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. The Real Tom Paine

    What insight does Barbour really have into the average person's life, with his lobbyist background and shilling for the same industries that either screamed for a bailout or caused the catastrophe in the first place? Do you really want the CEO of a state that ranks consistently dead last in everything that matters to lecture anyone on economic policy. I would put Albania or Bangladesh ahead of Mississippi. The only business he understands is prostitution, and thats because he has pimped himself out to whomever will pay him the money to do their bidding. Where are the examples of how he has created jobs for his state, or implemented programs that have pulled Mississippi out of the bottom-feeding status it has enjoyed for so long? Barbour is long on talk, and, like the rest of the GOP, short on solutions.

    March 14, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. Disgusted in PA

    Seriously...I mean seriously! It's just like listening to Palin. CNN please stop with these people who have no, zero, no credibility....Seriously!!

    March 14, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. Michael

    Yea Haley, great presidential material, lets see, Mississippi is one of the lowest in education, highest in unemployment, one of the worst for womens rights, the worst for minority rights and lowest per captia income. Great resume haley!!
    you can lead the counrty into the same swamp!!

    March 14, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. Laverne

    This guy has to be kidding. He and his croonies are so out of touch with main st. that it's not even funny anymore. Everything President Obama has proposed to help main st. the republicans have with no conscious shot down. They controlled congress now and still won't get anything done because they will spend their time trying to please the tea party instead of focusing on jobs. This kkk in disguise will never be president because his mouth will continue to seal his fate.

    March 14, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    People in Mississippi will not be celebrating until Boss Hogg is no longer governor. I trust economists a hell of a lot more than I trust any republican, and especially a former lobbyist.

    March 14, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Chumlee

    Barbour is a loser - racist, nut job!

    March 14, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Part of the problem of the flat recovery stems from the depth of the Bush/republican near depression, and the republicans refusing to support one bill to help in the recovery.

    March 14, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. Son of CSM.Wiggins

    Boy shut up the only thing you and most of the conservatives want to save is more money for the rich an white superiority

    March 14, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. Senor Ed

    Hey Boss Hogg ... how's the economy doing in good ol' Mississippi?

    March 14, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. jae

    Man just think if we had a white president how it would look. Wait who was president for the past 225 years. Na, couldn't b that?

    March 14, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Haley is one moon pie short of a complete catfish dinner.

    March 14, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. annie s

    Ah, Republican cajones! This Governor of the poorest state in the nation is going to tell us how to fix the economy?

    March 14, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. michael , MN

    Maybe it is flat because you and the GOP spent 14 TRILLION on tax cuts for the rich and then borrowed all this money to pay for it – and BTW the recession is just like all the rest of them – you think you cvan snap those pudgy fingers and BAM it is over ?

    March 14, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. Biggge

    Maybe the guy should work on Mississippi ...I have been though the states, not a pretty site....

    March 14, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. michaelam

    Hey Squeal Like a Pig, Barbour your opinion does not matter! Your state is dead last in everything that matters in this world. Your state also has the highest poverty rate and one of the highest teen age pregnancy rates. Why should any sane, intelligent person care what YOU have to say?!

    Hang up the Presidential bid because the only votes you will capture will be from ignorant racists!

    March 14, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. willie floyd

    We really need another racist bigot in the federal government. Stay down South and fly your Confederate flag!

    March 14, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. Name Creole

    How in the HELL big bubba can talk about Obama when he don't know about his own State. These folk's are a JOKE!!!! This dude can't ever stand up to Obama.....Obama 2012 where are the JOBS!!!!! Mississippi is real poor right now.....How can you get us JOBS!!!! With out fighting!!!!! I'm glad Obama takes the high road and run the USA while these --– I don't even know what to call them try to break Obama. Yes he is Black and doing a great JOB!!! I will say it if no one else will...what did BUSh do????? This is so sad how they the Repub's want to take us back to the good old boy days... WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!! The world is hurting and all they want to do is pick a fight

    March 14, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. johnmenacherjr

    wow the chambe Of Commerce lati dah! How long since we had this socalled republican landslid? They have done eveything but jobs even the thing with light bulbs?! Come on its is really obvious they have not got a clue especially boss Hog here. And the Chamber they represent nothing but big business , teacher bashing and whiners. Give me a break.

    March 14, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. JimmyW

    This is hilarious coming from a man that governs one ot the most povery stricken and divided states in the US. How was the people of the Delta region doing before all this stuff began? Just as horrible anyone else is now! Boss Hog has some nerve.

    March 14, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Don't you love it when the limp and the worthless, like Haley, Little Timmy, Mittens, Santorum, and Newtie, try to man up and talk tough?

    March 14, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. Tree

    The KKK has are 50 years behind are a old red neck who does not care about anything except you ! You need to take care of your own state because MS is hurting bad. ........

    March 14, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    How is that Mississippi recovery coming? Imagine what it would be like if they did not get $2 for every tax dollar they sent to Washington.

    March 14, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  23. Mountaineer

    All one needs do is look at the economic disparity in Mississippi to wonder is Governor Barbour is capable of leading anything, including the State of Mississippi which is near last in education and families below the poverty line! What a racial divide!

    March 14, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. Steve in Denver

    Mr. Barbour: Your ludicris revision of history aren't going to sell.

    March 14, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  25. alpha_nu_916

    it's up to congress now to get the ball rolling. where are all those jobs that republicans promised 6 months ago? all the president does is sign bills into law – he actually does not craft them. sounds like a YP for barbour.

    March 14, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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