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. Anonymous

    Just another waste of money. I guess this is meant to benefit Democrats. I cannot imagine why anyone with sense would support Obama when he is supported by such losers as T. Kennedy, Wright, actors who spend their lives pretending to be someone else, people with as little experience in politics as he has-the list goes on.

    May 12, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Terrence (Winston Salem,NC)

    YES. Finally the REPUBS get a taste of "RALPH NADER"....

    May 12, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. Keith R.

    There should be a rule against this. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with creating waves against McCain, but in all fairness, all Presidential interests should be declared by a certain date and then if you lose the affiliation you went with, too bad. No running as Independent, green, purple, polka dotted or striped. You lost. Goodbye.

    May 12, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. Randy - Denver

    The Libertarian (and the Constitutionalist) party has been around, and on the ballot, since the '60s this is NOT a new party and has run MANY other candidates and usually they get around 3% of the total vote each. Nothing new here. the only difference is that this time neither party can get seem to find a candidate that will please all the party people and so the outsider parties, the fringe parties you might say, are starting to get attention. I do not suspect that they will win much more than their normal 3-5% but it is possible. (and for those of you who want to blame Mr. Clinton being elected on Mr. Perot you should go look at the votes, there were MORE votes for the Libertarian candidate than there have been for ANY other third party candidates, including Mr. Perot and Mr. Nader in the years they were supposed to have such an impact. The only "REAL" impact these candidates will have on the outcome of the votes will be the media will cover them for the first time, overall no significant impact though.

    May 12, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. mitchell from arkansaw

    yayyy! go bob barr!we republicans love you!now we don't have to vote for mccain! [obama '08]

    May 12, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. hope

    Men thinks and God links. Belief makes all possible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. NickNas

    MCCain is going to have a full on MELTDOWN if her ever get in a debate between Obama and Barr. He has nowhere to turn now. He can't try to play " I am just a Demapublican so Voter for me. The republicans are going to go through their own SPLIT now.

    This is going to be good!

    May 12, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. bill pike

    put rush limpbaughs as vp, do nothing lou dobbs as secretary in any state except U.S., and maybe we got something.

    May 12, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. Texican

    Barr and Ralph Nader combined would not take more than .00001% of the votes in any state. This is provided they can get on the ballot.

    Two losers that need to spend time talking to each other and the other loser. Ron Paul. Maybe they can join forces and take .00l% of the vote from the two parties.

    Bottom Line. Don't waste your time thinking that they will have any influence in the outcome.

    McCain will beat Obama. Two reasons: Loyalty and Integrity, which Barak loses on both counts.

    May 12, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. allen

    good news for democrats and progressives. EVERYONE! send BOB money! SEND BOB MONEY NOW!

    May 12, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. EC

    Please just go and sit down somewhere.

    NO one cares what YOU think at this point in time. Jesus..

    May 12, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. Keshab, Indiana

    Another insane day dreamer!!!

    May 12, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. Herman in LA

    Some of you people would throw you vote behind a donkey if it would run... 🙁

    Obama 08!!!

    May 12, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  14. curt

    Hey Rush, how do you like Operation chaos, the sequel

    May 12, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  15. Dave in Houston


    Here's someone who can slam McCain while Obama stays nobly above the fray.

    May 12, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. Carl from Dallas

    True Republicans would vote Ron Paul... those wanting a little more would vote for Barr.

    True Democrats would vote for McCain... true socialists would vote for Obama and Clinton.

    Welcome to the true politics we have today. Those getting insulted by it will be the same ones that cannot determine whether it is a hole in the ground or their own.... well you know

    May 12, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. PA Voter 2008

    Hillary as an Independent is the best idea yet. She's already proven that she can beat Obama in the biggest Blue state to take those electoral votes, and shes leading McCain in most others.
    While everyone else is bungling around for the likes of Idaho and Wyoming....
    HaHaHaHa...what genius that would be.

    May 12, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. Tami

    Hillary/Ron Paul 08!!!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. Independent-woman-voter-for-Obama

    Oh Goody! This is turning out to be like 1992, when Bill Clinton beat George the First, because Ross Perrot ran for office!

    OBAMA/CASEY 08 &12!

    May 12, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  20. Carl from Dallas

    Now if Ron Paul becomes his running mate, and Mr. Barr speaks as honestly as Ron Paul, it would not surprise me for them to get 15-20% of the vote this november...

    May 12, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  21. Douglas -- Rochester, MN

    Whoop-de-do ...............................

    May 12, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Barr (LOL), this guy is a real loser.

    May 12, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. Chris

    Rep McCain
    Dem Obama
    Green Nader Spoiler #1
    Lib Barr Spoiler #2
    Inde Hillary?? Spoiler #3???

    Man, what a mess this is now...

    May 12, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. Not a Dem No More

    It is amazing how people can switch from Democrat to Republican with ease. Just go with the political winds don't worry about the consequences it has for your country. Selfish, Selfish, Selfish, that is all I can say.

    The best candidates have been eliminated for us loyal patriotic Americans, and we are left with two pathetic choices, Obama and McCain. Now we get Rose ann's husband (Barr), and Ralph I am too old Nader. No wonder we are the laughing stock of the Free world.

    May 12, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. brenda, NY

    Obama really thinks he is King Jafar. Well, here's the thing Obama may get nomination, but he will not win the general election. So if Hillary does not win, my vote is for McCain and I'm sure all of Hillary's supporters feel the same. Also Edwards need to mind his business and stay home.

    May 12, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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