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. cheri

    vitriol is just another way of fear manifesting itself. i've never heard so much hate spewed by the supposed left "intelligiantsa". there is no intellect in not being even able to absorb much less entertain a diverse viewpoint. fear is indeed in the air.

    April 11, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. Marge

    Bullcrapper republicans spewing again. Bush appointed the worst two judges other than scalia to come down the pike, Two men who swore under oath that they were not right wing radical judges. then in the very first case that would side with far right actions that are bordering on the illegal they agreed that corporations were people.

    And you tell me that the republicans have a right to say one darn thing about any body Obama appoints. HE HAS THE RIGHT TO APPOINT HE IS THE PRESIDENT NOT THE WIMPY BUTT IDIOT THAT STOLE TWO ELECTIONS one with the help of the previous right wing radical supreme court. The best thing in the world to happen to this country is for Roberts to be forced to resign because of his epilipesy. and he shouldn't be on the bench anyway with that much of a disability.

    April 11, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. Joe

    In other news, Barbour noticed that the sun was out and predicted it might be out tomorrow too. (Yawn)

    April 11, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Isn't Mississippi the proud state that ranks last in the nation for financial support of public education?

    April 11, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |

    Jeaton, instead of whining, please provide ANY supoprt for your inane rant. You typify today's wacked out loony lib, and why you and your ilk are taking us down a slippery slope to ruin.

    April 11, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  6. Chumley

    Take a good look at Barbour's own state of Mississippi and you'll see the direction where conservatives want to take this country. They've had control of Mississippi for decades, and the state still leads or is near the top in infant mortality, lack of access to doctors and healthcare, and the percentage of people below the poverty rate.

    April 11, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. giniajim

    It would suit me fine if Congress would impeach half the members of the court, starting with Roberts. The Party Of No can't do anything but threaten, bluster and block things. Their only idea which they recycle over and over is more tax breaks for the fortunate wealthy among us. When did they ever do anything in living memory that was of benefit to the average Joe? I'll hold my breath.

    April 11, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Goverbnor Barbour would you care to comment on the disgrace of the previous 8 years prior to President Obama?

    Of course you wouldn't because to you and the rest of the Right-Wing Swifties that was just hunkey-dorey, right?!

    April 11, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  9. Marcus

    “The president’s going to appoint a liberal successor to Justice Stevens whose one of the most liberal members of the Supreme Court”
    Besides the mispell (It's 'who's' not 'whose', supposing that he knows it), that statement proves how 'fair and unbalanced' are the names that he would vote for if presented to him.
    Stevens was (since he won't cast any ruling anymore) a liberal? He leaned that way, but he also leaned conservative sometimes but, for the sake of the argument let's call him liberal.
    So what? Does Barbour REALLY BELIEVES that Obama will apoint a conservative?

    April 11, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. Tristan

    Most liberal ever? Moron. Not even the most liberal in his lifetime.

    April 11, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  11. Greg

    You gotta love when any Republican comes out and makes the claim that Obama and/or congress is the most liberal ever. Hey Barbour, look in the mirror. The right has become so extreme they don't even look like Republicans anymore. They just look dangerous.

    April 11, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |

    Once Obama and his wacked our loony libs succeed at destoying corporate America, then who is going to be paying the taxes and employing people? They are playing Russian roulette with a loaded pistol!

    The very top narcissistic regime leaders will be okay (like Chavez, Castro, Obama, etc.) while the rest of us will "eat cake".

    April 11, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. Mike

    I hope the Republicans can block or at least string out the confirmation of any liberal who does not believe in/will not defend our Constitution. We have to many idiot liberals sitting on benches as it is.

    April 11, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. Bruce

    I hope all Americans remember Bush appointing Conservative Justice Roberts. Obama should appoint a liberal justice to counteract that appointment. Enough said.

    April 11, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. Bill Sampson

    Is "liberal" the only word this hillbilly knows?

    Mississippi is dead last in the U.S. on just about every quality of life scale. Is this what "conservatives" want for the rest of us?

    No thanks!

    April 11, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |

    What is gonna affect this election and cause a uproar is people like Roland Martin calling Southeners and soldiers who fought for the confederecy in the civil war Terrorist!!! Comparing them with Jihadist!!! You need to stay in New York...You are a disgrace the the American citizen. Yet these are the people who claim they want the racism to end....the truth is they want to keep this country hating...You sicken me Roland Martin and I pity you deeply!

    April 11, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. Seth Hill

    The Republicans seem to think "liberal" is a four-letter word. Well, to them, I guess it is. But I'm a liberal, and so are many, many patriotic, middle-class, average Americans. Every time they accuse someone of being a liberal, they move farther and farther away from the center.

    April 11, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. Joe

    He probably thinks the Marx brothers were communists, or at least "socialists" via the Repubs' 2010 mantra.

    April 11, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. jack

    Mr. Barbour is such a joke. His is the poorest state in the union, has the worst health care and leads the nation in number of people who are considered by the medical community as obese. Now that's looking out for your constituents. Oh! wait, I for got the citizens are not HIS constituents. It's the small minority of GOP'ers (Grand Old Plantation) owners with all the money that are HIS kind of people.

    April 11, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. Linda

    These guys never say anything new, never offer anything that will help this country and have certainly proved that they are anti-American. They are in for another surprise come November...they and their supporters may scream the loudest but they are not the majority of Americans...we know better and will vote to keep them from another round of them raping this country.

    April 11, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. Glennis

    He's correct. Unlike most of those who comment on this site, most people in this country are more middle of the road. The farther left the administration turns, the less comfortable the rest of us are. The pendulum will eventually swing back.

    April 11, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Obama could nominate John Birch and the Republicans will complain that he's too liberal. They will obstruct this nomination no matter who it is. They will do so in the hopes that it will fire up their base for the midterm elections. Their agenda does not care about the best interests of Americans, only the best interests of the Republican party.

    April 11, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  23. Independent

    On the contrary, the Dem Congress and President Obama were successful in passing health-care legislation that pratically mirrored the GOP sponsored health bill in '93.

    President Obama also recently signed a treaty with Russia that almost mirrored President Reagan's approach to nuclear disarmament.

    Gov. Barbour unfortunately highlights the reminder for voters this midterm that too many Republicans have become obstructionists just for the sake of obstruction, even on their own ideas.

    April 11, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  24. Delguy

    Barbour is clueless. These Republicans lie out of habit. To say a centrist President and a Democratic Congress full of Blue Dog Dino's is the most liberal is just plain stupid. This is the same old tired theme of the Republicans that when you lose on all the issues attack out of habit. I'm sure no one at CNN which is becoming FOX lite asked him ......A) Defend the Bush Administration policies which have bankrupted the country.B) What changes would you make to lead the country out of the mess YOUR PARTY got us into. I'm not holding my breath!

    April 11, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. John J. Puccio

    Right: like past Republican Presidents didn't stack the Supreme Court with Conservatives? As usual, the only thing a Republican can do is attack, in this case before he even knows what's happening. Truly, the two most successful things Republicans have done in the past thirty years are (1) convincing a good part of the American public that if they are middle class they should hand over the bulk of their money to the rich, and (2) convincing people that the word "liberal" means "evil."

    April 11, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
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