June 24th, 2009
04:32 PM ET
13 years ago

First on the CNN Ticker: Barbour to head RGA

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/23/art.barbour.gi.jpg caption="Barbour will head the RGA."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has assumed the chairmanship of the Republican Governors Association, CNN has learned.

Barbour immediately takes over as head of the national Republican campaign organization following South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s announcement he was leaving the post. Sanford acknowledged Wednesday that he had an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina.

“The news revealed today hurts all of us who have gotten to know Governor Sanford over the years and so it is with regret that the RGA accepted Governor Sanford’s resignation as chairman,” Barbour said in a statement obtained by CNN that will be distributed Wednesday afternoon. “While this news is deeply disappointing, I also know it’s important to remain focused on the future and Governor Sanford’s resignation allows him and us to do just that.

Barbour added: “The RGA has an important task over the next two years. I am committed to seeing it through and confident we will succeed.”

Nick Ayers, the RGA’s executive director, expressed disappointment about Sanford’s revelation.

“While I am personally disappointed in today’s revelation, I also know that it’s important for both Governor Sanford and the RGA to move forward as quickly as possible,” Ayers said in the forthcoming statement. “Therefore we accepted his resignation this afternoon.

“However, the RGA is fortunate that Governor Haley Barbour was in line to become RGA Chairman, a position he assumed today. As a former RNC chairman and one of the best governors in the country, no one is better positioned to takeover as RGA chairman than Governor Barbour.”

Filed under: Haley Barbour
soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. Who's Next

    If things happen in 3's, we now have had 2 this week. Who is going to be next? If the Republicans didn't go around with a "holier than thou" attitude, preaching 'family values', this would nearly as big a story.

    June 24, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. Moderate Democrat

    And I'm sure his first order of business will be to have an affair, like all the rest of the GOP, the party that clings to the slogan of "Family Values' but consistantly and repeatedly fails to live up to that motto.

    Oh please, show me what frickin 'sanctimony of marriage' you are protecting the rest of us from? Because NONE of you seem to have a clue what it is either (McCain, Ensign, Sanford, Palin...and a list of other morally bankrupt republicans too long to type in my short life span).

    Republicans are the lowest form of life on all of this earth to ever have existed. If you can't keep a promise to your FAMILY, then you can bet they are ALWAYS ripping off their constituents. Jesus Christ would have to die a thousand deaths to make up for their sins.

    June 24, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. tom

    Those who campaign on family values should have them. Unfortunately they also forget the saying that "people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones".

    June 24, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. Joe

    These republi(con)s are so immoral. Not another republi(con) President for another sixteen years.

    They all announce thier candidacy for President, then announce they had an affair. What a bunch of cookkoos.

    There are many more affairs to be announced by the REPUBLI(CONS).

    June 24, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. I can see Canada from my house!

    Just when you thought they could not screw up even more on the value and ideals front, along comes Ensign and Sanford, and all within a week of each other.

    The GOP needs to understand something: they screw up equally with the Democrats in terms of destroying marriages, but at least the Dems have never tried to claim they had a monopoly on virtue. We attempt to accept our humanity, while the GOP tries to bury it under a pile of biblical phrases carefully chosen for whatever audience they are screaming at.

    Don't underestimate Barbour, btw.

    June 24, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. Middle man

    Let's forget Sanford for a minute and turn our attention to the senorita in question. I think it takes two to tango. She should have told him "hasta la vista".

    June 24, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Andi

    Well, that explains Haley's actions of the past week (campaigning, but saying he's not going to run for Pres.). So, my guess is that a lot of folks actually knew where 'the gov' was and what was going on. Ok, can we just write Sanford off as a nut job and move on? Why all the cloak-and-dagger stuff? They're like little boys playing 'pretend'.

    June 24, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. GB in Kansas

    Ya gotta love the party of good ol' "Christian values."

    As for this year being a tough year for Gov. Sanford, suck it up, Mark. We all have bad days. Taking solace in the bosom of a woman other than your wife may be cool in some parts, but it's only an excuse, and pretty lousy one at that.

    As my ol' pappy used to say (politically incorrect though he was), "The measure of a man ain't what happens to him but how he deals with it."

    June 24, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. Mr T.

