Washington (CNN) - Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour refused Tuesday to denounce attempts to create a special license plate honoring a 19th-century Ku Klux Klan leader.
"I don't go around denouncing people," Barbour told reporters Tuesday in Jackson, MS.
When asked by a reporter what he thought about the KKK leader in a historical context, Barbour gave a terse response.
"He's a historical figure," Barbour said.
Barbour went on to explain that he thought there was little chance approval for the plate would come from the state legislature.
"It's not going to happen," he said. "The Nathan Bedford Forrest tag is not going to happen."
On Monday the NAACP called on Barbour to condemn attempts by a Confederacy group to create the plate, which honors Forrest, a confederate general, slave trader and former KKK grand wizard. A Facebook group was also formed calling on the governor to denounce the effort.
Barbour is considered a likely candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, scheduling trips to early voting states and speaking at last week's Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.
To me this is the same as a group asking to have a license plate with Hitler's name on it.
Nowhere in the article does it mention that Forrest left the KKK due to it becoming to radical
Well if the blacks can have BET, black history month and streets after MLK then why not the plate? Are they still scared of the past? Why the double standard?
"When asked by a reporter what he thought about the KKK leader in a historical context, Barbour gave a terse response.
"He's a historical figure," Barbour said."
HITLER "was a historical figure," but not fit for any kind of proud recognition in any country in the world.
Trent Lott ended up RESIGNING for comments he made about Strom Thurmond and while reprehensible, the thoughts and actions of Thurmond PALE in comparison to those of Nathan Bedford Forrest,
Anything short of repudiation seems like an embrace. Try and run for President (in a general election) with this hanging around your neck – and we shouldn't have had to ASK you to do it, you should have been WAY out in front of this.
Well Mr. Barbour, I'd save your money in 2012. I really hope you've enjoyed your term as governor of the Mississippi because that ride is going to come to an end too. Then you can be judged in the history books right along with Nathan
What's the old joke, "what has 4 eyes and cannot see?" "Mississippi."
It's not going to happen? Do you have anything meaningful to say besides this racis bigot was a historical figure. If you had your say you would join the VA governor and its attorney general to bring back the ole south! Just remember . . . . . . you lost the war!!! GET OVER IT!!!!!!!!!!!
barbour probably has pictures of forrest on his wall because birds of a feather block together. It doesn't matter that it's been years.
Good job Barbour
Don't anger your racist base
A racist governor. The best gift the Democrats could as for. HOpe he gets the party nomination from the Republicans. Birds of a feather
Unbelievable! This character refuses to denounce a know racist, hate and fear monger, and still thinks he has a shot at the presidency? Barbour is a bigger fool that I thought. Unfortunately, his ill informed, racist base will applaud this nonsense. Thanks goodness there are enough educated, progressive, enlightened voters who won't let this excuse for a politician anywhere near hight office.
Of course not; he wouldn't dare upset his precious KKK followers.
As a life long Republican, I continue to be pushed from the GOP by racial bigots, homophobes and religious idealogues.
Considering the amount of minority voters and the amount of whites who feel ashamed because of the color of their skin this guy doesn't stand a chance.
The Ku Klux Klan is the largest terrorist organization ever to exist. Supposedly responsible for 10,000 deaths in 1930`s alone and still totally legal to join or support in the United States of America. Haley Barbour may even say that he thinks the kkk is a "bunch of good ol` boys" just like Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions (r) when he was a U.S magistrate.
I hope this guy does run, how about a Barbour/Palin ticket. That would secure Obama for 4 more years.
I wonder how popular an Adolph Hitler plate would go over in Germany?.. He is an "Historical Figure".. Why not create a James Earl Ray plate instead?..
If you don't denounce it then you are for it.
Remember the old dictum, "Silence denotes assent."
KKK lic Plate in Miss, Fine by me after all Don't we have a Martin luther King holiday and a postage stamp to honor his history for equal rights of the back man.
Awesome. He also should have announced that he has not shot at winning the presidency in 2012. Some of the GOP might be OK with the racist antics that this guy plays up.. the the majority of the US is not.
Yeah Barbour just come on out and say you support the KKK and the contributions of such hate groups to America.
What are we supposed to do, ignore history that were subject to the events of the day in which they took place? Besides wasn't Thomas Jefferson a slaver, does the NAACP wish to denounce Thomas Jefferson also?
"I don;t go around denouncing people." CNN, please exhume that remark when he starts campaining and denounces the President from here to Baton Rouge.
I lived and worked in Mississippi fpr 24 years in Pascagoula where they still have a «whites only» swimming pool. I am not surprised of this refusal at all but respect him for not hiding his true feeling. Silence is consent.