife ain't part of the "family" since she stated publically that she didn't want him to run (LMAO) !

    April 25, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. vet in texas

    I'm glad I didn't give any money to this guy, looks like those who did are enjoying their RNC mugs, that's the only thing tangible you get when you donate to them, everything else is........poof!

    April 25, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  15. Tea bagger!!!!!

    awwww one more wacko is out..can't take the heat!!!

    April 25, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. mb2010a

    One down...23 more to go...

    April 25, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  17. Kenny

    Well the nation can breath a sigh of releif now that he's out but it's a sad day for MIssissippi in that they will have to continue to endure the "Rath of Barbour".

    April 25, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. Jake

    because someone told him the climate is wrong for a good old racist southern white boy?

    April 25, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. The Situation

    Well Boss Hogg finally came to his senses.

    April 25, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. Terry - Indiana

    I am guessing that his birth certificate is not in order.

    April 25, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. Samuel

    And this little piggy ran all the way home to mississippi !!

    April 25, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. ABM

    Another one bites the dust. If he was so high and mighty why is he bowing out? He should now stay quiet and not say anything until after the election.

    April 25, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. rusty155

    One IDIOT down about 20 to go. The Republican and Tea Party what a joke.

    April 25, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. Clwyd

    It would have been laughable if he had. He is laughable now and one wonders how any sate could elect this man governor?

    April 25, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. Jay Kay, Minneapolis

    I don't know if this is good news or bad news. I guess it's just news.

    April 25, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9