Barbour promises 'serious' campaign if he runs in 2012
January 27th, 2011
03:35 PM ET
12 years ago

Barbour promises 'serious' campaign if he runs in 2012

Washington (CNN) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour told a room of South Carolina Republicans Wednesday that if he decides to seek the GOP presidential nomination, it will be a "serious" campaign.

"If I get in this thing, it's going to be a serious effort," Barbour told a crowd of roughly 30 Republican movers and shakers in Spartanburg, according to longtime GOP fundraiser Barry Wynn, who was in the room.

The Spartanburg meeting was one of two closed-door sessions organized Wednesday by political strategist Chip Felkel to introduce Barbour to GOP influentials in the early primary state. The other meeting was held Wednesday morning in nearby Greenville.

Wynn, a former chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, told CNN that Barbour said he has yet to make a decision about his political future. But, Wynn noted, "My view is he is prepared to get serious."

"I think that he is kind of laying the foundation, and doing the things you have to do to see whether or not you want to devote a year and a half of your life to this," Wynn said.

Wynn said he's confident that Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee and Republican Governors Association, has the political smarts to run a savvy presidential campaign.

"If he gets in, I think he will be jet-propelled and it won't be timid," Wynn said.

Wednesday's meeting in Spartanburg, held at the downtown office of South Carolina GOP Chairwoman Karen Floyd, did not sit well with another former party leader.

Katon Dawson, who helmed the state party from 2002 until 2009, said it was "inappropriate" of Floyd to host a private meeting with a possible presidential candidate at the offices of her communications consulting firm.

Floyd's term is up in May 2009, and both she and Dawson are likely to be asked to sign on to presidential campaigns as state-level advisers.

Dawson said the private meeting casts doubt on Floyd's ability to be impartial when dealing with a potentially large field of presidential candidates.

"To have a closed-door private meeting with one of the potential candidates in the midst of negotiating a debate and the First-in-the-South primary, I would not think that's appropriate," Dawson told CNN.

Joel Sawyer, a spokesman for the South Carolina GOP, disputed that charge, saying that Floyd hopes to hold meetings with all of the Republicans considering presidential bids in 2012.

Sawyer said Floyd already met with several possible contenders – including former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum - to help raise money for the party's victory program last year.

Wynn also said he has no problem with Floyd's participation in the Barbour confab.

"My view is that it's perfectly appropriate to do that, as long as you're willing to do that for any legitimate candidate who happens to come by," Wynn told CNN.

Filed under: 2012 • Haley Barbour
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. SPLAT!~

    Hey why don't y'all all shut up, you know nothing of Mississippi. Gov Barbour has helped this state alot

    January 27, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |

    Apparently not in the area of education!~

    January 27, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. willard bullock

    Please barour need talk with neil abercromible now about birth certifactae of obama

    January 27, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  3. willard bullock

    Abercromible birth certifactae
    Abercromible admit failure long island
    Is there a birth certifactae on the file in the state of hawaii
    Well rumor are going around the interent wednesday that the governor of hawaii
    Neil abercromible had said he no no record of obama birth certifacte story take another strange

    January 27, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This guy is too fat and too mush mouth, this job requires stamina and speech clarity, Barbour has neither. Could you imagine this guy sitting at a round table with World leaders or being a key speaker at a World event, he would be a total embarrassment to this country.

    January 27, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  5. Darth Vadik, CA

    Here is what these freaks on the right don't understand, when you get out of the back woods of Mississippi, people actually have all their teeth and they are not as dumb as Republicans think.

    January 27, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
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