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. HOPE WITH HILLARY

    JUST ELECT A WOMAN.... AND TELL ALL THESE ELITIST GUYS TO GO BACK TO SITING AROUND AND DO NOTHING,,, OBAMA ,MCAIN,BARR,PAUL, EDWARDS,AND ALL THE OTHER FOOLS...
    REAL CHANGE IS WITH A WOMAN PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. NoMcSame

    Great news. Split the republicans votes so that Mr. Obama can walk in. Barr will be our Nider. The chickens have come home to roost. Pay back for Rush and what they did to the Democrats this year. I will send him money just to help him blind side McSame.
    Run Bob run. Give them a choise too. This is GREAT
    Obama08
    PS Hillary people we will not miss you at all so do what you want to.
    Obama08

    May 12, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. john

    Does this mean that John McSame can kiss goodbye to the consevative right and evangelicals

    May 12, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. Alan K.

    Cool, a third-party candidate even more irrelevant than Nader. Does anyone outside of political buffs and college students know about the Libertarian Party? Jack Kevorkian would probably get more votes than these guys.

    (...But he still is a better candidate than the indefatigable, lovable lunatic Lyndon LaRouche, who's still running, I found out on campus.)

    May 12, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. GoNader08

    1) Single payer health care? Nope, Obama doesn't want that.

    2) End the war, withdraw the troops. hand over to the UN and Iraqis? Nope – Obama doesn't want to do that.

    3) Get tough on payday loans and high interest fraudsters? Nope – Obama doesn't want that.

    As Gore's 2000 VP candidate Lieberman addresses the Republican convention in St. Paul, think of why Dems get hysterical on Nader – and not their own party apparatus.

    votenader.org

    May 12, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. Ken

    Dave is supporting McCain, but thinks he has something to significant to say about [D] hypocrisy in how votes are counted? Excuse me? What a precious brown [R] nugget.

    #1) You [R]s had a choice in 2000 between McCain and Bush, and chose Bush as the better presidential candidate. Now given Bush's record, your own decision that McCain is worse, and your current support for McCain, why should anybody listen to what you have to say about ANYTHING? You make BAD choices, have bad thought processes, and ARE a looser.

    #2) FLA 2000.

    Man, you have been dragging down the voting IQ of this country since 2000.

    May 12, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. orlando

    Obama '08!

    May 12, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. Michael in Lorton, Virginia

    Barr doesn't have chance.........but anybody can be President......unfortunately it will not be him.

    May 12, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. carmen

    More good news for Obama

    May 12, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  10. I used to be a Democrat

    Anybody who calls Third Parties spoilers are Fascists.

    Yeah, I said it. You're a Fascist.

    The two party system has failed America.

    May 12, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  11. Ohio White Woman 4 Obama

    I don't have a problem with a group of intelligent & American-people-dedicated pol's creating a different party to enable us to have another choice but, come on already! The LAST thing we need is another narcissistic hypocrite perpetuating the same GARBAGE as the rest of the conservative, right, extremists that CREATED the GARBAGE in the first place!

    Go back under your republican rock, Barr, & let the PEOPLE have the Country & the lives THEY worked for & have earned!!!

    Could you imagine the state we would be in with THAT "guy"? McCAIN too!!!

    May 12, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. L.S.

    LARRY SINCLAIR......... WHO IS LARRY SINCLAIR........... CNN NEEDS TO REPORT THIS AND NOT CENSOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LIKE ITS DOING AND CONTINUES TO DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. JAY

    DO YOU NOT REMEMBER ROSS PEROT? HE DESTROYED THE REPUBLICANS AND THE FIRST PRESIDENT BUSH'S CAMPAIGN BY TAKING VOTES. PEROT COULD NEVER HAVE GOTTEN ENOUGH - BUT HE GOT ENOUGH TO PUT SOMEONE ELSE IN OFFICE.

    BOB BARR AND RON PAUL WILL DO THE SAME THING TO AMERICA. THEY MAY AS WELL HAND AMERICA'S KEYS OVER TO OBAMA.

    IF YOU WANT TO HELP, GET BEHIND McCAIN OR HILLARY.

    WE NEED "PATRIOTIC" UNITERS - NOT DIVIDERS!

    GOD BLESS AMERICA.

    May 12, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  14. Freida NYC

    This is absurd!!!

    And to Andy is the previous blog,
    I will NOT vote for Obama period.

    Hillary i still believe you can win this!!!!!!!
    YES WE WILL....HILLARY 2008/2012

    May 12, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. Tami

    I think Hillary needs to break ties with Dems, and go Independent, or I have recently thought Libertarian? She could force Obama and Mccain to put their big boy pants on!!! While she rallies the country behind her!!!!!!!! Go Girl!!!!!! Hillary 08!!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  16. susie

    The Democratic Party needs to fall on their face in Nov. for rigging the election.

    May 12, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. Diva in Pennsylvania

    @ An Agnostic Democrat:

    LOVE IT!!! Billary will jump on this bandwagon after the nomination is handed to Obama and all of her angry, BITTER supporters will follow another loser down the hole...

    GOBAMA '08!!!

    May 12, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  18. Kelly, Cincinnati, Ohio

    Keep in mind that Barr has only announced he is a candidate for the Libertarian Party presidential ticket. He still has to win the nomination at the LP national convention later this month. There is a very real chance he won't win that nomination. Alan Keys thought he was a shoe-in for the Constitution Party nomination a few weeks ago and he lost. Don't count your nominations before they are hatched.

    May 12, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  19. shannonL

    apparently this moron doesn't understand the importance of supreme court justices either....he will run, take away votes from McCain and ensure Obama will win.

    Obama will appoint the most liberal justices the court has ever seen.

    Barr doesn't care about conservativism.

    May 12, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. win55

    Let him run, it is a free country and a democracy. I know that MSNBC would have you think that the only person to run is Obama. I could not believe Obama thought there were 57 states, he certainly is not smarter than a 5th grader!

    May 12, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  21. Marshall

    Once again...Who is this guy? How many electorial votes has the Libritarians ever gotten?

    May 12, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  22. Richard Staniszewski, Fayetteville GA

    Oh No....Not Bob Barr..Where is Ron Paul??

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

    Parties are built from the bottom up. The Liibertarians started out with some good ideas and started that process. Then they got hi-jacked by anyone who wanted to run independently for President. Lately they have become very right wing but they have lost their structure so they really haven't hurt the republicans much. Not nearly as much as Bush has!

    This man will be amusing but not really important. I doubt he has enough support to even get in the debates. Maybe McCain will be able to save some face by blaming some of his loss on the dude, but he's going to lose by a very large margin I think.

    May 12, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  24. Robert NYC & Miami

    HILLARY SHOULD RUN AS AN INDEPENDENT AND SCREW OBAMA.

    May 12, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. kathe oakland, california

    Hey Bob Barr – if you believe all that stuff then why in hell are you running for anything. VOTE OBAMA MAN, where have you been???? Jumping into the race now how stupid. Go home, have some tea, converse with Consumer Man and both of you – get a life. Who needs you "johnny come lately" folks? Where have you been all this time, too afraid to put your foot in waters? Please, you just want to muddy the waters with your rantings and old man ravings.

    GO OBama

    May 12, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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