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. Max

    By the way. . . who is this guy anyway?

    April 25, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. once upon a horse

    more proof that there IS a God!

    April 25, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. BD70

    If he remains low key how in the world would anyone know what he stands for or who he truly is? His accomplishments. If he ever intends are running for president he needs to be more high profile.

    April 25, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. Vince

    Translation – "It's going to be really hard to beat the current president, so I'm not even going to try".

    April 25, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  5. dude

    Oh, God, NOOO!!!!! How will we survive? Oh the inhumanity of it allll!

    April 25, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  6. Marsha

    I think the country is relieved.

    April 25, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  7. dude

    @Michael... "not that he's a racist".... Haaaaaaahhhhhaaaaaa.. No, of course he's ppfffffhhhh not pppppppphhhhhhhfffff.

    April 25, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  8. Steve

    So Boss Hog will not run? Good. Go Obama.

    April 25, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. joe800

    ....thank goodness, others beat me to "It". It being mentioning that Barbour is the poster child for failure. Mississippi is a failure. Economically, educationally, racially. A commenter here called it a 'welfare state', and theyre exactly right.

    April 25, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. teepee

    He thought about the awesome responsibility and remembered that he is not smart enough for the job...

    April 25, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. Mark, Phoenix

    I say, A say, perhaps Foghorn Leghorn will step in his place, Suh.

    April 25, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. AZLib

    Might have been a good election cycle for him. Think about the GOP wants to clamp down on the poor, the elderly, students and public employees all the while kissing the extra heavy backside of the super rich and wall street. They want to get their voters to the polls using hatred of Mexicans, Gays, making sure every kids has a gun to take to college and of course hating Unions .... They will tell you it is the deficit (one mostlyl casused by them using starve the beast motto and that the only solution is to kick the least around us. This guy might have made a good spokesman for such...

    April 25, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

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

    If that's true, that's really good news for the rest of the country.

    April 25, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. OCRSucks

    The KKK will not be pleased.

    April 25, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. CBR

    I think that governor Barbour made the correct decision. Politics aside, Mississippi is a state continues which needs strong leadership to move forward. Governor Barbour's credentials allow him to represent all of Mississippi.

    Once again people have thought it was necessary to write negative remarks. They do not help their cause.

    April 25, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. Geterdone

    Sometimes ya feel like a nut. Sometimes ya don't!

    April 25, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. Joe

    It is too early for a serious contender to step up. There is a lot of confidence on here that Obama is a shoe-in for the 2012 election. The National Polls tell a different story. If gas hits $5 that may cost our President his job if nothing else.

    April 25, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. Michael

    Ah aint Ah said boy Ah aint runnin.

    April 25, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  19. joe

    Well, that's one jacka$$ we won't have to worry about.

    April 25, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. bcrunner

    By the way people, maybe we don't like his politics, but please , please, no comments about his weight... Criticize his policies all you want, but let's not attack him on his looks... It just does not feel right... After all, we celebrated Easter yesterday..

    April 25, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. Bob

    Now someone needs to tell Pawlenty why he should drop out also...

    April 25, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  22. JamieG

    Thanks goodness...this guy looks like he is either going to die soon or kill someone for a hamburger.

    April 25, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. cAPTAIN gORT

    Well- he sure LOOKS like a typical REPUBLICAN!

    April 25, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. Swoosh

    He absolutely had to get this announcement out TODAY, before the Royal Wedding ate all the headlines.

    April 25, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  25. emmy skadittle

    that's one less racist running for president

    April 25, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
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