April 11th, 2010
04:18 PM ET
13 years ago

Barbour: Obama, Congress 'the most liberal' ever

(CNN) – As Washington girds itself for another Supreme Court confirmation battle, a prominent Republican is predicting that President Obama will use his second high court pick to try to push the court in as liberal a direction as possible – in a reflection of Democrats’ liberal tendencies.

Associate Justice John Paul Stevens announced Friday that he intends to step down later this year, stirring speculation about who Obama will appoint during a midterm election year when Democrats already appear to be facing a challenging political environment.

“The president’s going to appoint a liberal successor to Justice Stevens who's one of the most liberal members of the Supreme Court,” Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

Barbour added that he thought Obama is going to “appoint the most liberal person that he can and he thinks he can get confirmed. And that, that person will be a liberal. That’s just a fact.”

The former RNC chairman and current chairman of the Republican Governors Association told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that the upcoming Supreme Court confirmation process will affect November’s midterm elections by reminding the public where Obama and the Democratically-controlled Congress sit on the political spectrum.

“Do I think it'll affect the election?,” he said. “Only to the sense that it reminds the American people of something they already know - that this is far and away the most liberal administration that we've ever had in the White House, and candidly, in the Congress.”

Barbour noted that historically both liberals and conservatives have used Supreme Court vacancies to stir up support and enthusiasm within their respective bases. But he said that Republicans may not need the extra boost that will likely come from a high court confirmation battle during a midterm election year.

“The good thing for Republicans right now is we’ve got plenty of energy,” Barbour told Crowley. “The policies of this administration and this Congress have energized our people.”

Asked whether Senate Republicans should oppose Obama’s nominee at all costs and risk taking on “the party of no” label being pushed by Democrats, Barbour was indifferent.

“I’m not worried about ‘the party of no,’ as long as we’re saying no to what the American people know are bad policies,” Barbour said. “The American people will reward you for trying to stop something they think is bad.”

But Barbour was quick to add that no one knows yet who the president will nominate to replace Justice Stevens.

soundoff (229 Responses)
  1. Ken in NC

    Republicans back in control? I can see it now. "Ok guys, we got control again. There's the cliff behind us. Turn this bus around and head that way again. We gonna make a lot of money on our way off that cliff. Not to worry. Our BIG BOSSES (BIG BUSINESS) WILL SAVE US."

    While the knowledge of "Half Gov. Sarah Palin" could fit on half of the tip of a straight pin, the collective knowledge of the Republican Party would equal less than 1/10 that of the "Half Gov".


    April 11, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Barbour is a jerk. Liberal? SO WHAT?

    What do you think the Bushes appointed? Right-winger christians.


    April 11, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. Fupped

    What a backwards buffoon.

    April 11, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. Will

    The sad thing is people hear this fool and believe him. What worse than that is Candy allowed this dude off the hook throughout the whole piece.

    April 11, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. Independent Supports President Obama

    I have been to Barbour's state. Third world living conditions, illiteracy, and extreme poverty. He is still fighting the Civil War, so are some other Southern states such as South Carolina.

    April 11, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. Keith

    I certainly hope the president nominates a liberal judge to the Supreme Court. If he wants my continual supoort he needs to nominate someone at least as liberal as Judge Stevens.

    April 11, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. Bob E

    Most GOP'ers think the word "Liberal" is a four-letter word. I, for one, will always vote liberal over conservative. So, GOP, thanks for the heads-up.

    April 11, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. T'SAH from Virginia

    Roger you stated "Crowley let him Barber get away with saying the Bush administration "only" left a 3-400 billion dollar deficit–when he left over a TRILLION off the books..."

    I heard that and thought the SAME THING – Crowley Does NOT challenge her guest, especially today!!!. She also dedicated almost her entire first segment to the RepubliCAN'Ts – let's see if it changes!!

    April 11, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. kathy oregon

    republicans, had 8 years to fix things, left us 2 wars, left huge debt, huge increases in health care premiums, they did not say no to that....
    they spent surplus foolishly...now they blame Obama for it all, he just got here... on Sara Palin Quitter then, Quitter Now.....Kathy Oregon

    April 11, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    Once again, the GOP demonstrates through action and word that all they have to offer is fear, hate, division and lies.

