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. Daniel

    The part-time governor remains part-time. It was really arrogant of him to think for a moment that he has the "right stuff". A real friend would tell him the truth.

    April 25, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. Bill

    He never had it!

    April 25, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. Stephen

    Smart guy. The 2012 candidate will be a bunt. Sure he will be trying to win, but mostly his job will just be to show up so the party doesn't just give the appearance of sitting this one out.

    April 25, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. Lee

    Thank goodness this person isn't running. He's been a bully here in MS. I'm greatly relieved. Anyway, he is a Republican!

    April 25, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. Daniel Carver

    I guess that means I am not going to vote this year!

    April 25, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain

    So, Bubba, now that you've got some free time on your hands, why don't you DO SOMETHING FOR THE PEOPLE OF MISSISSIPPI, LIKE CREATE JOBS?!?

    April 25, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. PATRICK

    Yeah the rest of the country doesn't want to look like Mississipi anyway.... dead last in just about anything its a good thing to be first in.

    You never would of even had a chance.

    April 25, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. Cameron

    Thank God.

    April 25, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. johnnie

    what a looser!!!!

    April 25, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  10. realist

    Obama wins 2012 unless the GOP puts up a decent candidate. If the GOP would just abandon the social conservative platform and focus on fiscal conservatism, they would win hands-down. Most people in this country are fiscall conservative, but socially moderate and the right-wing social stance alienates a majority of people.

    April 25, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. phyllis

    What a surprise, he is not running, because he would not win, big lying hog, he needs to leave this Country, and never come back, what a laugh, does he really think so much of him self, that he could win this Nations biggest office. COME ON NOW.......

    All I can add to this is YEA, WONDERFUL, PLEASE LET HIM CRAWL OFF, AND TURN INTO MUSH................I am not a fan of this pig........... peace out.

    April 25, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. Jawja Gal

    Ahhhhh...the first in a long line of dropouts. Thank GOD this man will not run. The south cannot stand another nincompoop tromping around the US making us look like a bunch of idiots. When will Huckleberry from Arkansas bail???? Soon I hope.

    April 25, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. Florida Joe

    "supporters expect and deserve no less than absolute fire in the belly from their candidate"
    ****************************************************************************************************************
    Let us all thank God he did not run........A fire the size of that Belly would make the Towering Inferno look like a campfire......Another Repub wanna be that knew he had no chance in 2012.

    April 25, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    If Obama is so weak, why so many scared to run?

    April 25, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. S. In California - Obama 2012

    No, (sarcasm) you don't say. First of many who won't and are TOO SCARED of our president because they know they lack the necessary skills/requirements to run against him starting with the ability to articulate and then it just goes down hill from there.

    April 25, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. TheMovieFan

    His state already gets way more in federal spending than it pays in taxes. He cannot run his state without federal handouts.

    April 25, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. Gerald Carter

    On fat guy out – one fat guy to go.

    April 25, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  18. Former Republican, but never again!

    No chance that this southern racist would have won anyway.

    April 25, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  19. Coondog

    One down, 6 to go

    April 25, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  20. Ronald Hussein Reagan

    I'm not either – and for the same reason – I have no chance to be elected.

    April 25, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. Alex Santana

    Thank God...can you imagine this man as President? He sounds stupid and looks sloppy all the time...we had enough problems with Bush misprouncing words, this guy would be a real embarrassment to the US...it may be his Godgiven accent, but sorry...southern accents just sound stupid. Barbour down and Gingrich to go!! Now lets get rid of the other big faced duos; Bachmann and Palin...jeeez..

    April 25, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Smart. He doesn't want a black mark (winning the GOP nomination, but losing the general election) on his record. I wonder if he'll have the energy and drive to run in 2016.

    April 25, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. PR

    What a shame. Was looking forward to seeing all his supporters wearing their white sheets and hoods at the GOP national convention.

    April 25, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  24. Larry

    Good, Now pay Mississippians back for all these trips you have been taking pretending to run for president

    April 25, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  25. jean2009

    Good. Another wrong headed Republican.

    April 25, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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