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. Anonymous

    Response to carolflowery and other urbane-ites,

    We are saying Bush was so lacking in oversight, so self-centered, that he let things go downwhill. Whether he was led by the nose by the likes of Cheney and Rove (which kind Democrats, at least, are willing to concede) is not the point. The country is in a downward spiral on so many fronts that it will take some pain for some gain.

    Why look for b.s. ways to snipe at the winner of the election? When will you folks stand behind the American people's choice and stop _your_ endless campaigning? I do not want to lump Barbour in with McCain or McConnell; I think Haley has your Party's and the people's welfare in his heart. The other folks need to get out of their loser attitudes, and either join in and help or go on staying in junior high-land.

    February 22, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. lynn in NM

    His campaign has changed though. He's now campaigning on governing with fear, instead of hope. I didn't hear much hope in anything he said last week. It was all crisis this and crisis that. Gee, he said he would never do that. Guess things change once you get what you want in politics.

    February 22, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. Clark

    Bush never appeared before the general population, instead opting for giving speeches at military bases where the adoring audience were all his employees. At least Obama actually speaks to and meets with the people, and often with his vice president at his side instead of at an "undisclosed location". It is time for a president who is out-and-about in the country instead of hiding in the not-so-real-world of Washington. I think the country grew tired of 8 years of a president who was either swaggering or paranoid.

    Barbour's uber-red state certainly got a much better shake in the Katrina response, rebuilding, and funding than Louisiana...makes you wonder if his being a big-time republican operative and fundraiser had anything to do with it.

    February 22, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. Ex-Republican Gal

    Yes, I can see how having an intellectual, hands-on president could throw off Barbour and the Republicans. It amazes me that they not only don't get it but we voted these idiots in for the past 8 years.

    February 22, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. Wolf-Woman Palin Charlotte, NC


    Your state's education is tops and unemployment is around 0%; if I were you, I would turn down the stimulus money. Your thriving progressive state obvioulsy doesn't need federal help. That will just be more for those states where Governors respond as a result of tehir people's needs, not their own idiotic political ideology.

    Just keep on living in the past; your regionalized, marginalized party is about done!

    February 22, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. REG in AZ

    When trying to be objective, rational and above all honest it is really hard to have any patience with the political criticisms that we are constantly blasted with. Just today I read where Obama was being faulted for being in a ‘perpetual campaign’ mode because he recently traveled to several ‘blue’ states to address financial issues, without the critic ever noting that those states were actually the hardest hit by the current financial crisis. That Republican criticism really had to be offered with tongue-in-cheek, especially after we have literally endured eight years of the Bush-Cheney administration’s continuous bombardment with subterfuge to rationalize their stubborn pursuit of a private agenda always favoring Special Interests and a select few and then irresponsibly neglecting the many. As an Independent (ex-long-term-registered Republican, never-a-Democrat) I have to give Obama credit for demonstrating more honesty, transparency and responsible concern for the average American than we have seen for a very long time, and I have to express real amazement at the Republicans’ cocksure demeanor that allows them to continually be stubborn and arrogant as they aggressively attack without ever offering any responsible solutions or even ever demonstrating a conscience. The confidence the Republicans seem to maintain, even when all logic says there is no real basis for it, can only be explained by their faith in who supports them. There is further evidence when recognizing who they cater to, who pulls their strings, who has continually benefited from their actions and who then overtly and covertly supports them, generously contributes to their campaigns and who even promises after-office (kickback) compensation, with the Bush-Cheney’s years being the current vivid example. They seem to even exhibit a reckless surety, arrogantly focusing on the political gamesmanship instead of the issues, that their wealthy, powerful and influential support can actually influence the media and effectively manipulate public opinion. It would be nice to have a responsible and conscientious Republican Party to compete for the real benefit of the people but I just don’t see any sign of that happening.

    February 22, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. Edward

    Why should we be surprised? The only thing Obama did as a state senator was campaign for the senate. The only thing Obama did as a US senator was campaign for the presidency and guess what the only thing Obama cares about now is running for a second term. He has never been a hard worker and has never liked tough decisions (check the record) he is however one of the best speech readers in US history. Nice to know fluff rules.