    President Obama's Administration is not the "most liberal" ever. If it were, then how do you explain why he retained personnel from the Bush Administration and even some of Bush's policies?

    April 11, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. Fed Up!!

    That's all nice and everything Haley, but being a liberal isn't the "bad" thing Republicans would have us believe.

    April 11, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. Dave

    To Mr. Babour: You say liberal like its a bad thing. Doesn't look that way from here.

    April 11, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. Jerry - Florida

    Governor, PLEASE continue to tell IT like it is. Don't let the Bully-in-Chief or any of his minions intimidate you!

    Thank you for standing up for America.

    May the Lord bless you, ALWAYS!

    April 11, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  14. Sue

    Obama, Pelosi, Reid and the rest of the loony left members of Congress-–are not just the most liberal..........

    They are the most anti-American, anti-capitlalist, anti-business--that have ever been elected to office.

    However, the Obama regime will be coming to an end after the Novemeber elections--as all power/control is going to be taken away from Obama with those elections--and many Democrats are going to be sent to the unemployment lines.

    April 11, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. Gary

    How profound of a prediction Mr. Barbour. You're so smart.

    April 11, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  16. Chris Behrens

    Barbour is an idiot. Way to state the obvious! Like Obama would appoint a conservative?

    April 11, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  17. Linda

    President Obama the most liberal president ever? I don't think so. Correction. The darkest president ever. Lets call it like it is.

    April 11, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. Seattle Sue

    Boss Hogg thinks Obama and Congress is the most liberal ever. My opinion of Boss Hogg is he is one of the most REDNECK racists politicians I have ever seen. I thought his answer on leaving out slavery was very telling, it just wasn't very important to him.

    April 11, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. jim

    we've come to expect this suspicious attitude from the republicans. it's not new. it's part of their "NO" agenda. they are already gearing up for confrontations.

    again, i say, it's time they tried to be part of the solution instead of being part of the problem.

    April 11, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. Jon, Palo Alto, CA

    If the GOP and the Iranians both hate Obama, then he's doing things right. Godspeed from this old atheist Vietnam veteran. Appoint the most progressive person around for the next justice, whoever she is. I guess I have to send another twenty bucks to the Democrats, and another twenty to the ACLU and the American Humanist Association, and another hundred to the Red Cross for Haiti.

    April 11, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. andrew s. rostolder

    well aren't you the rocket scientist....lollol....it is knuckle heads like you and statements like that that create the problems we face today....look how well america did under bush and his constitution breakers....give me a break dude, start working for america not against the president....

    April 11, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Larry

    President Obama walked into a disaster left by the incompetent Bush administration.

    Want to talk about the $5.5 trillion Bush added to the national debt over his Iraq war?

    That war was for one purpose only–to get Bush and Cheney's buddies wealthy. And 4300 of our young soldiers gave their lives for it.

    I'm tired of you two-faced Republicans. I'll be glad when the Republican party is history in this country.

    April 11, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans that say "let's take our country "back" what they are really saying is "let's take our country "backwards" and that's exactly what other countries are looking forward to happening.

    April 11, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. obamarroids

    The Obamists are calling for a "non traditional" nomination. Perhaps Jeremiah Wright ? Perhaps William Ayers ?

    Mr. Obama is more than liberal, and we all know it. One single example: The only difference between Willian Ayers and Tim McVey is that McVey built a better bomb. Simple as that. Yet Mr. Obama continues to use Ayers as a mentor and confidant. So Mr. Obama has proven with this single example that he is a radical of epic proportions. Not to mention the dozens of other Communists and diciples of Marx that surround him.

    April 11, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. Sarah- The real one, in Vegas

    I am so irritated with the treatment of "liberal" as a dirty word or disparagement by Republicans. Liberals aka progressives are people who follow a particular political philosophy. Nothing more, nothing less. Certainly NOT the foppish caricature that the GOP faithful paint. I think it makes the Republicans who propagate it look weak, pitiful and insecure.

    April 11, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
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