May 26th, 2008
08:00 AM ET
13 years ago

Barr: Obama and McCain the real spoilers


Watch Bob Barr's interview with John Roberts

(CNN) - Former Rep. Bob Barr, the newly-selected Libertarian presidential nominee, rejected suggestions Monday that he could spoil his former party's chances of holding onto the White House.

"There are two folks that are out to spoil the race here - it's Senator Obama and Senator McCain. They're setting out, I think, to spoil our chances," he told CNN's "American Morning."

He added, "There are millions of voters out there that are not going to vote for Senator McCain, and we aim to reach those voters with the message of smaller government and more individual liberty."

For years, Barr was a prominent Georgia Republican in the House. He played a leading role in the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.

His positions on some issues have left some Libertarians unsure about his candidacy. He opposed legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, supported the Patriot Act, and co-sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act.

While the Defense of Marriage Act was backed by opponents of gay marriage, and allowed states not to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, Barr told CNN Monday that it was a "very sound individualistic and states' rights policy."

And he said he has been working for five years "to either amend or repeal the Patriot Act because of the way it has been used and abused by the Bush administration to curtail the civil liberties of American citizens in this country. We can defend America without taking away civil liberties and privacy rights of American citizens, and we ought to be doing that."

He also supports U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

Barr, 59, left the Republican Party in 2006, and announced in April that he would form a presidential exploratory committee. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1994 and represented a conservative district in the Atlanta suburbs for four terms.

He worked as an occasional contributor and analyst for CNN after leaving office.

The last two Libertarian presidential candidates, Michael Badnarik in 2004 and Harry Browne in 2000, drew fewer than 400,000 votes each. But Barr is a more prominent political figure, and his selection Sunday at the Libertarian National Convention in Denver is drawing more attention to the party.

He told CNN Monday he hopes to have his name on the ballot in all 50 states, and vowed, "We are going to launch a very vigorous campaign all across America."

Filed under: Bob Barr
soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. devon

    Note to Susie:
    The Electoral College has been in place for a very long time to choose the President.

    Gasoline and other commodities are priced by market forces The US functions on a capitalist model. Politicians, contrary to what they pander with, do not control gasoline or other prices.

    May 26, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. Remember Obama's Voting Record!

    Obama has a preference for sidestepping difficult issues. It's called voting "present," as opposed to “yea” or “nay.” Example: In 1999, Barack Obama was faced with a difficult vote in IL — to support a bill that would let some juveniles be tried as adults - where he risked drawing fire from African-Americans – or, in opposing it, jeopardizing his image as “tough on crime.” So in the end, he voted neither for nor against the bill. He voted “present” - an option he chose 130 times as a state senator.

    Senator Clinton, on the other hand, consistently votes and puts herself on the line. Unlike Obama, she doesn’t use “present” votes to duck responsibility on serious issues (even though they may be “unpopular”).

    How convenient and a lot easier it is for Obama just to not show up and be "counted"! But it's NOT more principled, and actually quite calculating, because what better way to hit your opponent than to duck a tough vote where hers was counted, and then dump on her.

    And let’s not forget that Obama never held a single hearing on his own foreign relations subcommittee – yet he touts his judgment on foreign relations issues as superior to Clinton or McCain!


    May 26, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. Nava-Canada

    Ralf Nadar's votes in the last election spoilt the chances for Al Gore
    to win the race and like wise Bob Barr's votes may cause some concerns for Obama but 2008 race is not going to be that close as of year 2000 .He ultimately will have a lead of atlest 10% over McCain, so the democrats should not have any fears of losing the race as American people are for change, provided Dems. decide on Omaba soon, as their candidate for Presidency in 2008

    May 26, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. renee

    This is going to hurt mcain so bad and I'm so glad that trouble that last always. like hillary said anything can happen and it just did for the republican party. obama is going to be the next President Of United States like it are not thats word.

    May 26, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. Linda of Atlanta

    Bob Barr is a crazy! But from reading these blogs, he's got a lot of company. It's a sad day for America that we now have to put up with race-baiting, gay bashing, and more left wing conspiracy theories from Hillary as well as her kindred spirit, Bob Barr.

    May 26, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |

    The only things Barr has done is hold the impeachment hearing against Bill Cliniton. I wished he had won!

    May 26, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. JC

    Thanks Barr! Your comment is a good reminder for Bill Clinton that his ticket back to the White House has lost. Take her home with 30 millions of debt.

    May 26, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. I faced the truth

    Bob Barr should have every opportunity to participate in the Presidental process. That way, all the hard working people will have an alternative to Obama whom they cannot bring themselves to vote for yet in good moral conscience cannot vote for McCain because of the Iraq war. Welcome Mr. Barr, glad to have you.

    May 26, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  9. Ben

    "She can't be his running mate. That would be like the housekeeper trading places with the CEO. Give me a break."

    Ha. Don't you mean slave trading places with the plantation owner? Kind of sounds like that's what you really meant.

    May 26, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. Make Love, Not War

    You are a hater and your opinions are divisive. You don't even get to vote in American elections. Are you aware of that? Have you addressed all of your country's issues and solved them? If not you may want to look into that. There are too many problems in the world right now and people like you who don't contribute in a positive or objective manner are destructive and are not needed.

    May 26, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. John McCone

    I used to love the Clinton's but truly, this rhetoric is ridiculous. I could get past Bill's indiscretions while in office but the propaganda BS they are spinning now sickens me. I am a Democrat but won't be for long primarily bcause of this. The self serving Clintons have really outdone themselves. Hillary is losing the race. I am not of the opinion that Obama is winning as much as I am that Clinton is losing it. I doubt I could vote for Clinton in the general election if she is nominated. Her support of the rule regarding the Florida and Michigan primary has now flip flopped as it has with respect to Bosnia and the statement that Clinton and Kennedy were still seeking their nomination in June of the months they ran. Kennedy had JUST ENTERED THE RACE!!!!. Bill had wrapped it up in April. Keep shooting off the non facts Hillary. I am certain it is the cornerstone of your losing campaign not to mention your sinking integrity.

    May 26, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  12. Ron Paul supporter

    I am Ron Paul supporter. However I have decided to vote for Obama .

    I hope Ron Paul runs as an Independent.

    May 26, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  13. Jerry

    It's really sad, but what Bill Clinton is saying is what a lot of us have been saying all along. The national Democratic Party will probably be unable to mend all the fences that have been destroyed and the injustices that have been committed against Senator Hillary Clinton by both Senator Obama and his feel-good campaigners in cahoots with most of the media.

    In terms of Senator Obama's negative comments regarding Senator Clinton's support for Florida's voters, please don't let his rhetoric stop you. Since we can not even count on some of our own elected officials (U.S. Representatives Kathy Castor and Robert Wexler, and others) for support, we need you to continue to fight our disenfranchisement by King Dean and his feel-good pals.

    Stay tuned!

    May 26, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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