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. Gail Hennessey

    Did he REALLY think he had a chance with his political positions?

    April 25, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. maine liberal

    absolute fire in the belly ... he has that BELLY part

    April 25, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. John/kc

    Boss Hogg going back to Hooterville, Mayberry, or wherever else is a good decision. Next time I go through Mississippi and one of his small town speed traps, I will say hello to him! Now he can worry about the BP oil spill. I know he is in a hurry for them to restart drilling.

    April 25, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. Dave

    He must have looked at the job he's done for my state, Mississippi, and said, "Wow, I have no business running anything!" and quit.

    Haley Barbour was the worst, most embarrassing governor our state has had in a lonnnnng time. I hope he moves somewhere else when his tenure's up.

    April 25, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  5. maine liberal

    and than there are 15 as palin waits

    Sarah Palin said she will run for president in 2012 saying, "if there's nobody else to do it, then of course I would believe that we should do this."

    April 25, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. Unknown

    Gov. Haley Barbour, you are doing your country a favor by NOT running.

    April 25, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. ProperVillain

    Does anyone even know who this guy is? Other than people on Mississippi?

    Good think he dropped out then... ;)

    April 25, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. a6102658

    Smart man, he knows he has nothing to sell, but Snake Oil...and he can only sell it in the South.

    April 25, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. gg

    Barbour is repugnant. He's going to continue to carp and complain about Pres. Obama like all of the other Republicans media whores... Palin, Bachmann, Trump, Gingrich, Santorum, Romney, etc. ad nauseum....

    BTW really funny stuff on here today guys!!!

    April 25, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. hillcrester

    Why run when the President's re-election is almost a certainty? The field will be left to losers like Trump, Gingrich, Bachmann, and the other fatally-flawed.

    April 25, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Mark In Illinois

    Praise the Lord!

    April 25, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. RB

    A final relaity check for just one of a long, long line of Republicans who don't have a snowball's chance in hell of defeating Barak Obama.

    April 25, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. Angry Gorilla

    BREAKING NEWS:

    I will not be running for Prez either. :Shock:

    April 25, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. BD

    Ok thanks for that info.

    April 25, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. Pattie

    ....and the peasants rejoiced! YAY!!!

    April 25, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  16. demogal

    I once thought that Barbour was ok for a Republican. He has since revealed himself as a typical white racist Southern pol.

    April 25, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  17. thomas

    gee thanks !

    April 25, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. Annas still dead

    I hear there is a grand wizaed opening in MS!

    April 25, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Let's be honest. Gov. Barbour has a history of being embroiled in racially charged controversies. Even if he could have won the nomination, somebody over at RNC headquarters realized they didn't need their champion to be someone who has made so many controversial remarks that bring his bigotry into question.

    April 25, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. Heime

    Based on the ignorant, mis-informed comments made here, I'm glad he decided not to run. Wouldn't want him having to deal with the likes of the scum in this forum.

    April 25, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  21. Big~Smelly~Wet~Tuna

    I thought that he presented a very viable alternative to Obama.
    ..
    Black man on one side ~ KKK fascist on the other.

    April 25, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. capnmike

    I am not running for president either, even though I'm a lot better looking than this pig. And probably more honest. Your loss.

    April 25, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. BobInIrvine

    And in related news, General Belissimo Franco is still dead.

    April 25, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. Itsa

    Where was Haley Barbour able to find 'hundreds' of supporters in the first place?

    April 25, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  25. Duke13

    Haley sort of reminds me of Dennis Hastert. Big fat jowls that wouldn't even look good on a pig.

    April 25, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
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