Barbour adviser: 'He’s running until he says he’s not'
February 4th, 2011
07:04 PM ET
11 years ago

Barbour adviser: 'He’s running until he says he’s not'

Washington (CNN) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is increasingly likely to embark on a campaign for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, a source close to the Republican told CNN Friday.

“We have definitely shifted gears, there is no question about that,” the source said. “He's running until he says he's not.”

That Barbour is seriously thinking about a White House bid is hardly a surprise. He built up his profile substantially during the 2010 election cycle as chairman of the Republican Governors Association and recently spent time in the early primary state of South Carolina meeting with GOP donors and activists.

Barbour has a national network of support dating to the 1970s and 80s, when he worked as a political strategist and served in the Reagan White House. He went on to start a successful Washington-based lobbying firm and, later, served as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

But people close to Barbour are now operating on the assumption that he will run.

The governor has started to call in some of the chits he collected during his long political career, soliciting support from donors and political consultants in several early nominating states.

“He is doing the things you have to do” to gear up for a presidential bid, said the source.

Barbour recently made a speaking appearance before Republican activists in Florida, an important state for any potential presidential candidate, and he is planning forays into other key states in the coming weeks.

And in an effort to bone up on his foreign policy chops, Barbour is traveling to Israel this weekend to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other government officials. Next week, he will address the Conservative Political Action Conference along with several other potential 2012 contenders.

In describing the governor’s reasons for thinking seriously about a presidential bid, the adviser pointed to Barbour’s work trimming the Mississippi budget and his efforts after Hurricane Katrina.

“Bold leadership is required to get us off the path we are on in this country,” the source said. “It’s going to take somebody who is willing to make some hard decisions, to provide some authentic leadership.”

Filed under: 2012 • Haley Barbour
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Jack

    .Just another ole white guy living in the 50s trying to bring back the countyr to the "good ole days." Yeah, white was supreme, women stayed home, Europe was no competition, everyone smoked, industry was unregulated, every stream in this country was polluted, gays were in the closet, pensions did not exist except for the management etc etc.

    February 5, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Under Haley's leadership, Mississippi is now like a third world country. There is no doubt he can do that to the whole USA. Now that Arizona is seceding from the US, Haley will only be able to destroy 49 states.

    February 5, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  3. a in austin

    If the state of Mississippi is a guideline of bold leadership, I say NO THANKS!. He is no leader I would elect.

    February 5, 2011 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  4. Louisiana Man

    Talk about rife for scrutiny. This bird with his segregated, narrow minded, soiled hands from MS will endow upon comedy central and SNL tons of material.

    Hey Haley, your halo is tarnished and as soon as you open your prejudicial mouth, any doubt is solidified.

    February 5, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  5. addon

    Now here's a real patriot running for president. His job will be to make sure we all forget, and disavow all records regarding civil rights, and show just how good the white folks have always treated the coloreds in this country.

    If not, he'll form a committee whose mantra will be; " I don't know who mistreated those people, we gave them their own restrooms and water fountains. Even let them have their own part of town. What do they want now? To be treated equally...heck, they'll just have to wait til we wash our sheets.

    February 5, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
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