Barbour gets tough on Obama
March 14th, 2011
01:42 PM ET
11 years ago

Barbour gets tough on Obama

(CNN) - In what could be the beginnings of a presidential stump speech, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour took a swipe at President Obama's economic policies Monday during a speech to the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

Speaking in the president's hometown, Barbour painted a bleak picture of the economy despite recent clamor from many Democrats in Washington that conditions are improving.

"The professional economists tell us the recession is over," Barbour said. "That's hard to see on Main Street, and I don't hear anybody celebrating. In the Heartland, this doesn't feel much like a recovery. The simple fact is, our economy isn't performing anywhere near its potential."

Barbour, likely to enter the presidential race in a matter of weeks, appeared to tailor his speech directly to members of the Tea Party movement where concerns about the deficit and federal spending are the overwhelming concern.

Barbour noted GDP growth for the last quarter of 2010 was at an underwhelming 2.8 percent, median home prices are at the same level they were seven years ago, and economic growth as a whole is falling far short than necessary to find jobs for the 7 million Americans who have joined the ranks of unemployment since the recession began.

"It's time we asked ourselves: Why is this recovery so flat?" said Barbour. "In my view, it's not a failure of business or a failure of free enterprise – it's a failure of government policy.

"The policies embraced by this White House show little understanding of how our economy actually works," he said. "They seem to have no trust in business. No sense of how entrepreneurs build new companies. No insight into how small businesses create jobs."

Barbour has said he will decide on a presidential bid this spring.

Filed under: Haley Barbour
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Jay

    You won't win against Obama. Wouldn't that sting Haley?

    March 14, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. GOP HAte America

    yeah lets see unemployment falling and the economy getting better. Conservatives dont want that. I got it now

    March 14, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. Lolo

    It is flat because of you republicans and tea partiers. You only have your base fooled Mr. Barbour, not the rest of us who can really see what you are up to and what is really going on..

    March 14, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. Charlie from the North

    "Barbour gets tough on Obama"

    What was this idiot before Mr. Congenial? Honestly CNN who makes up the headlines?

    March 14, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. Palin is an IDIOT

    Let this southern redneck Barbour talk...just put a shovel by his side so he can continue to dig himself further into a deep doo doo!!!!

    March 14, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. AEK

    Possibly Governor Barbour should be dedicating more time to fixing the state of Mississippi prior to traveling around describing how he would fix America. Oh, sorry, forgot...Republicans never give solutions for fixing anything.

    March 14, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. Chas in Iowa

    Save you money and effort Haley.
    You have to shallow of a view to be a serious candidate.
    But hey, anyway,....the GOP seems to be rolling out all the old tired candidates once again.
    They will be rolling into a town near you with their special truck to haul all their old garbage

    March 14, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. carlos

    Of course the esteemed Gov fails to mention the economic policies of the GOP have led to massive job losses here in the states. We ship everything overseas while corporate profits go thru the roof, great for the top 20% of the country, but less than great for all the folks feeling the pinch the hardest.

    March 14, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. kyle

    Straighten out Mississippi before you give advice, it's free trade and greed that's destorying the economy.

    March 14, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  10. sammieb51

    This bloated bag needs to explain what happened to the millions and milolions of federal dollars he got to rebuild MS after Katrina that he gave to his family's construction company. HMMMM

    March 14, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  11. fideauxdon

    As an individual who has defended the infamous "White Citizens Councils" and the KKK, commended Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, a famous Racist who massacred unarmed former slaves, and who insists that when he was growing up in Mississippi, the Whites and Blacks got along famously, this guy is in no position to criticize anyone, let alone the President.
    Vote for Barbour...he'll do for the remaining 49 states what he's done for Mississippi!"

    March 14, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. Arkansas Undertaker

    I'm so sick of this fat racist idiot i dont know what to do!

