February 22nd, 2009
11:10 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama in perpetual campaign, Barbour says

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/22/art.king.cnn.jpg caption="Obama has traveled to key swing states in the last few weeks."]

(CNN) - It's no coincidence President Obama has traveled to key swing states to push his massive stimulus measure, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Sunday.

Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, said Obama's recent travel is an indication that the new president is already running for reelection.

"He's going to those places for a reason," Barbour said on CNN's State of the Union. "I mean David Axelrod, who's his campaign consultant/manager/guru really is one of the brightest, most capable people in American politics. And so this is what we've become accustomed to, the perpetual campaign."

In the last few weeks, the president has visited Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, and Colorado - all states that voted Republican in the 2004 presidential election but flipped to the Democrat's side in 2008. Obama has also visited Arizona - the home state of his former rival, Sen. John McCain, and a state he'd like to turn blue in 2012.

The White House has said the president specifically visited those states because they are among the hardest hit by the nations sputtering economy and home foreclosure crisis.

soundoff (275 Responses)
  1. Annie, Atlanta

    Governor Barbour: I see it more as our President is talking to us, and frankly find that refreshing. How about instead of putting him down whenever you get the chance you try to find common ground to work together, or would that take you out of perpetual campaigning mode?

    February 22, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. Moe, NY

    So what if he is? Obama has done more in just over a month in office than Barbour and his Republican/Conservative party accomplished in eight years. President Obama is cleaning up your party's mess Barbour, and he will accomplish his goals despite the GOP. President Obama is for the people in this country which I know is a foreign concept to the GOP, but I think they best get used to it!

    February 22, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Jay Monson

    If the Republicans worked on solving American's problems and backed the President instead of slamming his every move right out of the gate, the President wouldn't have to continue to campaign for support. It should be a process that takes care of itself as the congress works together for the American people. However, since the Republicans are more interested on working on the next election instead, the President ends up doing double duty. Thank god we have an intelligent President who is able to multitask and produce results, having to walk around every obstacle the Republican party throws in his way. One more example of why we have the perfect President for the debacle the Republican party has created in the last decade. President Obama is a godsend who should be praised. Who else is able and willing to clean up this mess? Nobody.

    February 22, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. Anessa

    I lost my job 3 months ago and when you are in this situation it is so easy to give up hope and become desperate. The fact that Obama takes the time to talk to the press and keep going gives me hope in this difficult situation.
    I was mostly middle of the road and with two university degrees I thought that I was on top of the world. it is so easy to judge others when you have a job but when you you are out you just want something anything to hold on . the las president would have made this situation unberable for me

    February 22, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Mark Ferbet

    This is what Presidents do now... Bush did it for any and all major policies.... he went on the campaign trail, to try to get Americans to back his ideas... he did it for Social Security, No Child Left Behind, the War in Iraq, and just about every other policy he put forth.

    He even went so far as to campaign for his two Supreme Court Nominees.

    So, the constant campaigning is probably to be expected...
    Not sure I agree with it... but in the world of Axelrod and Rove, this is what we can expect in the future.

    February 22, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. Nate

    Yes, Pat, seek help. We would hate to see you on the evening news in a tinfoil hat. After Bush, you're scared of Obama abusing power? What a joke.

    February 22, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. Big J

    When Mississippi can pull itself out of its perpetual ranking of always being the last state in nearly everything, then maybe a Mississippi politian can voice their opinions & someone will take them seriously! Until then, work on your state!

    February 22, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. Christine

    I can only ask: If the Republicans (or any other party) have a better solution to solve the state of the economy, please, please do so! Otherwise, keep quiet and wait to see what works and what doesn't work. The way I see it is that Obama will take those ideas which appear to be working and run with it. The ideas which are lame-duck will be taken off the burner. It's all about trial and error at this point. It has taken 8 years to arrive at this point and anyone with half a brain can't expect a complete recovery overnight. The drawback of having to borrow "our" money to do it is just the cost of repairing the Bush era. Address your anger at them!

    February 22, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. moonstone

    Virtually all politicians start their re election campaign the day after
    they take office.

    In my humble opinion, 4 years is not an adequate time frame for any president to implement their ideas or agendas. I believe our
    constitution should be amended so that a President can serve for 7 years and the congressional offices should be 3 years. This way there would be ample time for these elected officials to concentrate in doing their job rather than start electioneering the day after they are elected. Of course, any elected official should be limited to 2 terms in office. With our present system, special interests virtually over ride
    the will of the electorate.

    Continuing with this thought, an elected official should be removed from office whenever the electorate does not feel the elected official is doing their job. Under our present system, it is virtually impossible to remove an elected official for malfeasance.