    Not a hard worker? Let's see you graduate from two Ivy League schools, run the best campaign in history and become president of the United States. When you do that then you say that he isn't a hard worker. Some people ...

    February 22, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. Jon in Ca

    Obama – flying around the country beginning his 2012 campaign after only 40 days in office... wasting taxpayer's money!

    While America is suffering a financial crisis – Obama and Michelle throw lavish soirees – with us footing the bill.

    Obama only cares about Obama. Self-absorbed, "entitled" Socialist.

    February 22, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. John

    You are a poison to this country. Thank god my generation's values are starting to hold sway in elections. Your kind is finished.

    February 22, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. B

    Barbour is correct. Obama is a walking campaign. He spent his first years in the Senate campaigning when he should have tried to learn something that way he might not look as stupid as he does now. I guess he will campaign the next four years since it seems to be easier than working at the White House and answering questions that need to be answered. Maybe first though he should pay Washington the money he still owes them from his last party before he goes on a campaign tour again.

    February 22, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. Christine Hsu

    Obama is doing exactly what he should be doing as CEO of America, and that is, getting out there, selling his products, and getting them sold.

    No viable company doesn't have a CEO who isn't out there pushing the company's products and services (think Steve Jobs), and no president of a credible non-profit organization isn't out there giving speeches and meeting with its constituents on a regular basis.

    Obama's products are the people who serve him in the Federal Government, and the services are the policies they produce and execute. His customers are we the people, and as such, he SHOULD be doing what he is doing.

    There may be any number of reasons why he is out 'campaigning' all the time, and maybe it is true that Axelrod is being strategic with regards to 2012. Good for him, and what's wrong with being smart about the use of resources?

    Had Bush done more of what Obama is doing - got out there, talked with the American people, and better understood what is on their minds (vs. being clueless as to what was really going on), communicated more effectively (embracing modern-day technology hello and then saying things that actually make sense), and engaged in more effective nationwide marketing (let not the voice of the GOP be Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter), then maybe the GOP wouldn't have gotten their butts kicked like they did, don't you think?

    Said differently, I ask this question to Mr. Barbour:

    "Are you suggesting that Obama NOT go out and talk to those hardest hit by the economic crisis?"

    If his answer is yes, then I say –> how very Bush of him.

    February 22, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. Unbelievable

    It's laughable that the White House stated that only those swing states were hit the hardest.

    California (a solid blue state) is an economic disaster right now. Why doesn't Obama travel there on his campaign, er, I mean "policy" tour?

    February 22, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Better get use to it since this is not the perpetual campaign! This is the change for new government people voted for...a goverment that does not disappear from people's radar once they get elected and a goverment that wants to be present and keep on talking with citizens! Why this government still want to be present and still want to keep on talking with citizens...because real change to take place is done by creating a collective renewed sense of citizenship and responsibilities and this is done by being there...too simple! Not really...it demands more hard work, more honesty and more authenticity from government...it demands what we have lost in a democracy to practice our principles of better government!

    February 22, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. elana

    As usual, another self-serving, selfish and conceited Republican, hiding behind his "evangelistic" roots and completely forgetting that there are lots of people in America who are financially broken, have no health care, have lost their home, and their job, and desperately are looking for HELP!! The GOP must be concerned about 2012, or they wouldn't be already talking about re-election! HA Never fear, GOP, you will certainly find yourselves in the political tank, and Obama will win by a landslide in 2012. And by the way, those Republicans who are up for election in 2010 had better begin their re-election/election campaigns right now. I can bet you MANY of them will lose their job, and will experience the challenge of finding a new one! Then the shoe will be on the other foot! I certainly hope so!!

    February 22, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. Lynne

    Do Republicans ever have anything productive to say? My God.

    February 22, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. Michael

    Seems to me these petty,childish finger pointings by,we the people are nothing more than poor education,by newspapers and T.V.

