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. Jed

    Truly shocking news coming out of Sanford. I wish his family the best in the future as they deal with this. Inexcusable on his part...and this is coming from a conservative. It feels like my party is unraveling as more and more politicians from the GOP are coming out with affairs.

    On the other hand, at least we have Governor Barbour stepping into the spotlight as Chairman now. Hopefully he can lead the GOP governors back into good light with the public. Governor Barbour is a truly capable man to not only lead not only the Republican Governors or the entire GOP base as he did in his former role.....but hopefully the country in 2012.

    June 24, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. Laura, Boston MA

    Gov Barbour isn't my Gov but I do remember post-Katrina and how he made sure the people of Miss. got what they needed. He had a quality that is sorely lacking in both political parties today...leadership!

    I am an independant and I don't like what the Obama administration has done thus far on a number of issues even though I whole heartedly supported him (well after Hillary).

    If Gov Barbour can find some worthwhile candidates with the same leadership qualities that he has than I may vote Republican in 2010. I really don't like the House under Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid is a do nothing leader.

    June 24, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. Pat-Indianapolis

    Barbour probably won't even run in 2012. Even if he did he'd have no chance at winning anyway, but he is a pretty good governor and hopefully for the sake of the GOP he can help get them back on track

    June 24, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. DM in DC

    Impeach him...there are no family values in this party anymore. Its always something and there are way too many affair. The GOP are now the party of shameless affairs, broken homes, and hypocrisy . I am very disappointed.

    June 24, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. Bill Sampson

    Yippee, another big, fat, red faced, angry, white guy who runs a desperately poor (last of 50!) southern state as the face of the Republican Party. Good going guys.

    June 24, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. Larry from Apex, NC

    HALEY BARBOUR FROM MISSISSIPPI?!? Is this a joke?! Is this the best the RePIGlicans can do?! Seriously, the RePIGS are farther down the hole than I thought. South Carolina is a (politically) backwards state, but NO state is more (politically) clueless that Mississippi! The Dems should declare a holiday after this fiasco....

    June 24, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. Alex in Wisconsin

    Another one bites the dust. Thank goodness for that good old GOP moral superiority.

    And the worse thing is by his own words, this was revealed 5 months ago and HE WENT BACK TO ARGENTINA TO CONTINUE THE AFFAIR. Forget his job, forget his family, for get the people of South Carolina...

    But its good that the Republicans are airing out the dirty laundry now so that they can have a viable candidate in 2016.

    June 24, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. WhoCares?

    First Question to applicants :

    "Have you hidden your affairs so they won't get out?"

    June 24, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. LacrosseMom

    Wow...... that was fast! No sooner had Sanford confessed than the GOP had Haley ready.

    The GOPers crucifying Edwards need to learn a lesson! ALL of us live in glass houses, even the holier-than-thou-Republicans!

    Larry Craig
    Sanford, etc, etc.

    June 24, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. RLE

    John in SD,
    I don't think the dems have forgotten Spitzer and the likes, the difference is the repubs claim to be Christians. I am a Christian and a democrat and the behavior of these individuals are so un Christ like. First of all Christ is inclusive...For whosoever.... The republicans remind me of the Pharisee most of whom Jesus admonished and/or condemned for their behavior ( read the bible)

    June 24, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. Fed Up in Ohio

    To Ken in NC:

    "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."

    Really? Is this the Republican party's standard for a good man? No wonder the party is in shambles. And is this the standard of "family values": a secretive trip out of the country to boff your mistress over Father's Day weekend while not telling anyone, including your family (4 sons and a wife – he is still married I believe) and staffers, where you are going? If that is the case, I'm sure you have never uttered a word of criticism for Clinton's indiscretions... Puhlease.... Give us all a break!

    June 24, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. Craig- Easton, PA

    Another holier-than-thou family values hypocrite bites the dust. John Ensin and Mark Sanford in one week is almost too weird to believe and would be comical if it wasn't so disgusting. His asking for OUR forgiveness shows he still doesn't really get it and his priorities are on his political career instead of his family. What is with these people?

    June 24, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Paul Ernest Show

    As much of a democrat, as I am, I do not think nor wish to find joy in the fall of Sanford and the take over by Haley Barbour. Hope it all works out well with both men.

    June 24, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. Lorna, PA

    OK Governor Sandford...what you did was wrong and bad and mean to your family in all kinds of ways. Did you have to add insult to injury by saying "....I spent 5 days in Argentina crying..." PLEASE!!!!! You sure did spend the time there but I highly doubt it involved much crying. Hypocrite...thy name is Republican.

    June 24, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. geecee

    Wow, two in one week. Way to go Rethugs!!

    June 24, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. MorningStar

    It is hard to be republican these days.
    Don't cry for me Argentina.

    June 24, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. Chuck

    I don't want to her any more about Bill Clinton not being able to keep his business in his pants.

    We now have John Ensign, Mark Sanford both senatrors and Governor Jim Gibbons of Nevada all Republicans allegedly being unfaithful.

    June 24, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. Deb in Colo

    As long as it's not Palin...

    June 24, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. RLE

    Ken you are joking right, party of family values??????

    June 24, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. kay

    Nothing like family values I say, especially when one doesn't live by them oneself.

    Haley Barbour is a really ugly mean guy, he'll take the party down even further than it is. Watch him talk next time you see him on television, ugly mouth.....

    June 24, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. D in Montana

    Why is everyone so shocked? Just more of the same from our "leaders" from both parties! I'm amazed that the common thought process of all these idiots is, "I'm so sorry and ask for your forgiveness" after the fact. They really think they can get away with this shameful behavior.....???!!! until they get caught! WOW!

    June 24, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. Eileen

    Just what the republican party needs another good old boy boss hog at the helm – they just don't get it. Do republicans look at polling at all? Only 8% of non whites give them a favorable rating. Barbour won't help that effort.

    Well, all this will make logistics for their next convention much easier – they'll be able to hold it in a Dennys parking lot.

    June 24, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. lynnrockets

    Suspicions confirmed. Mark Sanford was traveling with his mistress. We can now update our list of Republican “Family Values” adulterers.

    Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, John McCain, David Vitter, Mark Foley, Larry Craig, Rudolph Giuliani, Ted Haggard, Bob Allen, Glenn Murphy, Jr., John Ensign, Sarah Palin (maybe) and Mark Sanford.

    June 24, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. independent

    Ken in NC
    "We all know this as he is a devoted conservative Republican and we all know that Republicans are the party of Family Values."

    Devoted to what, and which family was that?

    Admittedly, it happens to both parties. However, one party pontificates more than another, and that same party tries to tell everyone else how to live. If they would keep the government out of the bedroom, fewer would be interested in what is going on in their bedrooms.

    June 24, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. Chris D.

    Sheesh I really feel for the Sanford family......

    June 24, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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