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.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (347 Responses)
  1. PA for Obama

    Great – he'll be to McCain what Ross Perot was to Daddy Bush – a cinch for the Democrats.

    May 12, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. JW

    OMG – here comes another iget like Ron Paul (Mr. 3%) to take enough votes to throw the election to McBush.

    May 12, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    I like the idea of a spoiler for McCain, but at the same time any respect for Barr that I might have had has been snuffed out by his level of stupidity for trying this stunt at this time.

    Vote Barr, The Beanhead Candidate!

    May 12, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    I really hope Barr does run. I am one Clinton supporter that would vote for him if Obama is the Democratic nominee

    May 12, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. Ratgurl


    May 12, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. Titi from Texas

    John McCain has been struggling to appeal to conservatist republican voters. I expect Bob Barr to take a few of them with him.

    May 12, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. mary

    i am leaving the democratic party,after the way the party has stacked this election for obama..he will lose the general and and they will lose many lifetime democrates, myself, family and many of my friends. there is a growing movement for democrates to sit it out as they wil never vote obama and barr looks like a viable alterative.

    May 12, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. dave

    so the Dems (Obam included) are in michigan urging
    voters to register to vote in Nov 08... that is great.....
    but at the same time the same Dems are saying
    screw the voters who already voted in Michigan in Jan. primary
    because it was illegit under Dem rules..... which is like
    the guy who goes out drinking, messes around with another
    person, and then comes home to tell the spouse that
    he really loves her and wants her support....
    a bit of stinking hypocrisy!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. republicans understand

    that a vote for Barr is a vote for Obama. And that just won't happend. If anything this guy will sway aisle walking democrats (many a clinton supporter) who oppose the war in Iraq. Republicans know unity, and we'll see it through win or lose.

    May 12, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. NYC Native

    I hate to break it to Mr. Carr, but the choice between the two is the Green Party.

    May 12, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Johnny from NY

    "Barr us running for president."
    you guys spelled IS wrong

    May 12, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. John l Bagueux-Scottt

    jajajajaja. lest split the republican party. last thing they need

    May 12, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. GCG - Austin, TX

    I hope that this helps to spur on intelligent debate on the real issues facing the American people and doesn't force a faster degeneration into old-politics style attacks.

    He hasn't won the Libertarian nomination, yet, so this isn't a done deal by any stretch of the imagination, but I don't know of any other Libertarians that are running with as much visibility and history as Rep. Barr.

    May 12, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. Uncle Sam

    McCain Democrats to the rescue!

    May 12, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. Deb n Texas

    It's about time someone comes out for a change to damage the Republican Party.

    May 12, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. Erik B

    Get your popcorn ready

    May 12, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  17. beverly

    It appears that Mr. Barr is looking some attention,leave well enough a lone. Find another way to help your party.

    May 12, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. William from Tx

    Barr is best known for his appearance in "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan", in which he eats a piece of cheese offered by Borat made from his mother's milk. The way Barr handled this fake news reporter shows the skills he would bring to the White House as President.

    May 12, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. al snyder

    We need more parties. Independent is not a party, it has no platform and just includes anyone who is basically undecided. Though, for a third party, or more, to take off and be a contender, it would need a well-known figure to push it forward. Without someone of recognition, at best it would be nothing more than a spoiler.

    May 12, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  20. Ridgeway

    I suspect the cheese he ate in "Borat" has affected his brain. However, he's still done more than Obama or Clinton.

    May 12, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. nicolle harris

    This does not hurt Obama at all so I am okay with Bob Barr running. He probably knows he doesn't stand a chance but wants to make an impact.
    Libertarians are for legalizing marijuana by the way.

    May 12, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. Vivienne

    Some liberterian views are valid. I wish the democrats would adopt a few key Libertarian positions. I really don't believe that liberal and libertarian views cannot exist side by side. I know this because I could be described as someone who strongly embraces both. I am an Obama supporter. I look forward to seeing the Libertarian agenda marched out before the American people. It's good for the country to have more than two views. We need to expand our thinking before it's too late.

    May 12, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. Chic

    At least he'd be the spoiler Nader was to the democratic party. Nader's presence in the race this year wont matter much in my opinion.

    Personally, I really think this election year is going to be fun to watch.

    Obama '08

    May 12, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. Just Wondering

    "Vocal critic of Bush". He must have an axe to grind against McCain too.

    May 12, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  25. No More Years, Lake Forest CA

    I'd be surprised if this makes much of a dent in McCain's support, to be honest. The impeachment of Bill Clinton was one of the most ridiculous expenditures of taxpayer money in this country's history, and Barr led that charge. I don't see how that gives him a superior record on fiscal conservatism. Votes for Barr will be nothing more than protest votes, as will votes for Ralph Nader.

    May 12, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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