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. Vig

    Barr isn't going anywhere – you need a money machine to control the political process in this country. The word on the street – Obama – bought and paid for by billionaires who will control everything he says and does. Restore her candidacy – join us – wirte-in's for Hillary on your November ballot. A person not bought and paid for by fat cats.

    June 29, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Enlightened Voter

    No enlightened person with a conscience could be a republican in this day and age. They might have started out with noble ideas but now they are elitist and a party for the wealthy only.

    June 29, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  3. NEXT!!!!

    Barr went AWOL from the Republican Party — or, as he tells it, the GOP abandoned him............WHO CARES!!!!!

    June 29, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  4. Proud American

    This is payback for the GOP. A sign of the times. They're all jumping ship. Go Barr!!

    June 29, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. aware

    Barr went AWOL from the human race with his ugly, mean- mouth. Just to look at him brings back feelings of disgust. He will not gain traction. 🙁

    June 29, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Barr probably abandoned the Republican party after finding out he wasn't going to be their nominee after Bush, so he got mad and quit, not abandoned.

    June 29, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. maxine


    June 29, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. Alex

    While I don't agree on some of the policies he brings up, but he is 10x better than McCain. He clearly states what he wants. If he was the republican candidate instead of McCain, I can see that it would have been a much much tighter race..But he is not and McCain doesn't know what to support. He has no clear picture at all, now we could argue that with Obama, but I support his core policies with is to leave Iraq, etc..

    June 29, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. Blayze Kohime

    It would be hypocritical for Republicans to fuss that Barr might take away votes from their candidate when they told Democrats to deal with the votes Nader took away in previous elections. Of course, they will anyway. Being hypocritical is what Republicans do best, I'm starting to think.

    June 29, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. Jim

    What caused the split? His ego. He wasn't getting enough attention, or a shot at high office, in the GOP, so he's starting a Quixotic presidential campaign that will only serve to alienate every who's ever supported or met him.

    June 29, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  11. Joseph Adewole

    Thank God Barr has realised that the GOP is not a party that any reasonable person could vote for; a Party of Hypocrites.

    June 29, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. Rise America Rise

    Well, I do give him credit for realizing that the republican party has essentially been destroyed by Bush. Now we need to defeat McBush and get this country back on course.

    June 29, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. No to Juan McLame

    Barr offers a good alternative candidacy for those who don't love paying tons of taxes to support the families of the underpaid indentured servants of rich White men. <<<<Juan McLame's biggest supporters

    June 29, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. Big Thinker

    I really like Barr's and Paul's brand of Conservatism. I still believe though that America can provide Univeral Health Care and improve our educational system. I bet that Barr wouldn't mind giving UHC if we were out of debt and had a balanced budget. I really appreciate Barr and Paul<<<my favorite Republican, but this year I will be voting for change!!

    Obama/Clinton 08

    June 29, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. Franky

    "I intend to be in the White House in January 2009," he said without hesitation. "I know it's a long shot, I'm not unrealistic about this. It is a long shot. The major two parties stacked the deck tremendously against a third party candidacy such as mine, but the dynamics this election cycle make the possibility of winning as the third party candidate much more realistic, much more doable than any time in the past."

    Alright!! I'm putting my money on Barr then!! Show me the money! LOL!!! Na'h, I'm just playing, LOL!!

    June 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. Allen In North Carolina

    I know that the both of them are wasting a lot of money for nothing..... It's like picking the fat kid for the saturday basketball team.... Yeah Right!!!!! Lmao..... }:)

    June 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. Former Repoublican for Barr

    How can anybody that calls themselves "conservative" be a part of the Republican Party these days? Big government, more bureaucracy, the idea that the government should be in your bedroom, in your doctor's office, and in your grocery cart is now the legacy of the Republican Party.

    Being a Republican is contrary to any kind of conservative philosophy, that's why I'm voting for Barr – he's a real conservative!

    Barr in '08!

    June 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  18. Stating the obvious

    And Barack Obama is no John McCain

    June 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. Ian M

    Funny, I specifically recall the Republicans running pro-Nader ads in Florida and Ohio in 2000. Guess when the shoe's on the other foot they aren't so happy.

    June 29, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  20. Loretta from California

    Be careful. He is just a Republican troll disguised as a Lib. It was his only way to re-enter the political arena. I see no noticeable difference yet. Libs what were you thinking?


    June 29, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  21. Cynthia

    Ralph Nader needs to return to consumer advocacy – he is better suited for that than running for political office.

    June 29, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  22. Bubba

    Barr is almost as ugly as Carville ! Almost...

    June 29, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. Brad, California

    Even though he is a jerk, we certainly need more than two parties, especially when there is no real difference between the two so-called mainstream parties as it is.

    June 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. td

    McCain is his own spoiler. Barr was a part of the 'Republican revolution' in the 90's. Much of it was sold on less government, balanced budgets, and even non-interventionism. All of that neglected by '98 and pretty much eradicated in the Bush years.
    The mainstream of the Republican Party forsook its base. The Libertarian party represents much more than some spoiler role. It's the party of principle. That whole 'lesser of two evils' fear mongering shouldn't affect the voter. Don't be a chicken. Vote Libertarian.

    June 29, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. Alex M

    Ya Barr you rock! Keep doing what you're doing

    June 29, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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