Barbour not running for prez
April 25th, 2011
03:13 PM ET
3 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. BIRTHER FAIL

    One clown down, six more to go.

    April 25, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. Breed11

    Why is this breaking news, as if someone from Mississippi has got a chance to be President, outside of the South no one cares. Let's move on.

    April 25, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. Michael A De Simone

    Too bad, we could surely have used a red-neck president!

    April 25, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Good. Now, if he'd only stop running for office at all.

    April 25, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. Carl

    More breaking news: I'm not running for president either!

    April 25, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. Stacey

    Smart decision, Barbour. You were never going to win a primary let alone win the White House!

    April 25, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. Mr. Wilson

    I am telling you, people in the White House are doing cartwheels right now. He was politically the savviest of all of the potential GOP nominees. Outside of Romney, he was the only other person to be able to get serious money to run against the President that had any credibility.

    April 25, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  8. DC-JD

    Whew!!! Thought I would have to double my dry cleaning bill with all the Brownshirts I would have to keep clean...

    April 25, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. big~smelly~tuna

    bummer ~ i was looking for him play second fiddle on a card topped by sarah

    April 25, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. Free Wheeling Franklin

    Well, the backwards redneck vote still needs a candidate, who will fill that void?

    April 25, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. midnitejax

    Barbour didn't stand a chance from the beginning. His state is a welfare state. For gnerations Mississippi has depended on almost double the Federal tax money it pays up, depriving states like NJ, Ma. Ca. for their fair share in return. These states have been short changed time and time again to bail out economic failures like Mississippi. Mississippi has the worst educational success rate in the nation. Barbour rules a third world state. Anyone can do that.

    April 25, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. yuonme

    hmmm...worst senator in history, good ole boy fat cat politician from the poorest, least educated, from the state with the lowest in all social economic indicators is NOT going to run for persident?????? we'll I guess we can all just stay home on election day.....Trump / Bohner in 2012 !!!! ....That will teach them there long haired hippie liberels....

    April 25, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. JJ

    Big Yawn here

    April 25, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  14. Joe in TN

    Damn. I looked forward to the comic relief. Wise move on not running, Uncle Cracker.

    April 25, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. Jon

    I think this is the way to go, in listing the Republicans NOT running for President. Its much more efficient.

    April 25, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. mike kerns

    Well isn't that a bunch of hoota-ninnie?

    April 25, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. Gerald Carter

    He can spend a little more time as "Big Daddy" on "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof".

    April 25, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. Throwing it out there...

    ...if you're not running for office in 2012, it's not news.

    The mere fact someone ISN'T running is more "duh" than news.
    Unless the news would like to equally cover me as I'm not running in 2012, as I feel as I have every right to be on CNN.com's front page and news alerts sent via email and SMS.

    That is all.

    April 25, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. Marc

    We dodged a bullet here. This guy is a former lobbyist with no remorse for shimmying money to his buddies. He's probably the only person cruel enough to actually inact the Ryan plan. He would've killed the middle class and the poor. Thank goodness he can't even mistakenly get elected.

    April 25, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  20. JImbo

    Glad Fat Man is out – You call THIS news?

    April 25, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  21. MikeB

    I hear that he decided not run after being offered the role of "Boss Hogg" in the next Dukes of Hazzard movie.

    April 25, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  22. Gallup Poll

    It's looking more and more like a two-way race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination between Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty.

    April 25, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. jeff

    I had about as much of a chance of becoming the President as he did. Talk about baggage, this guy has more than Ohare.

    April 25, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  24. Zee

    I will not be running for president.

    April 25, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  25. George B from Ohio

    What a shame, he had a GREAT chance of winning. Man, must be a slow news day.

    April 25, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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