    Maybe an old dusty history book or a book of wisdom would make you realize how history repeats itself and that its all about the cycles of nature.What goes up must come down,and its in learning how to go with,and ride the with these cycles.Look at the good in adversity,the new ideas,and realizing the value of people and not just things.

    See the change and try to embrace it.we will all be better for it.

    February 22, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. WDM

    And the republicans aren't in 2010-2012 campaign mode??? What do you you think this whole no to to the stimulus is about. It's about hoping the economy continues to fail, and positioning themselves for the next election.

    February 22, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. diannet

    I'm just a little tired of hearing people still bash Bush. The sooner you all face the fact that government, both Democrats and Republicans, are the problem, the sooner things will change. Frankly, I don't think most Americans are up to doing that. It is much easier to keep blaming!

    Obama has already broken his promise that Americans would have 7 days to review any major legislation. Wake up and smell the coffee. This stimulus package reeks of special interests – ACORN, Hollywood (another broken promise). Surprise, surprise! He isn't different than any other politician.

    Given his voting record in the Senate, no big surprise there.

    We are being led down a path of self destruction like lambs to the slaughter.

    The government cannot and will never take better care of us than we can care for ourselves. Hard work, perseverance, commitment to moral ethics is what has made the US such a great nation. These qualities don't exist in our government.

    Our government has no morals. In fact they live by a different set of rules – Obama included.

    As for negativity – have you heard his fear mongering? Please, remove the blinders folks!

    Less government , an educated populace and term limits are needed.
    Why aren't politians getting cuts in pay, fewer benefits? Once again they live by different rules voting in pay raises at our expense.

    If I ran my small business the way government is run, I'd be bankrupt! Hmmm!

    February 22, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. gl, Pittsburgh

    Gov. Haley Barbour said Sunday.


    February 22, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  20. Ons

    Jon in ca. sorry but you sound stupid he went their to explain to the people of America what stimulus was about since the Republicans were the most rebellious about it anyways, I don’t know what you wanted him to do this guy is trying to connect with the American people unlike Bush. So stop worrying about reelection and lets worry if you going to get laid off tomorrow. Republican Party amazes like religious sect they believe they are perfect in everything.

    February 22, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. nolonger red

    We are in a crisis. That's what presidents do...travel over the country to talk about issues and see what's going on. Do not want my president, no mater who that is, to stay in DC and totally rule from there. Get out to as many states as possible!

    Get things back on track....you only have eight years.

    February 22, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  22. KFR


    February 22, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. Sparky

    George W. couldn't find enough military bases during his 8 years of travesty to go to and sell whatever it was he was selling...

    Obama is reaching out to Americans...

    That's something GW. lost touch with...

    February 22, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. Give me a break!

    The purpose of my comment was not as a political response but as a senior citizen that works to jobs, I am saying that we (I) will continue to pay no matter what started the situation. But we need to start taking responsibility for our part in the situation. But we can't decide what type of leadership we are going to have until we have experienced it! I am saying it's time to stop pointing fingers at any one person. The purse string is not held by the president, and if we want to leave anything to our children and grandchildren, we need to see how things are going to be solved. We need to be watchful of cures that will cost the citizens of the US more. I would like to enjoy retirement without feeling that I will continue to pay for everyone else's mistakes.

    Politically, I vote for the person that I feel will do the best job. Once the election is over, we need to see how that person conducts the job! I don't think we need to continue campaigning. That is why I say "Give me a break" from any campaigning by anyone.

    As a country, we need to remember that we need to work for what we need and not expect everyone to hand it to us.

    The Republicans are not the only citizens of the United States that are not sure that the stimulus package is the right way to go. Someone will have to pay for it and I am sure that we all will and can bet it won't be the politicians!

    February 22, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  25. Floyd in New York

    Hang in there a little longer Republican brothers and sisters this long national nightmare that officially started on Jan.20th 2009 will start to wind down with the 2010 mid-term elections of Republican landslides and will be officially over on Jan.20th 2013!! I guarantee it!!!

    February 22, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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