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. Jack Colson

    Barr was after CLinton and at the same time had a Mistress which was found out a few months later.
    He's a hypocrite.
    Jack C
    Oregon

    May 12, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Nel in Florida

    Dude! You can't be serious! Whoever is patting you on the back and telling you this is a good idea either wants something from you or is just as delusional. Don't waste your money or our time. We don't want you or Ralph Nader to run. Get over yourself, you are not going to win squat. Just go down in history as another person who had no chance but ran anyway. There has got to be a more positive and effective way to get your message across.

    Maybe some of those courtiers, er, politicians, should tell you the truth.

    May 12, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. Martha, Georgia

    OMG, Barr and his womanizing. wow. He needs to plan for his retirement. Horrible as a Republican and worst as a Libertarian. Bill Schneider is right on his comparison, McCain's Ralph Nader.

    May 12, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. Anthony

    We need to question whether we actually need "Parties" to elect a President. Furthermore do we really need Senators and Representatives who get into office because they had money to pay their way in? It is all about money in the big picture.

    May 12, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. John, OH

    This guy is funnier than Ralph Nader.

    May 12, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. Dee

    Who is this guy?

    May 12, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. Corey

    This is the same man that cursed at two African-American women that worked at a parking lot in Atlanta and he called them both the N word. And this occurred while he was still in office! Puh-leaze!

    May 12, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. The Dude

    I'd rather see Ron Paul as a stronger third party candidate.

    May 12, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. Eddie

    I am a Obama supporter and I think Barr has the right to run.Maybe this will give the democrats who would not vote for a blackman another choice,afterall any candidate is better than McCain.I really want Obama to win because I think he is the best candidate,but I do not want a third term Bush.

    May 12, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. Bobby H

    You go Bob Barr!

    May 12, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  11. An American in Canada

    WELL, IF THE SUPER DELEGATES GIVE THE NOMINATION TO

    BARACK H. OBAMA, THEN HILLARY R. CLINTON SHOULD RUN AS

    AN INDEPENDENT.

    THEN IT WILL CERTAINLY PROVE TO BE A GENEREAL ELECTION

    TO TOP ALL G.E. IN AMERICAN HISTORY...

    WE WILL A CHOICE BETWEEN:

    A REPUBLICAN--- JOHN S. MCCAIN

    A DEMOCRAT-– BARACK H. OBAMA

    AN INDEPENDENT– HILLARY R. CLINTON

    AND AN LIBERTARIAN– BOB L. BARR

    LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!

    May 12, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. dmw

    I will vote for anyone other than Obama for President. I am leaning towards McCain because Hillary will not get the nomination. The Democratic party has beens so disrespectful and disloyal towards her, that I can not bring myself to vote for Obama because he has encouraged the disrespect.

    May 12, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  13. Ron, TX

    Go Bob. You have the right stuff. Ron Paul as running mate!

    May 12, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  14. Tom, St. Paul

    This Barr character is a fraud. Check out his bio, especially re: abortion and drugs. He was part of the Gingerich "revolution" in the early 90s. I'm guessing those who really understand Libertaianism will see him for the wolf in sheep's clothing that he is. And the evangelical right will reject him when they see he's been married 3 times and paid one of his wives to have an abortion!

    Clearly, he's a sour-grapes "McCain ain't conservative enough" Republican who has no place in his party this go-round, so is trying to make the Libertarian Party a "big tent" for disgruntled neo-cons like himself.

    May 12, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  15. Will

    This is a joke, right?

    May 12, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. Photon Torpedo Dallas, TX

    I wonder what took him so long? His personality seemed the type to have run a long time ago.

    Yes We Can & Yes We Should
    Obama 08'

    May 12, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. After further review,Texas

    He will probably get that nut job Zell Miller on the ticket with him.

    May 12, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. Billy J Austin,TX

    That's pretty funny. He objects to the patriot act, but hooted and hollered for Starr to find ANYTHING on Clinton at any price (privacy, dignity, money)
    And ended up settling for and selling the sex scandal as reason to impeach (instead of spending all his legislative time legislating) all while having an affair at the very same time.

    Hell still has lots of room and will be one more person fuller when this guy relieves us of his company.

    May 12, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. Venus

    This is great!

    Mc Cain will be catching hell from Obama and Barr!

    Way to go!

    Go Obama!

    May 12, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. FreedomFromFear-Florida

    PEOPLE, YOU must know that FRAMING PEOPLE OF STATES as POOR and UNEDUCATED IS DEMEANING. TO FURTHER IMPLY THAT THE POOR, WHITE AND UNEDUCATED ARE STUPID AND BIGOTED ENOUGH TO VOTE FOR HILLARY, IS ABSOLUTELY INSULTING. STOP, YOU ARE ACTING LIKE THE BULLYING BILLARIES!

    Where can we talk directly to the people of West Virginia and Kentucky? I could not imagine living there right now and having to endure this.
    LET US TELL THEM KNOW THAT WE LOVE THEM AND DO NOT FEEL THIS WAY ABOUT OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, NO MATTER HOW WHITE, RICH OR EDUCATED. WE ARE RICH TO HAVE THEM ON OUR SOIL! HILLARY is giving them a BAD BILL OF SALE! HILLARY COULD NEVER REPRESENT THEM OR ME! OBAMA IS THE ONE!

    May 12, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. althusius

    What is Bob Barr's position on illegal immigration?

    May 12, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. Jacob

    This now makes a balance between Naders effect and Barrs effect on the election.

    And since so many conservatives disagree with McCain, the landslide this fall will be even bigger. 😀

    We need a democratic president in 2008 whether its Clinton, Gore, or Obama.

    May 12, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. Fed_up2

    You can bet he's in it for the MONEY!! Deals will be made here and there and when all is said and done at the end of the campaign he gets a ton of lobby money and a new toaster.

    May 12, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  24. Erick

    I wonder if Barr's support in Georgia is strong enough to draw some conservative republicans away from McCain to put Georgia into play on the back of Obama's base support there? Could we be adding another "swing state" in GA with Barr's inclusion in this race? Just a thought, but given his public service for GA and splitting republicans there, it could be a factor?

    May 12, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  25. No More TAXES!

    This guy is a flash in the pan. However, if he has staying power, it could definitely hurt McCain.

    Hillary has already given the Republican's all they need against Obama.

    This should be interesting. I think, either way, the election will slide to one side or the other quickly. We can sleep early on election night.

    Obama has already shown and reported that he will continue to mud-sling. I can only imagine the amount of skeletons in Obama's closet that the Republican's are about to unveil!!

    Should be fun!

    May 12, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
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