May 12th, 2008
11:30 AM ET
14 years ago

Barr announces presidential bid


Watch part of Bob Barr's announcement Monday.

(CNN) - Former Republican Rep. Bob Barr formally jumped into the White House race Monday as a candidate for the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination.

Barr, the onetime darling of conservatives who led the impeachment fight against former President Bill Clinton, said he is running because voters want a choice beyond the two political parties.

"They believe that America has more and better to offer than what the current political situation is serving up to us," he said Monday at the National Press Club in Washington. "The reason for that is very simple, they believe in America as I believe in America. We believe in an America that is not and should not be and should never be driven by fear as current policies on behalf of both parties are in this country."

Barr, 59, represented Georgia's 7th congressional district from 1995-2003, and became an increasingly vocal critic of President Bush, especially over the president's support of the Patriot Act. He formally left the Republican Party in 2006.

It remains unclear how much support he will draw, but CNN's Bill Schneider says Barr could be to John McCain what Ralph Nader was to Al Gore in 2000.

"If this is an extremely close election, even if Bob Barr gets a handful of votes, it could make a difference, just as Ralph Nader once did," Schneider said. "He is a conservative who attracts mostly Republican voters. He is critical of the Iraq war. McCain supports the Iraq war. There are many conservatism and Republicans who ware critical of the war in Iraq and some of them may decide to vote for Bob Barr to register their protests.

Related Video: Watch Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider give his take on Barr's entry to the race and the latest superdelegate count.

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soundoff (347 Responses)
  1. Emily

    Go home Barr you will never win, the American people want someone new, not someone who has been in Washington for too long.

    May 12, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. proud army and navy mom

    good, he'll take all Mccain's votes. Go OBAMA!

    May 12, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. john

    Isn't nader running this year too?

    May 12, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. Barack the Vote in RI

    who cares...

    May 12, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. An Agnostic Democrat

    Hillary's new running mate.

    May 12, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. Dancindukes

    Now this makes it interesting.

    May 12, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. @americans

    good! Let the 'REPUGNANTS'

    Mcsame is going to be hammered this fall. sit back, have fun & watch the show!

    May 12, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. DoneWithDems

    Give me a break!!


    May 12, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Barr For President

    Go BARR!!

    Finally a third option! Thank you Bob Barr for running. I look forward to voting for you over 100 year McCain!

    Barr '08!!

    May 12, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. Portland, OR

    What an idiot. Just as I was thinking that Obama would stand no chance in November this buffoon walks along and announces his candidacy? And what is next? Jack is his VP?

    May 12, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. Linda. Boston, MA

    Definitely bad news for McCain.

    May 12, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Herman in LA

    ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, what a joke

    He isn't any better than Ralph Nader.

    I would vote for Hillary before I would give my vote to this idiot.

    I swear there should be a law that if you don’t run in the primary’s then you should not be allow to all of a sudden come out and run for president. All this is to try and split the votes we know the game that’s being played.

    Barack is going to take all of them down.

    Obama 08...

    May 12, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. Sure

    ....and yet a Republican or a Democrat will win.

    May 12, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. Jose'


    Now the democrats will win out of default because the republican vote gets split up.

    Reminds me of the disaster that got Bill Clinton into office.

    May 12, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |

    MR. AMERICA predicts this guy will garner about .0000001% of the popular vote. Even Lush Limbaugh wouldn't vote for this time wasting windbag.

    May 12, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  16. tidho

    You'd have to think this is bad news for McCain if the guy has any staying power at all. I hope they get a little momentum built because a third voice would can be very beneficial. It makes the candidates talk about subjects they otherwise might avoid.

    May 12, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. R.I.F.

    Republican's Ralph Nadar. Works for me.

    May 12, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. Bonafide Conservative

    Finally, a real candidate to support. McCain is a DEMOCRAT in Republican clothing and would sell us down the river in a heartbeat. Clinton, McCain, Obama – What's the difference?

    The only thing that would be better than this would be if Huckabee ran or joined the Barr ticket.

    May 12, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. USAF Sr. Airman

    Oh wow! Man this guy is the one who will win! Yep I can see it now. McCain, Obama, and Clinton might as well drop out.


    Now I have nothing against people running. It's their right. Who knows, I may run for president when I turn 35. I do think it is funny though if they believe they have a snowball's chance.

    The up side to all these other people in the race is that it gives Americans more choice. Obviously none of them can win, but it's nice to believe we have more than two cookie cutter choices for president. Democrate or Republican.

    How America has allowed itself to believe there are only two ways of thinking when it comes to politics in beyond me.

    May 12, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. Jim, Burlington NC

    I thought this money waster was dead.

    Maybe he can blow another $40 million investigating McCain...

    May 12, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. Montana is Obama Country

    well, let's see how much traction this one will get..

    Yes...We..Can.. Barack Obama in 2008

    May 12, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. Jessica, GA

    It is now save to say Obama will win Georgia, North Carolina and Alabama. I love you Bob

    May 12, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. FedUpDem

    He is absolutely right.....way too far right.
    obama is absolutely wrong....way too wrong.

    The third party that is needed is an American Moderate Party.
    I am a lifelong Democrat not willing to go leaping left with the obamians. I would never vote for this guy Barr.

    I will vote McCain to prevent obama and the teentwenties (so highly educated- no intelligence or common-sense) from really polarizing this country by forcing an agenda that will be a lesson in politcal futility.

    What no one admits or addresses....the Democratc Party is evenly spilt (relatively speaking). The voting population is relatively split between Dems and Repubs. What person in their right mind thinks anyhting can be achieved if one side goes off the deep end in either direction? As always its power, who has control? And the thing is when you have it and you force an agenda....well just look where we are today. Now ask yourselves....ready for more...because thats all we're going to get.

    May 12, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  24. Dennis

    Maybe Barr and Nader will cancel each other out then.

    May 12, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. fielding mellish

    How about Borat for VP!

    May 12, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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