    March 14, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  13. sonny chapman

    The Free Market System is infallible. That is the 1st Commandment of the Republican Party. No. 2 is-Taxes that affect the wealthy can never be raised, even to the Clinton Era levels, when the U.S Economy was kicking-ass.

    March 14, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  14. Ferret out the B.S.

    He must be comparing growth to his gut. Maybe he should get tough on his diet because I just can't imagine a GOPer trying to run down the numbers showing improvement in the economy, especially when those improvements came on Mr Obama's watch.

    March 14, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. Rosslaw

    Its not every state in the union that can be ranked number 50 so Haley can be proud that he has maintained Mississippi's exalted status in education, health care, the economy, STD's, ad nauseum, at least over Puerto Rico. Haley was for BP in the blowout disaster before he sensed the shifting tides and came out for his own population over BP. Since his major accomplishment seems to be making billions of federal dollars disappear into the Mississippi swamps, he certainly seems well suited to comment on President Obama's economic expertise.

    March 14, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  16. DAVE

    barbour thinks that the goal of his republican party of balancing the budget will creat jobs! it won't make or creat one job barbour. giving tax breaks to business and the rich in hopes of creating jobs is more like how business and the rich treats those breaks they think they are a gift to the boardroom members or themselves. your party and its failed supply side and trickle down economics experiment on the middle class has never made anyones life better as promised. wages in this country have not improved in over 25 years. why should we as americans give the republicans any more time for their experiment? maybe you think it will take anouther 25 years barbour. you say you are worried about my grand childern and the deficit we will be leaving them i worry that we are going to leave them a life time of trickle down economics and even lower wages! the republicans are making this a good country to be from not a good country to stay in.

    March 14, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  17. Rick James B----

    C'mon Son!

    March 14, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. BJ

    What the heck has he done to improve HIS own state's economy? Nada. Then he goes on dissing Pres. Obama. These Republicans are h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e-s.

    March 14, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. Al-NY,NY

    Things ARE improving Tubby. Why don't you ask your guy the Man From Tan where are the jobs he promised?

    March 14, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  20. seriously???

    I see it totally differently Mr. Robber Baron.

    March 14, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. Mikey

    It took more than a decade to recover from the Great Depression. This downturn would have been just as bad if not for the Government intervention in 2008 and 2009. We are on a track to recover in about 1/3 the time it took after the 1929 crash. He is right, the economy is not performing anywhere near its potential. However, putting the idiots who had control of the White House and Congress in the six years leading up to the Great Recession would be like putting the Captain of the Exxon Valdiz back at the helm of another oil tanker. Been there, done that and it wasn't a good idea the first time around – it would be idiotic now. Every GOP presidential regime going back to Eisenhower has ended in recession. When will we learn?

    March 14, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. Mike in Texas

    I have news for Barbour and others. 40 years of borrowing by consumers and years of borrowing by our government finally caught up. Lack of regulations, especially on Wall Street and the Mortgage Industry led to this.

    Anyone who thought that Obama would have unemployment under 8% was foolish as well as those who think that if the Republicans were still in control the economy would be better.

    The fact is the economy may never get back to what it was.

    Barbour is a dime a dozen wannabe Obama basher who offers no alternatives.

    March 14, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. they call me "tater salad"

    Yeah, but I thought all of those tax cuts for the wealthy (GOP backed corporate welfare) were supposed to remove all of the "uncertainty" and "create jobs"?................. so?...........WTF happened there?..........Got an answer for that Haley?.......Where are all the JOBS?.........Yeah, thats what I thought!!!!

    March 14, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. Darth Vadik, CA

    People don't like bleak need to be sunny, happy, warm for people to like you...

    Not that it mattered, there was no one in the crowd, literally 0 people, and that one guy (I told you about before) the guy that would wander in accidentally on Barbour’s speech, well there was a guy did wander in accidentally and he didn't even stay for 2 minutes...

    March 14, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  25. S. In California

    I was going to comment but why bother because this racist fat pig will never be president.

    March 14, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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