    Forget the marriage part...(his wife will deal with that) What about the man leaving his post and lying about it. No one knowing where he was for 5 days, what if we were attacked again. By god he left his post...Bust him down SgtMaj

    June 24, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. Lowell

    I had no idea when the Republican party imploded it would do so in such an ironic fashion. It's karma. Goodness knows they can dish it out but can't take it, plus they seem to have forgotten that old adage about glass houses and throwing stones.

    Karma pays attention to those pesky little details before it comes back to bite folks in the rear.

    June 24, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. Brandon in NC

    He left the country and he had an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina. He should have kept his damn mouth shut and left his office in peace and moved on. The GOP is worst than pro sports when it comes to cheating!!

    June 24, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. Al Sita

    Conservative values! Will not take federal money because he is a fiscal conservative ... in the same way he is a social conservative ... ha ha ...

    SC, can you ask this guy to take a hike next time around.

    June 24, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Great, and soon Barbour will resign when questions arise as to where all the money for the Katrina recovery has been spent.

    June 24, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Tom Eyemdaman

    I notice a lot of people listing off the Republicans with sex scandals while conveniently forgetting the democrats in the same situation.

    No political party is immune to extramarrital affairs. To pretend your party is above the fray is ludicrous. The fact is that scandals and affairs are not functions of a particular political party but of individuals.

    The childish finger-pointing serves no purpose in our governement. Every politician lives in a glass house. All we can hope is to have a ready supply of Windex.

    June 24, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. gb

    You couldn't make a soap opera any better than this!

    June 24, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. annie s

    Ah yes, head of the RGA – Governor of the poorest state in the country and a lobbyist to boot. Good choice Republicans!

    June 24, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. phyllis

    H. Barbour is just as bad as the one he is replaceing, maybe worse he is a big pig, he has some skeltons in his closet also, we the people of Mississippi, and I am one of those people, I did not vote for this big bag of wind, and never would. He is so dirty ajax wouldn't clean him up. If Barbour runs for President, and wins heaven for bid, I will have to leave this great country of ours. I can't wait for his terms as napoleon to be over. That is who he thinks he is . thank you

    June 24, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. cjgaete

    I'm sorry...did the article mention he was "trying to work throught this" with his wife? How is spending 5 days in Argentina with the other woman "working through it" ?! I really need to get my hands on the Republican dictionary.

    June 24, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. david, CA

    let's hope Haley's "sanctity of marriage" claims prove more honest than his predecessor's.

    June 24, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. DawnL,CA

    "Barbour to head RGA" HAHAHAHA
    Mississippi has the lowest per cap income of ANY state. Miss. students scored the lowest of ANY state on the Nat'l Assessment of Education Progress in both math & science. The 2nd. highest state receiving federal aid.
    I'm certain you will do a great job,Barbour. Sorry i can't stop laughing.

    June 24, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. Billy J in Texas

    WOW... the Republican party really does seem to have reached their expiration date. That milk is REALLY gettin' sour.

    June 24, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. Waiting for a Miracle

    Maybe the Republican Party should leave religion out of their platform if they are to ever stand a chance of having any credibility in the future. While I think this guy is a scum bag for spending Father's Day with his mistress instead of with his 4 sons, ordinarily I would say a person's private life, even while lacking a certain measure of morality, should remain private if they a doing a decent job, but it's hard not to judge any party that pretends to stand for family values and morality and have one disgraced member after another with their dirty laundry aired to the country. PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH!!!

    June 24, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. Realistic2

    Wow another politician bites the dust. Sanford, Esign, Newt, Edwards and the list grows. Amazing how politicians do not learn from mistakes of the past. See people no one party has the corner on "Family values" because in politics, as we have learned, family values is just another political soap box in the political arena.
    I wonder how much spin will be applied because Sanford was the face of the up and coming republican party. The new face, the new conservative....Remember the republicans wanted to purge all moderates from their party like C.Powell and be the true conservative party, is this who you want in your party instead of a honorable man like Powell? I guess you will be in the wilderness for a long time.

    I feel bad for his family and only for his family.

    June 24, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. MAL

    "We must remember that he is a good man. We all know this as he is a devoted conservative Republican and we all know that Republicans are the party of Family Values."

    I am sure the same would be said by Republicans of a Democrat that had the same issue.

    June 24, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. Tom Eyemdaman

    You know the old saying: Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Most politicians are probably decent people when they first get elected to office – intent on making a difference, changing how things work, etc.

    Then, over the years, their attitudes change as they wield power and discover that they can bend some of the rules. The former mayor of Chicago is a poster-quality example.

    June 24, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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