Barbour announces he won't denounce
February 15th, 2011
08:33 PM ET
12 years ago

Barbour announces he won't denounce

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.

Filed under: Haley Barbour • Mississippi
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. Leo from East Texas

    The 1860's Rebulicans have become the modern day Democrats & The 1860's Democrats have become the modern day Republicans. When Democrat President Lyndon Baines Johnson of Texas signed into legeslation The Civil Rights Act...When i was a year old. He turn to one of his aides and said to him i think i've lost the south for a decade...Turns out he lost it forever.... I'm a white male i've live in a racist area all my life.. I've found out you cannot change peoples minds ...No matter how hard you try..I've seen white racism and Black Racism.....White and Black Discrimination.... People we have to try to all get alone... The American Society is at risk......I'm a life long Democrat & i proudly voted for Obama... And i will again before i vote for Fox News Contributers......I see things that white people do that get black people angry.. I see things Black people do that make white people angry...This crap has to stop people...........

    February 15, 2011 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  2. tim

    "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."

    Yeah, good luck with that now, crazy.

    February 15, 2011 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  3. gypsydaveywithablowtorch

    "I don't go around denouncing people"
    He should have rephrased it: I don't go around offending my base.

    February 15, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  4. OneMoreTime

    So, the lesser man has spoken again.

    February 15, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  5. Clwyd

    Once a racist always a racist! Besides he's got all those present and former members of the KKK supporting him. Just the kind of candidate that fits into the republican parties image of a president!

    February 15, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  6. JD in Moraga, CA

    "I don't go around denouncing people," Barbour told reporters today in Jackson, MS.

    ...just the President of the United States. Another single-digit IQ in the Old South.

    February 15, 2011 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  7. Jim

    He especially doesn't denounce people whose opinion he shares. What a total scumbag.

    February 15, 2011 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  8. JWthiers

    Figures. Can't even denounce a founding member and driving force behind the KKK.

    February 15, 2011 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  9. Floridian

    Really? Seems he denounces Obama alot.

    February 15, 2011 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  10. Joe in Vegas

    Oh, wow. These "southern gentlemen" of the GOP just get worse and worse. What's next? Something I write won't be printed, we'll just have to let some conservative quack in Arizona, S.C., or on Fox News do something horrible.

    February 15, 2011 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  11. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Why would a card carrying member like baobour denounce another Klan member?

    February 15, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  12. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He doesn't want to lose the GOP base - the south! Can you blame him? He won't win the nomination, but he will make a good run for it.

    February 15, 2011 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  13. Gentle Critic

    By not denouncing this Barbour by default approves of it. By showing his approval he will definately lose the African-American vote. He will lose the vote of a great portion of the younger generation who have more tolerance of diversity. He will lose the vote of many other minorities for his intolerance of diversity.

    Think twice about this Haley. It's your future you're looking at.

    February 15, 2011 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  14. Marcus

    "It's not going to happen," he said. "The Nathan Bedford Forrest tag is not going to happen."

    And NOT by his efforts!

    February 15, 2011 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  15. A keen observer

    Barbour cannot denounce the group wanting to glorify a former Klan member without turning in his own white pointed hat and white sheet.

    February 15, 2011 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  16. Aaron

    When did he stop denouncing people? Maybe after he finished working for the Mexican government and supposedly started working for the MS state government?

    February 15, 2011 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  17. J.V.Hodgson

    The media always chooses ( especially CNN reporters) emotionally strong words.
    You or some reporter asks him to Denounce the idea.
    Why not ask him less emotive questions like: "do you think personally it's good idea" and the follow up even if he says yes or no will it pass in the state legislature?
    Personally I dont care if he WAS grand wizard or JUST a KKK member. If either of those is more than 70 % general opinion today in the state he should not be honoured or villified in any way by anyone for whatever reason.
    Each person in the state my remember him as they wish. Thats enough.
    Trust CNN anything remotely adversarial is worth a segment. You demean good Journalism in the process.

    February 16, 2011 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  18. langer

    absolutely disgusting. the thoughts of a domestic enemy. in time we will wring the biggotry out of the fabric of our society. and never again shall the rebel flag rise.

    February 16, 2011 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  19. Barbour is Toast !

    All Barbour has done lately is stick his foot in his big fat mouth ! This man doesn't need to be anywhere near the White house with a country as diverse as our's ! Barbour is an old southern caveman that would have no problem with our great nation reliving the horrible mistakes of our past ! No way, Barbour not now and not ever again !

    February 16, 2011 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  20. pedro

    Fairly obvious that if you don't speak out against something you're voicing silent support.

    February 16, 2011 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  21. carrotroot

    Boss Hog Barbour may want to consider keeping his day job.

    February 16, 2011 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  22. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    I love it when the truth comes out! Way to go GOOBER!

    February 16, 2011 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  23. BDA

    Barbour doesn't "go around denouncing people"? Well, I guess Adolf Hitler's good name is safe around him! James Earl Ray's too. What a swell guy. Not a bad word about anyone. Good luck with that Republican nomination in '12!

    And by the way, Haley, it's 2011, not 1871. It probably really would be okay for you to come out against the Klan's founder. I think polite society might actually respect you for it.

    February 16, 2011 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  24. GinBR

    You can't denounce that which you feel empathy for. Clearly, he is disturbed/perturbed at the very thought of having to be in the postion of rejecting something he feels is important to him and his klan..ur..kin.

    February 16, 2011 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  25. ArtInChicago

    For all minorities that choose not to vote in elections, this is what you get.

    February 16, 2011 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
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