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. remove obama

    breaking news! if the democratic party want to continue to exist they better cut loose obama!

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

    Who cares? like anyone would elect him.

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

    So, who is left? Mitt (the flip flopper), Gingrich, Santorum, Trump, and Palin?? Why can't we find mainstream candidates? If we can't find a better candidate, the most libral president this country ever had will be relelected for a second term.

    April 25, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. Charlie in Maine

    Translation "No thanks, I'll wait til the cancer that is the TeaParty/ Birther idiots to go into remission before I will try to get elected as a Republican."

    April 25, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. Mark

    He was considering running? I've never even heard of him. It used to be you at least heard of the people who wanted to run for President, now they spend two weeks as a Senator and feel they're qualified for the Oval Office...or were featured on a reality show,

    April 25, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. Steve851

    This is bad news because the GOP needs non-neocons running to get it back on track. All the rest except Ron Paul are neocons. Have yet to hear from Daniels.

    April 25, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Bob F.

    Great. He was a more-or-less serious candidate. With him gone, it'll help along a Palin/Bachmann ticket and guarantee Obama's reelection.

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

    All the good GOP candidates are waiting for 2016. It's tought to beat an incumbant, even a bad one. The only two Presidents in modern history to lose re-election are Jimmy Carter and Bush

    April 25, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. NoWay

    A former MS resident who left years ago. Glad I'm still from there now. Political and fiscal mess for at least 15 years. Dem or Rep. The best 'good ole boy' system around.

    April 25, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. bee double yew

    Good, he's too obese to be president. No fatties allowed.

    April 25, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. AC

    Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Stay home BOSS HOGG!

    April 25, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. please

    Funny how all the people making comments that Barbour and the people of Mississippi are all racists are in facts bigots against people from the South.

    April 25, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. ConservaFascists -aka- Mammon

    "We're happy to keep people like you out of Mississippi. It's a great state with great people, most of whom would even help a jerk like you should you be in need of most anything."
    -------------------------------------------------–
    You couldn;t pay to may to visit Mississippi let alone live there. You will NEVER catch me stepping a foot into Klan Kountry! Tell your governor to fix your broken school system.

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

    Like he had a freakin' prayer!

    April 25, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. Jay

    Must have finally pulled his head out and looked at some of the early polls.

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

    Oh man, thank god. Im from Georgia and even I think nothing good comes out of Mississippi, but then again Im a democrat so I dont think from Georgia to begin with.

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

    Hey "Remove Obama": We like him just fine. He has done more good things in the last 2 1/2 years than Bush did in 8... Wait, Bush didn't do anything right... He just left a total mess for Obama to clean up...

    April 25, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. Rob

    I see all the usual libtard suspects managed to take off their Obama knee pads long enough to post today. Thanks guys, now get back in the kneelling position.

    April 25, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. Bill

    The GOP can not find mainstream candidates because the GOP has left the mainstream and is being driven by a bunch of idealogical, lunatic-fringe, reprobates. This is great stuff.

    April 25, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. The Situation

    Fat Bastard had a better chance at winning a hot dog eating contest on the 4th of July then becoming POTUS! Save your energy now for those 3 whole chicken you will be eating prior to your dinner, fat boy!

    April 25, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. Silent Majority

    Good decision, governor. I think you just saved yourself a lot of time and money.

    April 25, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. John

    So according to his ex-campaign manager Barber loves the State Of Mississippi more than for the United States of America. Interesting.

    April 25, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. beevee

    No surprise there. He would have wasted his supporters money anyway trying to get nominated. He looks more like a thug not a presidential material.

    April 25, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. Skeptic

    Haley who?

    April 25, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. James Savik

    You people are more bigoted than Haley Barbour has ever been. Only a fool would assume that they know all that they need to know about a man because of where he comes from.

    Barbour has been very good for Mississippi. Our economy is better than it was when he was elected and the states budget is balanced. Who else can say that?

    He was a calm and steady leader that helped us recover from Katrina and the Gulf oil spill.

    Who would be acceptable from the South? No one? Grow up! The Civil War has been over for 150 years and you idiots are still fighting it. Sectional bigotry is so 18th century!

    April 25, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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