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. Bridget

    LOL, ROFL This race can't get any better. It's better than Saturday Night Live.

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

    We just never seem to run out of idiots in this country.

    May 12, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. Big Rob

    Let's see, If Obama is able to hold on to traditional Democratic strongholds in the northeast, west coast, and the Illinois/Minnesota/Wisconsin states that have gone Democratic for the past few years and now take Georgia and one or two other southern states where Barr being on the ballot will split the Republicans, he'll be the next President of the United States even if he loses Michigan, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. He'll have to placate the Hillary people in California, NY, and NJ enough to ensure he'll win those states, but Obama doesn't need to carry the above listed states that went for the Republicans the last two presidential elections. He'll just need to spend money and time to hold the base Democrat states and take a couple of southern states and he'll win.

    May 12, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. Susan Missouri

    Wasting your time...Clinton will win!

    May 12, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. Russ

    A fine man w/ the requisite integrity and professional ethics, coupled with an apparently long since forgotten view that this is a Federalist Republic, not a centrally planned E. European bog. McCain can go down w/ Bob Dole and GHW Bush, Ford, and for that matter R. Nixon, all to varying degrees 'liberal' even if not anti-capitalistic, and anti-American like so many Democratic party members and certainly their leadership (Kennedy, Conyers, McKinney, Sharpton, Murray, Leahy, etc. etc.).

    May 12, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  6. Ben - Portland

    Let's just be clear here: Nader did not tank the election for Gore. Several other 3rd party candidates were on the ballot in Florida and receved enough votes to sway the election, too. Nader also basically stayed out of the state. Gore lost the election... oh yeah, and the ex-President's son/ brother of the candidate's cronies threw the election, and the "supreme" court voted on politics rather than evidence... but it was NOT Nader. Give that one up.

    May 12, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. gastoys

    Who cares, I voted Libertarian in 2004 and we barely had 3% of the Votes in the entire U.S.

    Obama is an extreme left liberal with socialistic views for the U.S. McCain is a moderate Republican and Hilary is a moderate Dem. It is far easier for Hilary supporters to take a few steps to the right than to run a mile to the left.

    The democrats really screwed up putting in an extreme left wing socialist, racist, anti-American, cult speaker to represent the democrats.

    McCain 08

    May 12, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  8. Al

    We just finished with Bush now we need to go to the Barr and finish our Bush. HA! HA! I know we won't fall for this crap; Go OBAMA

    May 12, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. Uncle Sam

    We have on one hand, a naive presidential hopeful who promises change, while on the other we have an experienced heroic statesman who has a proven record of change. Am I missing something?

    Americans for McCain '08

    May 12, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  10. Walt, Belton,TX

    Where is Ross Perot when you need him? Then we could have two meaningless doofuses filling NBC's coffers......................

    May 12, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. Elvis Cabrera

    He will never win cause the American peoples are done listening to lies!!!!

    Hillary & Obama '08!!!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. Anita from Arizona

    Great news for the Democrats. He'll pull votes from the McCain campaign.

    May 12, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. J.R.

    Thank you Mr. Barr.

    Sometimes the right thing to do is not the popular thing to do.

    May 12, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. Steve

    Mccain, that worthless old fart, was never a POW, his rich daddy sent him on vacation to avoid the war.
    Obama 08

    May 12, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  15. teentwenty something

    Hey FedUpDem!

    Watch out old timer! Us young teentwenty somethings with college educations and no intelligence are coming to get you and geriatric friends!
    We're gonna force a political re-evaluation on you that wants less wasteful government, less baseless military action, engaging foreign policy, and even the desire to fix your Social Security that us youngin's will never see.

    Beware! Save yourselves! Find safety in your status quo!

    May 12, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. RGuillermo

    How about Hillary Clinton running as President as an Independent? There are 16.5 Million who voted for her within the Democratic Party nomination. That would give Republican voters a choice if they are sick and tired what the Republican party did to this Country but do not trust Obama...

    May 12, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. Brad

    Barr is being financed by Osama's campaign to cut into McCain's lead.

    May 12, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  18. lennie

    This is great!

    May 12, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. teentwenty something

    Hey FedUpDem!

    Watch out old timer! Us young teentwenty somethings with college educations and no intelligence are coming to get you and geriatric friends!
    We're gonna force a political re-evaluation on you that wants less wasteful government, less baseless military action, engaging foreign policy, and even the desire to fix your Social Security that us youngin's will never see.

    Beware! Save yourselves! Find safety in your status quo!

    May 12, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. Don in PA

    Way to go Mr Barr….MORE BAD NEW FOR Mr. McCain..........
    Senator MaCain should be telling the public of what the people at GASANSWERS.COM is doing, instead of endorsing this stupid idea of cutting the tax by 18 cents, which the gas companies will raise their prices by to bring it right back to where it is. I have already signed the petition at Gasanswers.com; I also gave them a small donation..... This is the only way to fight back..These guys have the right idea........OBAMA ALL THE WAY!!!

    May 12, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. Cody S. - Montgomery, AL

    It is customary when a Libertarian enters the race to enjoy some homemade cheese.

    May 12, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. Kevin- PA

    Hillary's running mate!
    Hillary/ Barr 08

    May 12, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  23. Lola Getz

    Well, he can count on Borat's vote anyway...

    May 12, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. Tracy, Chicago, IL

    HA, all you republicans were cheering when Nadar decided to run not, how do you feel now?????

    May 12, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  25. David P., Santa Rosa, CA

    Hey... thyat's not good for McCain. Not good at all. Very interesting move. McCain is in check.

    May 12, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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