May 12th, 2008
11:30 AM ET
15 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. Matt

    Hmm...maybe there actually WOULD be something worse than a Hillary presidency...

    May 12, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  2. Keith E.

    Hey Folks, he's not the Libertarian Party candidate yet. Their party convention is later this month. Barr has named himself a candidate, as did Mike Gravel, and the Libertarian Party would like to have Ron Paul consider throwing his name in the ring. It may be hard to believe because other parties (i.e. other than Democrats and Republicans) don't get much serious press, but just because someone says they want to run for President by representing a third party doesn't necessarily mean the party will take them.

    May 12, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Raj, Philadelphia, PA

    I never know why the republications call themselves as conservatives! with 6 years of Rupub conrgress and president, they bankrupted the country. With always giving tax cuts and spending like there is no tomorrow, is balancing your checkbook a part of republican vocabulary? A true conservative will never overspend beyond the country's means. Go figure...

    May 12, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. David

    Politics is all matter of opinion. And my opinion is going to win the Dem Primary and Presidency. TAKE THEM TO CHINATOWN BARRY...WAYYY DOWN...

    OBAMA: because we havent been this hyped about politics since the Oral office..waitttt a minute, wasnt that guy married to someone now famous?

    May 12, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. Andy

    This is pretty funny really. WIth Barr in the race this can wind up as another 1992 when Clinton won the Presidency with 43% of the vote. The Democrats couldn't get 1/2 the country to vote for them then and they won't get 1/2 the country to vote for them now.

    May 12, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. Panther




    May 12, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. Hilda

    Hillary could run as an Independent but does she have enough money to do what she needs to do. The democratic party by then will be completely split and McCain will win, end of story. I feel sad for us and for our children.

    May 12, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. MD

    Get the hell out, Barr. Your 15 minutes of fame were up a long time ago.

    May 12, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. JR. Veteran from New York City

    I'm certainly welcomed Mr. Barr to the Presidential Circus. A vote for Barr is an opportunity for Obama. All I can say, Welcome Mr. Barr.

    May 12, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. Trenton Sims, Los Angeles

    HRC=Heavily Rationalizing Clinton finally gets a candidate she can beat.! 🙂


    May 12, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. tony

    I sometimes wonder about the intelligence of the American voter, but after reading the comments here, the answer is obvious

    May 12, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. Tedd

    What a Joke.

    Any conservative that would vote for bob "the boob" barr might just as well be pulling the lever for Comrade-Obama. Barr is such a tool. I can tell ya' right now, he ain't getting this conservatives vote. No way – no how.

    May 12, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. frank

    i just want to say , if i am clinton i will just back out of the race, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,, because obama is going all the way for president, so john McCain watch out

    May 12, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  14. Frank

    First the voters stole Hillary's nomination!! Now the Superdelegates!!

    Will God intervene for her? Or will He dare not to??

    It would be funny if it wasn't so sad and pathetic..

    May 12, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. Chut Pata

    Good Bob, you will offset all damage to Obama that is being done to him by Hillary and would be done later by Nader. Pull the pants off McBush and remind the public of the good old days when he was declared one of the five corrupt senators.

    May 12, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  16. David Minneapolis

    It is clear, now that Obama is closing in on the nomination that "hillary" supporters who will absolutely not support Obama no matter what, are the democrats who are not ready for a Black President. Big surprise, America has not dealt with it's race issue yet. Surprise, Surprise, Surprise, as Gomer Pyle would say. This is a defining moment in American history whether you are ready for it or not. The younger generation is ready. The younger generation who in 15 years will be the middle age folks who everyone talks about as middle america. That's how it works, how change really happens, and it's coming white america whether we like it or not.

    May 12, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  17. wait a minute

    Barr has the right to run for presidency.
    So does Lou Dobbs.
    So does Hillary, as an Independent.
    The list goes on and on...

    May 12, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  18. Living in the USA

    Bob Barr Nooooooooooooooooooooo. Not 2 black men in one year running for President. What are you trying to do. Give us a heart attack. Yes, ole Bob is black. He just got a lot of that Duke Pomade in his head.

    May 12, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. RFP

    Way to go, Mr. Barr! You represent a bunch of Americans who do not want to vote for Senator McCain or a democrat. Maybe you can get Ron Paul as your VP...

    May 12, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |





    May 12, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. nannie bouroughs, Kenosha, WI

    Bob, we really need a VIABLE 3rd. Party candidate!

    We ned a VIABLE 3rd. Party!

    You are NOT up to EITHER!

    May 12, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  22. mick

    Still better then Obama

    May 12, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
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