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. Mr. T. Bag

    The Ku Klux Klan is very disappointed.

    April 25, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. John

    Sorry, I meant Barbour.

    April 25, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. dave

    Haha. THis is breakiung news? It would have been breaking enws if ole Haley coulda run with both feet in his mouth:
    When the Mississippi governor said he didn’t remember the South’s Citizens Councils as being that bad, it was no gaffe—he was speaking to his likely 2012 voter base.

    Most of the uproar over Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour’s comment, “I just don’t remember it as being that bad,

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

    I too would like to make a public statement that i will not be looking fer to be tha prededent of the USA. thank you

    April 25, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Stuart

    Darn. I was hoping for an overweight, republican, white, male, southerner to run. We just never seem to get enough of those.

    April 25, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. Trashtalking_sumiak

    What's so breaking about this?? None of y'all republicans don't wanna see Obama. Come all, Obama will wipe y'all out! Trump will get thumped, Palin will be sailin, Mitt will get hit, Huckabee will get stomped like a flee, Gingrich need to go somewhere and eat a sandwich, and all other republicans are irrelevant!

    April 25, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. Palinwho

    I guess he felt bad than one more nut to the GOP crazy list would not make him stand out. We have Donald for entertainment past few weeks that we are not even missing Palin.

    April 25, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. John

    From the looks of things he isn't running...at all.

    April 25, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. thesewist

    I'm glad that millions of dollars won't be wasted on a campaign that didn't have a chance in the first place. Too bad more of them don't open their eyes instead of their wallets.

    April 25, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  10. Sam

    Good! Looks he needs to be spending some time losing some weight. What a fat ass!Q Have some self respect!

    April 25, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  11. Sancho

    Haley who? LOL. I could name 20 potential candidates ,from Bachmann to Trump, and his name isn't one of them.

    April 25, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. Jack in Florida

    Finally some good news! He is such a nonissue.......

    April 25, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  13. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    I guess Barbour is smarter than I thought he was. He can see the hand writing on the wall. No rethuglican is going beat President Obama, period. The whole field is filled with loons and liars.

    April 25, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  14. scotchy

    Could you imagine? Most advanced country in the world picks a president from it's most backward state.

    April 25, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  15. Chuckster

    He had such an admirable track record on which to run for president– governor of America's wealthiest, healthiest, and best educated and cultured state....Yep, that's Mississippi, right good ol' boy? As if he's even qualified....

    April 25, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. Bessy

    This is a good thing. He never had a chance and all he would have done is put his family through a lot of chaos and embarrassment. He needs to help Mississippi get into the 21st century.

    April 25, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. Andagain

    Great! Who's Haley Barbour?

    April 25, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. Name Creole

    One Down more crazy Right to go!!!! Obama 2012

    April 25, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. keylargo

    He was not competitive anyway, but he is very savvy when it comes to running a political organization. I'm a Liberal who lives in the south and can assure you Barber is one shrewd dude.

    April 25, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. Chuck

    When I think of the success of the Republican Party in bringing propserity, I always think of Mississippi....

    April 25, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  21. Dave

    Another NAZI bites the dust..

    April 25, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. Michael

    He wouldn't have stood a chance anyway. Can you imagine a presidential debate of a black president against a guy with a thick southern accent that drips of the KKK ? Not that he is a racist but he sounds like the type who would fly the confederate flag.

    April 25, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  23. mbal

    His brothers are so talented at football.

    April 25, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. Max

    I can't understand why this guy doesn't run. He has all the qualifications to make a good Republican candidate for president:
    He hates Obama, He love war, He doesn't do anything about health care and he has never said anything profound

    April 25, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. MikeyZ

    I'd just like to take this opportunity to announce that I, MikeyZ, will also not be running for the office of U.S. President.

    This has been a difficult, personal decision, and I am very grateful to my family for their lukewarm support of my going forward, had that been what I decided.

    Literally four or five people worldwide have encouraged me to run and offered to babysit my daughter while I stump for a low-budget presidential campaign. Many volunteers have organized events in support of things remarkably obliquely related to my pursuing the race.

    This decision means I will continue my role as some slob working a 9 to 5 job, my role as a validated registered member of the Republican party, and my efforts to find my absentee ballot underneath a mound of unpaid bills to vote into office a new Republican president in 2012, as the stakes for the nation require that effort to be successful.

    April 25, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
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