    February 22, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. Dave

    It truly amazes me, that after a year and a half of presidential debates and criss-crossing the country and talking to voters, the Republican party still doesn't get it. WE the PEOPLE desire to be "kept in the loop" by the people we put in the office, which is precisely what President Obama is doing. The Republican party still wants to push their agenda with special interest and favors to the people who bought the presidency the last time 2 times around. The only problem they encounter now is you can't do that, if you are held accountable for your actions and are asked to perform your duties with transparency.

    February 22, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Rebecca S.

    And how much in fuel has this cost the American tax payer?

    February 22, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. Jason

    Sad, desperate, bitter republicans.

    February 22, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. Edward

    Good for Obama. Keep on bringing your case to the people and let them know that they have a friend in the White House ... It's a breath of fresh air after the last 8 years. If the stimulus package works, I hope that it does, the Republicans will be remembered for being the obstructionists that they are and wanting to implement more tax cuts for rich people who don't need it. I think that Bobby Jindal's choice not to take stimulus funds is a death sentence, I hope he doesn't plan on ever running for president.

    February 22, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. Jim

    Dear Mr. Barbour,

    Have you nothing better to do, like maybe tend to your job instead of proving to the public what a partisan hack you really are?

    Would you prefer him do nothing? Well, you would get on him for that.. Lame duck..
    Would you prefer him do a little? Well, you would get on him for that.. Not doing enough..
    Would you prefer he didn't travel? Well, you would get on him for that.. out of touch with the people..

    Obama is in a no-win situation with the republican party. The Dem's started this financial meltdown with Clinton going de-regulation-happy, and Bush being.. Well, Bush.. did what Bush's do. Head, meet sand.

    Personally, Im just glad someone is trying to do Something. Right, wrong, or indifferent. At least someone is doing something. Unlike the last 8 years of do nothing but deny the problem exists.

    February 22, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. observing tolerance

    billy-bayou, that sounded awfully "jihad-like". at what point did enternal hostility become a message we should encourage? war mongering serves no purpose, and though I know we all like to think of ourselves as unlimitedly knowing above all others and fully informed beyond anyone else, I have a suspicion that none of us lesser denizens of the country are necessarily privy to the same information being exchanged in the circles of those making decisions. since everyone seems to be able to predict the future why don't we all just sit back and watch "what we all know will happen" happen? and then when the dust settles we'll know who was right or wrong. the worst that could happen is 4 years go by and life doesn't return to the fairyland we thought we would be living in. at least we don't have to worry about sending an additional 4000 volunteers to their early demise. seriously, I'll bet anyone here any amount of money that the apocolypse isn't brought on by Obama (see, if I'm wrong money won't matter anyway!).

    February 22, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. tomiwa

    You guys just dont know what God's given gift is even if you had one, like in in this case, starring at you in the face.

    For once I see a pesident who is for the people and who wants to be accountable to the people. But you people call it campaining for reelection.

    It is called serving the people. Obviously you are not used to that because you've never received anything from God in that regard. So it might be difficult for you to know when you start to.

    GOP is so petty!!!!!

    February 22, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. David Somuah

    Barbour is slow. Obama didn't visit states that are going to be in play in 2012, he visited states whose senators and congressmen he is pressuring to support him on the stimulus bill.

    February 22, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |


    February 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. ron

    campaign is all he CAN do. think about it. he's a junior senator, a community organizer and a lawer. he doesn't know anything about the economy or how to fight a war. he only knows, thru training and experience, how to PERSUADE people, and that's why he's being used by the leading democrats in congress, and their backers, like a 10-string puppet.

    February 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  20. Sparky8

    As if anyone cares what a Republican Gov thinks? He's on the way out, just like his fat cat friends....

    February 22, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. Jo

    If that's true, then he's pretty much calling people sheep, who cannot think for themselves and need the media to turn to for direction. And while I personaly think that most are total morons (look at the last 8 years) I don't think he should speak for the entire industry.

    February 22, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. robb

    Watching cable news and getting sound bites does not make anyone qualified to fix this problem. It's easy to sit back and take shots...fact is we're in a deep mess and there is no solution that will make people happy. If your washing machine breaks are you happy to pay for that? Of course not. I'm not happy one bit with the money being spent but I'm certain the people on the job right now know a whole lot more about this stuff than me (or you).

    February 22, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  23. Raj

    Majority of the country is with our new president. Majority of the people want our elected officials become team players in solving major problems of crisis proportions facing our country now. It would be unwise for Haley Barbour continue to play the same old failed politics that has brought his party to the marginality.

    February 22, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  24. benny

    I can see how the GOP would be confused by Obama's actions. Considering Bush couldn't put two sentences together and never cared enough to address the people of this country. I mean, the guy was on vacation over half the time while this country went to hell. Yeah, I'm sure the GOP isn't used to a president that actually gets out there and does some work.

    February 22, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. sick n tired of CNN moderators

    Oh and how much fun was it growing up with a GIRLS name there Haley? Get picked on much?

    February 22, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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