June 30th, 2008
10:01 AM ET
15 years ago

Preston on Politics: Barr says he's no Nader


Watch Bob Barr explain why he left the Republican Party.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Bob Barr was once a loyal soldier in the Republican Party - ­ a lawmaker GOP leaders could count on to return home each weekend and echo their talking points at local political events, town hall meetings and civic lunches.

As a young political reporter in Marietta, Georgia, I often heard Barr serve up generous helpings of Republican doctrine over buffet lunches and chicken dinners.

For Republican leaders such as House Speaker Newt Gingrich,­ who represented a neighboring district, ­Barr was a dedicated warrior. And he remained so even after he lost a primary fight in 1992 to colleague John Linder,­ a battle set up by redistricting.

But a few years later, Barr went AWOL from the Republican Party - or, as he tells it, the GOP abandoned him.

He is now the Libertarian Party's presidential nominee and is crisscrossing the country promoting its principles and hunting for votes.

So why did Barr abandon the Republican Party in 2006?

"It probably wasn't any one thing," he said during our conversation last week outside the White House.

Read full story

Filed under: Bob Barr
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Jimmy from NY

    Bab Barr in 08!
    McCane is too old in views and age. Obama is just too smart and could jeopardize status quo. But Bar is just right!
    Barr/Nader in 08!

    June 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. Jody Monroe

    CNN, why don't you cover more news about the candidates who are NOT major candidates from the Dem. or Repub. parties? As an informed voter, I would certainly like to know more Ron Paul, Barr, Huckabee, and others. I would welcome a debate with all candidates, but you seem to ignore all except the major candidates.

    June 30, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  3. May - Arizona

    Last week, the Center for American Progress Action Fund released a new report by Michael Ettlinger estimating that under McCain's tax plan, he and his wife, Cindy, would save extra $373,429. That's nearly $400,000 - per year, not over the course of their lifetimes.

    Under Barack Obama's plan, the McCains would save less than $6,000. The Obamas would save nearly $50,000 under McCain's plan, and slightly more than $6,000 under Obama's plan own plan.

    This is straight talk!!

    June 30, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. Dwayne - L, OH

    You reap what you sew. Republicans...get your game face on. You're going to need it.

    June 30, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. Adriana Birmingham, AL

    I'm going to send him the max allowable contribution. Go Bob Barr!

    June 30, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. Dave G, Minneapolis

    Also, too bad these blogs are full of whining and not discussing issues.

    Who cares about gay marriage, abortion, etc if there is no America left. The primary focus of the Federal government is to defend America. Yes, this may mean border fences and oh, shocker...border CONTROL. It also means not occupying other countries and "nation building" to the detriment of our nation.

    Nothing else matters until we are secure and we aren't spending all of our hard earned money supporting a bloated government. We need a candidate that will talk about patriotism in terms of individual responsibility. How many of you know and help your neighbors? How many donate volunteer time or $$ ? Very few...and interestingly, statistics show that conservatives give more than liberals. Why, you may ask; because conservatives feel an obligation to help others and not expect it from the government. Liberals say, hey you should just apply for X government program to get $$. As government bloats and we ALL pay more, we feel less inclined to add on to that.

    Whether you are dem, repub, liberal, or conservative...you should believe in liberty and individual rights. you should help and get to know your neighbors because that is not the government's job.

    Barr in '08!

    June 30, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. Obama/Hillary 08

    I wonder if Joe Liberman is the one that is going to launches the new terror attack. Please stop scaring people for political reason. America, it is not true no terror attack in 2009. If there is one Joe Lieberman and the Republican Party is behind it.

    June 30, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Frank

    Follow the Constitution, Non-Interventionalist Foreign Policy, Civil Liberties, Minimize Government and the Federal Reserve, Enjoy Freedom.

    Doesn't sound like any of the current candidates except Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin.

    June 30, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. Independent-woman-4-Obama


    June 30, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. A unknow black man from Canada help blogged 4 Obama since primary.

    Am still surprised that some republicans are still using Hillary Clinton name in a nagective manner. I don't know the reason behind this, but if it is to devide democrats? They should think again. Hillary is a srtong supporter of Obama presidency so do Bill and all the notable leaders that have initially supporter Hillary is nomination bid.

    So, Republiacn do not use Hillary's name to stage your fight against Obama.
    Democratic party is not dumb, we know those behind causing trouble by portraying that they Hillary's fans to instigate bitterness among democrats.

    Please stop the devision, blog for republican if you are a republican and blog for democrats if you a democrats.

    You know Maccain has no chance of winning the fall election, so they are trying to devide democrats against each other. I trust true democrats.
    God Bless Americans and save Obama.

    June 30, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. Pat Riot

    His voting record may not show his change of heart but I do believe he will practice what he is preaching. Barr would be a great option for the office. Let's bring the virtues of limited government back into the spotlight and get them out of our lives and pockets.

    June 30, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. Walt, Belton,TX

    OK! He's no Nader; but who is Bob Barr and why should I care?

    June 30, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. Phil in KC

    Run, Bob, run. We Democrats need someone to offset Nader.

    June 30, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. Donna

    Why would he admit he is like Nader(i.e.an election spoiler)? He knows he doesn't have a real chance of winning (like Nader) but he can be that fly at the picnic that eveyone keeps trying to swat away to no avail...

    June 30, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. Dave G, Minneapolis

    Who is Bob Barr and why should I care?

    Well, he's the Libertarian party candidate. While he has a mixed political past and voting record that is not quite libertarian, he IS the best choice to move America in the direction of solving its biggest problems.

    I'm surprised that so few Repubs, or Dems know what libertarianism stands for. Many dems are dems because they support gay rights, abortion rights, and other "civil liberties". Conversely, Repubs say they support smaller gov't, lower taxes, etc. These would all be libertarian views. The constitution says that we have all of the rights other than those that WE allow the gov't to restrict or manage. This idea has been lost such that we think we can only do what the government tells us we can do.

    I'm amazed that more people aren't libertarian. I mean, who REALLY wants the gov't in your business?

    Now, Barr is against abortion and doesn't support gay rights. But on the big issues... the really big issues, he has stated his direction for America: Pull out of Iraq. Stop trying to police the world. Lower taxes–or abolish the IRS entirely. Protect the borders. Give Americans their rights back.

    Barr '08

    June 30, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. free us

    It's clear both majority parties just want more money, power and control. Unfortunately most Americans also want the ruling party to give them more.

    But at what cost? Let's take more than 1/4 of the average American's income and let the government decide how to redistribute it!!? That's what both parties stand for.

    Libertarians and Barr want Americans to have the right to succeed or fail. Stop paying for stupid gov't programs and the Nanny State.

    I'm voting for Barr. And my vote is for Barr and not McCain or Obama. It's not a wasted vote because the majority parties would not get this vote this time anyway..

    Live free or Die

    June 30, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. Billiam

    Play the Rush game. Give Barr money. Help him get on the ballot in all 50 states.

    Obama 08/12

    June 30, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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