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. Jason

    Go Bob Carr! Take out McCain! Provide for a better tomorrow!

    May 12, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. Rev Wright

    Barr's vote should level the playing field, equaling the votes Obama will lose to the Rev Wright, Aires and Rezko story. story

    May 12, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  3. Kevin

    What a joke. Little late in the game to start playing, isn't it? Guess he couldn't handle the challenge of debating when the rest of the country was debating.

    Weak link...makes libertarians look bad.

    May 12, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. Who?

    Pardon my ignorance, but who the heck is Barr?

    May 12, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. Kathy

    Wonderful. Let him take votes from McCain. As a Georgian, I support his decision. OBAMA O8!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. spoiler

    of course this man knows he wont win...he doesnt want mccain to win though. He knows if he runs, he will take some of the votes – even if a small amount- away from mccain, so the democrat will have a better chance to win the election. This is politics101. He's running as a lib so he will take votes away from mccain, but not from Obama (who will indeed be the nominee.) The only reason the republicans are so "unified" is becuase Mccain is their only choice. alot f them are dissapointed with the nomination of Mccain.

    May 12, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. Eric from Philly

    I think the Libertarian Party, the Green Party and the Independent candidates will go after Obama the most. John McCain might as well sit back and cruise through the general election. Starting to feel bad for Obama now and the nomination process is even over.

    May 12, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. May

    And the beat goes on.....

    May 12, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  9. John

    If Barr selects Ron Paul as his running mate, I may be compelled to vote for that ticket.

    May 12, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. RRE

    If Hillary does not get the nomination, she should run as an Independent for President. Now would it that be the election of the century!!!!

    May 12, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  11. Allen deLuca - Florida

    Barr, STOP now!! You have been around long enough to know the next president will be either a democrat or republican - nothing else. Do you want Obama to be President? I think not, so stop your foolishness and get behind the repub John McCain whether you personally like him or not.

    May 12, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. SophieL

    Finally, a true home for the Clinton haters. There go all the Republican and Independent supporters Obama thought he "earned by reaching out." On the other hand, Barr just might divide the Repubs enough that Obama's slim margin will be enough for the General.

    Boy, just when you start thinking politics is getting boring...

    May 12, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. Ken

    Wasn't this a few months ago?? Maybe not...

    I hope ha takes some votes from McSame.

    May 12, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  14. Johnny Be Good

    What is the Libertairan Party. Does anyone know there platform? I guess I will google it.

    May 12, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  15. Frosty

    This election is going to be juicey! John McCain is not a conservative and every republican with any sense knows it. In fact, I don't even think he is a republican at all. It's going to interesting.

    This is like monday night football every day of the week.

    May 12, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. Michael

    Who is blacker? Obama or Barr? Would this affect any of Obama's support. Many of the African-American independents/Republicans who where going to vote for Obama now have somewhere to turn to.

    May 12, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. Pat Durham

    Barr, Tried to impeach Clinton and was guilty of the same. Give us a break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  18. American Girl


    May 12, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  19. Yay

    Good..BARR is helping BARRack to win in november!!!

    May 12, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  20. Esther from Cuyahoga Falls Ohio

    dividing dividing dividing us all is going to be like Rome soon we going to be like domino's

    May 12, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  21. Chad, Wisco

    We need to have third, fourth and fifth parties. Anyone who thinks two is enough is just blind to the fact that the reason "upstart" parties never suceed is because of money. Both Dems and Repubs are sellouts to their corporate sponsors. We might as well just make it The Democratic Nominee Obama sponsored by Pepsi vs. The Republican Nominee McCain sponsored by Coke. Then just let people vote for which drink they prefer. Neither are really good for them, but at least you could argue that yours is better if you win.

    May 12, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  22. Charlotte, Jim

    Another Republican tactic to divert votes from the Democrats – throw a conservative out there to run in the "Lib" party. No Republicans will ever vote outside of the party that's printed on their cards, but because of the liberal nature of the 'Democratic' party in general, a liberal voter is likely to vote outside of their party because of this. This only helps the reds. as it has in many previous general elections.

    May 12, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |

    He needs work and the only way to keep his name in the spotlight is this bid. He knows he has no chance and I believe he will not take enough votes from anyone. His time has gone and when he was out on the streets he couldn't find work. This will look good on his CV.

    May 12, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. seanwhit

    It is Bush, Clinton and Perot all over again!

    May 12, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. shelly in IL

    This guys sees Senator O has no chance with "white folks" now he wants to stick his two cent in!

    Senator O will fool all of you...More people will vote for him than you know...your: co-workers, neighbors, friends, cousins etc...

    Then who will be laughing (all the way to the Whitehouse)

    May 12, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14