February 8th, 2010
04:49 PM ET
13 years ago

Barbour to visit another key early voting state

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/08/art.barbour0208.gi.jpg caption="Mississippi's Republican Gov. Haley Barbour will visit South Carolina on March 15 to keynote the Spartanburg County GOP's annual President's Day dinner."]
Washington (CNN) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, one of several Republicans thought to be considering a White House bid in 2012, is making another trip to a key early voting state.

Barbour, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, will visit South Carolina on March 15 to keynote the Spartanburg County GOP's annual President's Day dinner. Spartanburg County GOP Chairwoman LaDonna Ryggs told CNN that the event – which she described as "a very large fundraiser" – was re-scheduled from its original date in February.

Barbour has already made trips in recent months to the presidential proving grounds of Iowa and New Hampshire, but at the time he said those trips were part of his duties as RGA chairman. South Carolina will elect a new governor in November.

One of Barbour's political confidantes said it's understandable the governor's political travels will raise suspicions about a possible 2012 bid, but said Barbour is genuinely focused of winning governor's races this fall.

"It's natural that people will make some assumptions because South Carolina is an early primary state, but if it had been Alabama or Florida or some other state, he would have been just as eager to go," said the person close to Barbour, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about his thinking. "It is who is he is. He loves going to these things. He calls it political recreation."

Ryggs said she reached out to invite Barbour to the dinner, because he is a strong conservative who "is very popular" in Spartanburg County. "He will be a good draw," she said.

Ryggs added that she has been in touch with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal about appearing in Spartanburg later this year.

She also said she reached out last year to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels about a visit, but was told that the governor was planning to focus on his home state for the time being. She said Daniels would "definitely be contender" for the Republican nomination if he decided to run.

But Ryggs expressed surprise that more potential presidential candidates haven't made early trips to South Carolina. Possible contenders like Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence and Rick Santorum have made recent visits, but the state hasn't seen the same kind of early foot traffic that it did in the two years before the 2008 election.

Ryggs said she was particularly surprised that she never heard back from Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty after reaching out to his staff about a possible South Carolina appearance.

"We want them to start coming to South Carolina," she said. "I was really surprised, because I thought if they were serious about running they would start to branch out by now."

Filed under: 2012 • Haley Barbour • Popular Posts • South Carolina
soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    I am sick of the stupid right wingnuts who think Obama is soft of terror. The score is Obama 3-Somali Pirates 0, and by this time in Bush's presidency, we had lost in excess of 3000 people by the Bush/Cheney ineptness.

    February 8, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    I think all this talk about who is running or choosing to run is premature, to say the least. Is still early and I think by the midterm elections, we should have an idea or prototype what kind of candidate is best needed to fit the description. Especially if the GOP come out big again and take back some nice seats in the Senate. That could be a momentum changer and a sign of things to come. And hopefully it does.

    I want someone who is conservative, yet someone who is a badass as well. And I think he can be a good one, maybe, I don't know. But I don't want a liberal to the dome, they waste time and we already got Hollwyood for that. But good lord, I knew our president was Liberal, to say the least but never thought he was soooo Liberal, it ain't funny no more.

    It is about who is best suited cause I'm sure people agree that our President doesn't seem to know what he's in for, let alone how to handle all these blunders and gaffes. He really is ticking me off and I'm just ready to explode on that son of a gun. But boy, I thought he can be good but man, he is sooooooooo Liberal, he's gotta get some muscle mass to be taken seriosly, he needs some muscle. But then again, the only thing Liberals are good at is the fact that they invented the country as it is now, they really deserve what they get.

    February 8, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Patience

    I am a Democrat and will probably vote for Obama again. That said this is the only sane candidate in the GOP. I definatly don't agree with his politics and will not vote for him,
    However he is not attatched to the Teabaggers and wink wink the hoppy changy idiots running for President now.
    When Katrina blew away Mississippi he did not go whining to the Federal Government for help. He hired bulldozers and rolled up his sleeves and got the job done.
    If you run this guy with Colin Powell or another statesman type you might stand a chance.
    If you run, wink wink hoppy changey girl, or any of the other phlandering weazels your are sunk.

    February 8, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. joel palmer

    Just what the Doctor ordered;

    An old, fat, white, paid-for, good ole boy from Mizzsippi. If that doesn't put a stake through the heart of the party of Lincoln, noithing will.

    I can hear that mush-mouth drawl now; Thankeew, ladies and gennaman. Ahm proud to be heah tonite.


    February 8, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. Hobo

    I'd rather vote for a rattlesnake.

    February 8, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    The GOP party expands their tent to include the birthers, deathers, big business, right wingnuts, and now the Tancredo branch of the KKK.

    February 8, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. Who said the Mayans were wrong?

    Well if he gets nominated,we know the Mayans were right.

    February 8, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. Annie, Atlanta

    Think Again – Thank you! Republicans have gone so far to the right they're becoming a danger to our society. The days of conservatives like Dwight Eisenhower are gone forever. Even Nixon was decent in comparison, good God. What they've become isn't even worthy of a position as local dog catcher. We need a viable third party, or even a viable replacement second party. Tea partiers need not apply.

    Haley Barbour? You're kidding, right. What, are no Taliban Americans interested?

    February 8, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. kay

    Am an old white woman and DO NOT want this man nor any other Southern governor anywhere near the White House. They are all corrupt. Y'all listen as they are fat and worthless. It's called "Livin' high on the Hawg" here in the South. BTW, if Sonny Perdue declares, it's time to have a COW and don't even mention Terry Sanford.

    February 8, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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