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

Barr announces presidential bid

CNN

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. trading dollar

    This is set up by the GOP to take votes from Obama.

    It really doesn't matter because Obama will win the Presidency.

    May 12, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  2. Florida Voter

    GREAT!

    NOW I HAVE AN OPTION IF HILLARY DOESNT GET THE NOMINATION!

    ITS GREAT TO LIVE IN A FREE COUNTRY!

    May 12, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. melissa

    barr was in the hole waiting to jump when they said hillary was the nominee 🙂 he didnt get that cue but has to come out before its too late.
    that must have been the reason behind republicans giving that vote to clinton!!! imagine the dirt he has on her !!

    May 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. Kenneth

    By all means let him run. He can split the Republican vote! GO OBAMA!

    May 12, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  5. OBAMA 08

    The chickens from "Operation Chaos" have come home to roost!!!

    You reap what you sow Rush!!!

    HA HA HA!

    Obama 08

    May 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. Indiana Politics

    Obama just won Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio for sure. Barr will take at least 3% of the vote from McCain in those states.

    May 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. Watching Lemmings

    Obama this, Clinton that, McCain the other thing. If anyone thinks they are going to get what has been represented by any of the people running they should really pull their heads out of their. . . This is the worst possible collection of candidates to choose from in the last 40 years, And don’t even get me started on what this current president has done to wreck this country. I do not know much about this new addition but I do know he cannot be worse then anyone else running or should I say then anyone currently elected to the office of president, I think an all time low has been set there and someone would have to work over time and weekends to be this terrible.

    You cannot accept a lot of money to get elected and not owe somebody for it. The current administration is proof of that.

    Vote Big Oil, 08. (That’s because they are and will be the only winners, while everyone else suffers)

    May 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. Andy J, NY

    Man, you liberals are really really nasty and bitter and full of hate. We should all the thankful that someone is trying to call attention to the fact that Republicans and Democrats are out of control...

    And in case you didn't know, nearly ALL of our Founding Fathers held Libertarian principles, and the man who many of you call a looney (though i doubt you know his policy views) is a proponent of some liberal ideas!

    He is against the war in Iraq, he is against the Patriot Act, and he hates Bush.. those are 3 main things liberals champion, when they aren't trying to socialize health care and housing in our country.

    My point is this: Stop eating up the garbage you are fed by main stream media. Look at how arbitrary most of these left-leaning posts are! Think for yourselves, know both sides to the issues, and then make your judgements. I weep for the future.

    May 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  9. PSmith

    Obamamaniacs!

    YOU ARE ALL ARROGANT FOOLS LIKE HIM!

    Barr, Nader, and who else...

    This country will never have black president..

    The Republicans won't allow it.
    .
    They first thought Hillary could beat McCain so they did everything to destroy her and they succeded.

    Now that Obama will likely succeed.. They will destroy him too.

    We will be Hillary forever because, Obama will never make it to the White House.

    Hillary all the way!!!

    May 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I would love to see Bob Parr vs. Ron Paul vs Mike Gravel for the Libertarian nomination. Better yet, have Bob Parr head the ticket with Mike Gravel as V.P. It would be great...

    I would like to see a third party debate. Have the Libertarian, Green and other nominees meet once for a debate. It should happen to give the most choice to American voters. I would only put the requirement that the candidate be registered in at least 25 states.

    May 12, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. nate

    ummm who?

    May 12, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  12. Chuck, Oregonians for Obama

    I welcome Barr to the race, although we know he will not succeed, he is welcome to go for it. That is what it is all about, demoracy. Let the race begin come the conclusion of this democrate race. We all also know that his time on the campaign trail will take away from McCain, oh well, he may even take away from the democrat. Either way, it is time for all democrats, including superdelegates to rally around one, be it Clinton or Obama, but lets get er done, and prepare for what may end up being a historical race; where the democrats may take many of the once republican states.

    May 12, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Looks like someone has got a case of Naderitis...

    May 12, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. A woman in Texas for Obama

    This goes into the face of all you BITTER Hill-Billies who'd rather vote for McBush then for your own party.... just to spite. This will surely split the Replican vote. WE (DEMS) CAN WIN THIS!

    Obama is winning fair and square even with all of the dirty politics Billary has been doing. His campaign money was donated by THE PEOPLE – not taken from his own pockets.

    Hill-Billy is the one who's trying to cheat the process and steal the election. Obama wasn't even on the ticket in Michigan!! How in the world can say she won in Michigan? From what I heard, more people voted "OTHER" which was on the ticket than Hill-Billy!

    Why can't you Hill-Billies see her for the dirty politician that she is?

    Get over it! Let's unite the party and get the Reps out of the whitehouse! GO OBAMA!! GO DEMS!!

    May 12, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. Catherine

    This is good for the Democrats.

    So let's unite behind the democratic nominee either it be Obama or Clinton and get our country back on track!!!!

    SUPPORTING THE DEMOCRATS ALL THE WAY TO THE WHITE HOUSE!!!!

    May 12, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  16. BobC

    Bob Barker stands a better chance.

    May 12, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. Dee

    WHO!!!

    May 12, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. Snowman

    And I thought Rush Limbaugh was the time wasting windbag.

    May 12, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. Whiskey

    I love how all thes "if not Hillary then McCain" fools are saying that Obama can not win in November. As she could, Look there is a reason why she is not winning the election you morons and you think she could win in November. She cant even win the primary.

    May 12, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. Open your eyes

    Write in Hillary Clinton in November.

    May 12, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. Nancy

    I'll vote for him at least he is a different choice other than McCain or Obama.

    May 12, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Lyz in MD

    Hmm... given the damage the Bush II has caused to the Constitution, both the rights of citizens _and_ the checks on executive power, I wonder if he's in the race to act as a spoiler for McCain (aka Bush III).

    May 12, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Baritone45

    You know, I used to think Bob Barr was evil incarnate.

    But he actually understands how the W. administration trampled on the Constitution with the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. act?

    And he understands that the so-called conservatives shouldn't be the borrow-and-spend party that the Republicans have been under Reagan and W?

    Hmmm, maybe he is a viable candidate.

    May 12, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. nj voter

    It's great to see a real conservative running for the presidency. Mc Cain will simply pander for the conservative vote and then nominate Souters to the White HOuse

    Barr 08

    May 12, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. b black

    TO ALL HILL"BILLIE" SUPPORTSERS: THIS IS GREAT! LETS SEE THE 90% OF BLACKS THAT WILL VOTE FOR THIS FOOL. THIS IS ACTUALLY BAD NEWS FOR HIL"LIE"RY AND MCCAIN. THERE ARE TALKS IN THE BLACK CHURCHES AND COLLEGES TO START OPERATION REVERSE CHAOS! WHAT COMES AROUND GOES AROUND!

    OBAMA 08!

    May 12, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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