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.

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soundoff (347 Responses)
  1. IH

    Bob Barr has my vote - not my actual vote - to take away as many McCain votes as he possibly can.

    Barr for Obama/Clinton.
    Nader for McCain.

    May 12, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  2. Ken

    Oh oh. Confusion for the 28% true believers. Which form of the racist and facist [R] party do they want to vote for? This will be like telling [R]s to go sit in the corner in a circular room.

    May 12, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  3. John in AL

    Barr made a fool of himself in the impeachment hearings.

    May 12, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  4. Missy M

    Good. This is democracy at work and should be encouraged. I think it also indicates that the Democratic and Republican parties have both completely lost touch with the voters and most Americans just simply don't want to accept the increased government spending, decreased civil liberties and continued anti-business rhetoric that is destroying our capatalist way of life.

    May 12, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  5. Mike Birmingham, AL

    All of you Hillary supporters threatening to destroy the Democrat party if Obama gets nominated just had the wind taken out of your sails.

    Obama '08!

    May 12, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  6. Yes Yes

    All the way Mr. Barr..siphon as many votes from McSame as you can, because you sure as hell arn't going to be taking any votes away from Obama.

    May 12, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. sarah

    Hillary will also be running as an independent... just watch =(

    May 12, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. Jinraj Joshipura, San Juan, USA

    Good job. Please go ahead. Citizens should have more choices. All presidential debate should be run by the Election Commission and not pre arranged drama between two party candidates where questions are preset and informed in advance and all presidential candidates should be part of the debate and not ignored.

    May 12, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  9. Aaron Wittnebel

    Run, Bob, Run!

    May 12, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  10. Adam

    Time to Stand Up and fight for Hillary! Hillary has been robbed the nomination. From day 1 the Media has been hard on her. It took until SNL called them out to look at Obama more. By that time Obamas spell has been cast on them and they would not care what he did, they are going to vote for him. What has he done? NOTHING!!! In the Senate for 18 months before he started to run? Come on? And you guys want to just hand over the Role of President to him? NO!!

    I, like MANY others will not vote for him and will vote for McCain or just stay home. I would rather vote for someone I know what I'm getting, then vote for Obama who has proved he can do nothing but give an ok speech.

    Obama supporters have been the most hateful group of people I have seen. Just read the Ticker over the last 4 months. I have noticed its ok to be sexist and play on that, but don’t you dare say 91% of the blacks voted for Obama. I could care less and I'm happy they are voting for him. But the double standard comes when women or white people (Ohio, Penn, Indiana) vote for Hillary. Just because someone doesn't like Obama and they are white doesn’t mean the are racist. You guys have beat that to death. Now with West Virginia and Kentucky coming up you are at it again. SAD SAD SAD!

    Hillary Clinton needs to run as an Independent. I'm pretty sure she could win as an Independent with the supporters. I'm also sure once the election goes on, People will take notice that Obama is just not ready and as we learn more will understand that Hillary is the only choice. The pundits keep saying that Hillary could never win w/o the AA vote, Well Obama can not win w/o 50% of Hillary's supporters.

    Hillary 08 Independent!

    May 12, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  11. Robert

    I like to have more choices than the two parties, this way it give people more choices to vote for and make the candidates work harder.

    May 12, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. wakgari

    Thank you Bob Barr – your doing us a favor – siphen off as many votes from McCain as you can! we all Dem's ready helping U.

    May 12, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. Tim

    If you are a Hillary supporter as I am...Why would you waste your veote on Barr or McCain......If you truley believe in what Hillary stands for you will suppoort Obama if he is the nominee. Any other vote would be a slap in Hillarys face....If Obama wins then Hillary will be in cabinet probably having a stronger voice.... for women and poor white americans

    May 12, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. Donna

    This is great. I think Hillary ought to run independently as well. Let's make this election a true people's choice affair.

    May 12, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  15. Bill

    This guy is a real republican. He is what our party used to stand for.

    May 12, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  16. Georgia

    Barr? Really? Pretty funny to call himself a Libertarian. Obviously not a very bright individual whatever his label this month...

    Let's get Neil Boortz to jump in too. At least he is a REAL Libertarian.

    We also need an Independent and a pure capitalist to announce – I think 6 or 7 candidates would be fun...

    May 12, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  17. Peter in PA

    Good now McShame's voters will be split. Thank you Mr.Barr. We democrats had the whitehouse handed to us in a platter after 8 years of inept administration and by nominating a old man. You are only making it icing on the cake.

    Thank you Mr. Barr!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. ztormtra

    Stand against the Ultra Liberal Socialist Left Wing of the Democrat Party that hi-jacked the Democrat Party and now wants to hi-jack America!

    Refuse Barr any votes & Cross Party Lines to Vote for McCain!

    May 12, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. kia

    Good News. Anything that slow or even damage Mc Cain's run for presidency, is a good news.

    May 12, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. H-ROD


    May 12, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. Frazier

    All you Hillary Supports take that...this guy will split the conservative base and Obama wins. I love you Barr

    Barr08 NOT Obama08

    Yes we Can

    Its not to late Clinton supports to join the winning team!

    May 12, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. Jan for Hillary

    A little off topic-but, wanted to remind John Edwards that winners never quit and quitters never win. I am pretty sure Obama would have quit by now if he was still behind. His attitude seems to be that Hillary is no longer in the race–speaks volumes for his tenacity and unity skills. Unfortunately, the media have made it easy for him–he does not have to work hard-just preach and smile. "Educated" nurse for Hillary

    May 12, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. True Independent, MD

    I hope Democrats see from the responses here that a lot of people who pretend to be Dems have been using this forum to drive a wedge between Sen Obama and Sen Clinton's supporters.
    The GOP creed is "Divide and Rule"

    Democrats had better unite so we can all get a government that can actually "Do Something" about the abysmal, and regressive state of affairs in our country as well as our image abroad.

    Why on earth anyone would think that Sen McCain can change anything beats me.

    May 12, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. Mark

    it's nice to see another option out there besides the 2 major parties. But is a run by any third party candidate doing anything but taking votes away from one bad option (McCain) and putting the presidency more firmly in the hands of another bad option ( whoever the Democrats run)? In this election where I'd bet every vote is going to be critical is another third party candidate a good thing for the American people? Will there ever be a day where "none of the above" makes the ballot?

    May 12, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. Bukky

    Isnt this the Guy that's all about family values but has be caught cheating a bunch of times... and married three times? All this crap and he thinks me marrying another woman would harm his marriage. Looks to me like he does enough harm to the sanctity of marriage all by himself.

    Bob Barr... YOU CAN KISS MY ARSE!!!!

    I usually try to be civil but this guy doesnt deserve civility

    May 12, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
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