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. Florida democrat

    Could it be that we end up with five choices in November:

    Obama – Democrat
    McCAin – Republican
    Barr – Libertarian Party
    Clinton – Independent
    Nader – Independent

    This is going to be an exciting election year!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. WHY??

    READ THIS DEMOCRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Quoted by Concern Democrats "Those democrats that feel the need to support McCain or not vote at all, to express their anger/hate/revenge towards Obama are only hurting themselves. If Obama loses, he'll go back to the senate and he'll be alright. However, will you be OK with a failing economy, a continue war in Iraq, health care unresolved, conservative justices, etc…"

    Most of you all are not voting on the issues .. issues of Mc Cain and Clinton are polar opposites .. the only thing they have in common is their race ... hmmm?

    Hilary is just in the race to split the democratic party so Obama can lose so she can run again in 2012 .. even her supporters proclaim this .... *heartless*

    May 12, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. MIchael in Houston

    I don't think Barr is going to hurt McCain's support at all. Even with Barr entering the Presidental race, none of them can beat McCain. I am personally an Obama supporter but there are still too many people in American who will not see an African American as thier leader. The McCain campaign does not have to do anything to win, Hillary and her racist renagades will do it for him. I am still glad to see others getting into the race.

    May 12, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. Ostriches burying our heads in the sand

    Welcome aboard Bob Barr! Thanks for helping the Dems regain the White House in '09!

    May 12, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. York Durden, Columbia SC

    Why don't third party candidates "have a chance?" Because the media tells you they don't. You've been told for a couple of years now that Obama and McCain will be the nominees, and wa-la! They are–because you all sit there do what your TV tells you to.

    Ron Paul is still running, by the way, though you wouldn't know it from the MSM.

    May 12, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. linda

    Does anyone remember a Dick Cavett interview with Dan Blocker (Bonanza) and his adopted son Michael. It was a show about prophecy. What ever happened to that tape, could we get it shown on I remember, Michael was very accurate in his predictions.

    May 12, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. willy will

    it is what it is .some pepole just need to vote on what issue that best for them ,not weather the canadid is white or black reading this b.s. ont his blog i can tell what color you are. i just want to ask would you rather get 90% of wat you want or 40%? so watch who you vote for don't be so egnorent and get next to nothing.

    rememmber get whats best for you and your family not your ego

    May 12, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. Pookie

    This wont amount to a hill of beans,I am surprised CNN even bothered to cover it.He may get 12 votes nationwide,while Nader may get enough to elect McCain,and then you will have a ton of Hillary supporters writing her in...5 candidates...maybe no one gets 270 electoral votes this year,and the supreme court can decide another one.I cant wait.

    May 12, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. Choice

    "who led the impeachment fight against former President Bill Clinton"

    Good choice. We need to know more about the party

    May 12, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. The Lone Ranger

    There seems to be a solid 5% of Republicans who are true believers in the Libertarian cause. Paul never really cracked the 10% barrier in any primary, but he consistently drew 5%-6%.

    If Barr is a little more articulate than Paul, he might draw most of those votes. Most Libertarians will probably do what they've always done: hold their nose and vote Republican as the lesser of two evils.

    May 12, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. Ernie Garcia

    His running mate can be Ralph Nader! Barr is suffering from separation anxiety having been out of the Beltway for several years.


    May 12, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. kat

    Where did Ron Paul go, why is this such a big surprise that there are "other" candidates out there who oppose Bush? They all have as much of a chance as Nader, considering our warped system of superdelegates , etc, but if people are truly sick of the status quo, vote for Ron Paul or this other guy and shake McCain up a bit, make your voices heard.

    May 12, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. id

    Yea for Barr! A much better option than Mc Cain, who will only carry on Bush traditions.!

    May 12, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. Mike

    I am running for president too. I figure that if Obama can have Ayers, Axelrod, Wright, Pitzer, Hamas, Scott as friends and be president then I can be really qualified to be president.

    I can chant "hope" and "change" all day long too.

    May 12, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  15. Mike,Iowa

    what the hell is the point.... this race is getting so stupid

    May 12, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. LB

    The pot just got sweeter.

    May 12, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  17. Bring Unity not Divide and Conquer

    There goes Hillary's voting base.

    May 12, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  18. Mike,Iowa

    You wonder why we never accomplish anything!

    May 12, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. White Women For OBAMA!!!!!!

    Frankly, don't care to comment on the silliness of this article.
    We have a nominee that will become the next US president – Obama!

    The bigger topic is it looks like Hillary supporters are still delusional that she can actually win – get over it your candidate has lost! Like Edwards said, HIllary needs to do everything in her power to resist harming our nominee (OBAMA) – Hint: not a good idea to praise McCain if you "truly" are a democrat and not out just for yourself.

    She is losing in superdelegates now as well – what's Hillary's next empty argument? I have nicer hair than Obama......

    May 12, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. anikitos

    Barr knows that McCain has no chance against Obama, and that is precisely the reason he is running. Ron Paul have built up a significant following, that would not vote for McCain, and those votes will go to Barr. Obama will get the scepter, and we will get a 3rd viable party. This is the real change that we were waiting for.

    May 12, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  21. Caras

    Awesome!! Good news!!!
    OBAMA 08 Yes we can!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  22. Women for Obama

    It's officially a free-for-all!

    This reminds me of that commercial for on-line job sites where the guy is trying to play tennis and all these lunatics run onto the court to play too.

    May 12, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. Hillary

    Hillary Clinton has absolutely NO obligation to the democratic party.

    The DNC screwed her and the party betrayed her.

    The primary was fixed for Obama.

    Hillary is the choice for those who are tired of the Democrats and the republicans.

    May 12, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. Two AA's

    Hey, now we have two African Americans running for President. Yes, this dude is black.

    May 12, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  25. John l Bagueux-Scott

    open the way for obama

    May 12, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
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