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. J. Tucker

    Hey what about the Consitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin? Barr is getting some exposure so please MEDIA be fair this election and give Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr equal time as you do McCain and Obama. If other countries can have 3rd Parties, why not us? Give us all the views including throw Nader into the mix. Watching a 4 Way debate between McCain, Obama, Barr and Nader would be very informative and fun to watch! But of course the republicans and democrats would balk at this!!!! (*shakes head in disbelief*)

    June 29, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. J. Tucker

    opps...I forgot to mention Chuck Baldwin in that debate I mentioned! I would very much like to see a 5-way debate between McCain, Obama, Barr, Nader and Baldwin! Listening to all the candidates views and ideas is more constitutional and fun to watch than just the republican and democratic candidates. 🙂

    June 29, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. ANGIE

    hes a lying fake a true republican thats what he is beware people beware!!!

    June 29, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. mitchell hussein martin

    bob barr is a wonderful choice for republicans fed up with bush/mccain destruction of gop and usa.

    June 29, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. Glad to be an Independent

    This is healthy for the Republicans to have this battle now. There is a battle in the Republicans right now as far as the direction your party should go. Libertarians wing wants limited government as far as spending, regulations, taxes, trade, personal choices and foreign policy. Social conservatives want traditional values to be encouraged through government policies. A Bob Barr Libertarian candidacy reflects the tug-of-war going on in the Republican party. Also, Ron Paul's opposition to the type of foreign policy the Republicans have adopted also shows signs of division in that party. Reagan would never have gotten the Republicans involved in NATION BUILDING. Until the Republicans decided on a unified path that the American people like, then the Republicans will be in the minority.

    June 29, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. Texans for Obama

    No, Barr will not win but he may mess with some of John McCain's votes. Why are there so many Republicans against John McCain if he is such a great candidate? Most of them have no love for McCain.
    Talk about a divided party. Like Ruppert Murdock said "Obama is going to win by a landslide!" You can count on that!

    June 29, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |

    So why did Barr abandon the Republican Party in 2006..........So he could go FISHING .........WHO CARES!!!!!!

    June 29, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Caycee, Pearl City Hawaii

    Barr, Barr, Barr, Barr ran and ran. Oops. That was Nader.

    June 29, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. Mike

    Barr is a true conservative and should be the GOP candidate. Disgusted Republicans like me who can not stand what the Republican leaders have done to our Party. Will vote Barr in this election to show the GOP that they better go back to being a Party of the working man not just the Corporate billionaires. As for Nader. Please, he is still lost in the seventies like McBush.

    June 29, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    Barr and Hillary supporters are testimony to the 'Do nothing" congress. Nader is going to replace one of the major party. The one that has no respect for the Oval Office.

    June 29, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. Betty K. Prichard

    I am so happy that Senator Obama is the people's choice. I hope he realizes it's because of his message of "change" , and the Clintons' are old corrupt business as usual. I wish he would stop pursuing and sucking up to the Clintons'–let them go.

    If it's meant for him to become President–he will, with or without the Clintons.

    June 29, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. NoMccain

    It would place pressure on Obama and Mccain to choose VPs if Ralph Nader and Bob Barr started debated each other in closed circuit. It would make them look like leaders and the others look like they are falling behind, while crises are mounting for the American people. We need leadership people – not waiting for dog and pony shows.

    June 29, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  13. Ron Nebraska

    Yep, Barr is no Nader, just another typical right-wing nut job who has done nothing but weaken civility in American politics,

    June 29, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  14. New York

    this guy is cool i hope he takes away Mccains voters.

    June 29, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  15. ET from OMAHA

    Rise Rise Rise Barr and take the very conservative vote away from McBush and live him the few morrons vote for him so that OBAMA prevail. We democrats appreciate your candidancy. By the way NADER the circus clown will not give us any cauchemar.

    June 29, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  16. Pat M

    Looks like the GOP abandoning Barr was their win and our loss!

    Not in it to be a spoiler! Right Bob. And Pigs Fly.

    Why is Nader and this guy getting air time?

    June 29, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  17. I used to be a Democrat

    "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."

    This has to change in America. The Two Party system does not represent all of America. Libertarianism is making a comeback because the Federal Government is overstepping its original bounds.

    What this writer (and apparrently every writer at CNN who covers Barr and Nader) doesn't understand is that Democrats are fed up with their party too. Not only are we going to vote for a third party, but both former Republicans and former Democrats (like myself) are taking a real interest in liberatarianism (notice the lower case 'L'). Bank on it. Democrats are going to vote for Barr and Ron Paul because we are sick of the same old crap from politicians.

    Mark Preston needs to do more real world research before he attempts to write and article like this, because quite frankly, either he doesn't know what he is talking about, or he part of the problem with the two-party system.

    No more brainwashing Mark Preston. Please.

    June 29, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  18. Enlightened Voter

    John Mccain is no Barack Obama.

    June 30, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. Crush Rush

    Yea, this Moron is worse than Nader.

    June 30, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. JoeMamma

    I proudly voted for Bush twice, but can't bear the thought of a third term via Johnny McLieberCain.

    My GOP (and Barr's) has been hijacked by neo-cons who are neither new or conservative.

    Life long Conservative for Obama or Barr 08

    June 30, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. Dave G, Minneapolis

    Barr is real. Too bad the other candidates are not.
    Obama: "ooooo, McCain is bad" , McCain:"oooo, Obama is bad."

    How about some thoughtful commentary on the state of the country and what YOU will do to fix it. Barr is the only one who has done this. I guess when your goal is to help the country rather than vying for election or re-election you can state how you feel and be proud in that.

    The dems won congressional votes a couple of years ago on the platform to pull out of Iraq...they're in control now and what do they do–increase spending for Iraq...hypocrites. Republicans say they will reduce government and Bush takes away civil liberties.

    So Barr works with the NRA and the ACLU! huh, that sounds like he is thoughtful about what matters and can talk to people of different viewpoints rather than parroting what will get him elected.

    June 30, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  22. J. Tucker

    100% AMEN!!! I totally agree!

    June 30, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. Peter of Oregon

    It's too bad the Republican Party drove Barr out, he's at least a genuine conservative, and is not just playing the part to get elected.

    He would have been a good candidate for the Republican party, and I'm sure he would've loved to have stayed if the Republican party had retained any of the ethics it appeared to have prior to the Bush/Rove/Cheney era.

    June 30, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  24. lil

    Barr, The most bigotest person in the world.

    June 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  25. Jan

    No, and you are no John McCain, either. You must be rooting for Obama. You remind me of the DNC–trying to throw the election to your favorite orator.

    June 30, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
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