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. WhatAjoke

    Republican have not learned fron their mistakes.

    March 14, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. Clwyd

    Please translate this man's Mississippi drawl. Evan when translated it won't make sense!

    March 14, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Derek from Boston

    "They seem to have no trust in business..."

    Umm, hello?

    March 14, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. maria

    Haley Barbour needs to go away, maybe to the Sudan, maybe Libya, maybe just retire in MI. He's been around too long, does not represent his contituency, must less this country and hasn't a clue what's going on around him in the real world.

    March 14, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  5. Jon Davis

    You might be interested to know this bloated pig's office also circulated an email this morning making fun of Japanese tsunami victims.

    March 14, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. JDB

    Residing in the state where Mr. Barbour is currently governor, I have to wonder if he truly understands the scope of our economic problems. I just don't understand how he as governor of the poorest state in the nation & the state that is being impacted the most by the gas price increase can justify a bid for the presidency.

    March 14, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Steve in Denver

    Why is this recovery so flat? Because Bush drove the economy so far in the ditch, and you republicans think, after 20 years of full-on failed reaganomics, that tax cuts still work.

    March 14, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. Peter E

    I am sure Barbour knows failed government when he sees it. He has been leading in failed governments for years! He knows failure because that's what he causes! Mississippi has been a failed state for years because of him!

    March 14, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. Limbaugh is a liberal

    As always, republican governors, after telling Washington to stay out of their state, they keep coming back, begging the federal government for more money to bail out their failed policies.
    Mississippi has received more federal dollars than it has sent to Washington for years and throughout it all it kept failing at everything. It kept mounting deficits, and yet still dares ask for more of our taxpayer dollars.
    Did you know that the liberal haven of California gets only 80 cents for every dollar it sends to Washington, and it could easily solve its budget crisis if it got its fair share, instead of sending its taxpayer dollars to bail out corrupt governors like Barbour?

    March 14, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. Mad in CT

    Uh, please! Quit the whining about this Administration's anti-business agenda. That's a figment of the Bagga' imagination that is hardly supported by the FACTS. You know, those little stubborn things that do not lie. We've tried Reaganomics, voodoo economics, trickle-down economics, and the FACT remains that none of those steaming piles of Republican-concocted crap has worked favorably for the middle class in this country who generate the lion's share of this nation's tax revenue. Before criticizing this Administration's plan, Barbour should consider rolling out a fair, sane plan of his own that doesn't simply appeal to the nut jobs on the far right. He'd do well by starting with Barbour-nomics: deficit shaving through reduced caloric intake!

    March 14, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  11. FactCheck

    And giving billionaires that extra 3 percent in tax cuts seemed to have worked out so well during the Bush terms.

    March 14, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  12. William

    I have lived in Alabama all of my life and as we say here, "thank God for Mississippi so that we will not be last in everything". Mississippi is last in everything because they have had political redneck hicks in office like Haley Barbour, and he has the nerve to pursue national political office.

    March 14, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. Moderate

    Haley The Bigot Barber has critisium for President Obama? How obvious is this?

    March 14, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |

    Fatboy Haley Barbour would have been burning a cross on Obabmas mothers lawn back in the sixties. Just another "good" old Southern boy who is bought and sold by muti'millionare corporate robber barons.

    March 14, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. mike

    barbour is a joke what did he do for his state that has the lowest income per family than any other state in the union yet this fat slob walks around like he knows what he is talking about if this is the only thing that republican party has to offer to the american people then they need to give it up the problems that are happening around this world the last thing we need is some uneducated back woods bible thumping idiot to be our president who only knows about gator hunting and that is it

    March 14, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. Sorensen

    He seems to forget, who started the whole disaster.

    March 14, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  17. Rob R

    "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."

    And I have no trust in a fat Southern good ol boy former tobacco lobbyist who is the governor of one of the poorest states in the country.

    March 14, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. WatchDawg

    It's great to see all the money rolling back into the economy from the top 2%.
    Wasn't that how its was supposed to work, by extending the tax cuts to the rich they would re-invest the extra money back into the economy?
    Damn, I guess the GOP forgot to pass this on to their friends.

    March 14, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. Jaime

    I find it amusing that the turn around in jobs losses and the the GDP that was gained as a direct result of stimulus investments is never acknowledged by republicans unless it is in their districts. This is then follwed by budget cuts and spending cuts that also depress economic activity. If you want to know why this recovery is flat, it is because the manufacturing industry in this country was systematically decimated over the past 40 years through idiotic trade policy and deregulation that actually gave tax benefits to companies that shipped businesses away. Not to mention that this allowed companies who actually stayed to get run out of business and all of their manufacturing equiptment was purchased by chinese companies and put on barges.

    This 1 year 2 year blame game is utterly ridiculous and prevents people from actually thinking about why China and India are building up their manufacturing base.

    It isn't about taxes being too high, people. Right now the Chinese are using our individual greed to collectively eat our lunch.

    Our business leaders go over there and teach them how to make EVERYTHING, invest in building up facilities, invest in building up human capability (often as conditions to enter the chinese market by their government), and get cheap labor in return. The few who do that get rich, while China gains actual wealth.

    And that is the difference. China is working on gaining wealth as a whole, while we are scheming how to get rich quick.

    But don't think about that, this is clearly all about Bush's tax cuts almost expiring, and "uncertainty". Riiiight.

    March 14, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. John

    Wow, Barbour is critical of Obama. Who'da thunk it?

    March 14, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. annette

    yes lets still blame obama for the recession. i guess these republicans do not know how to read and perceive what they read. bash obama all you repubs want but i think he may win re=election.

    March 14, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. kakaraka

    I don't understand these retublicans wacos. We have tried their policies for 8 good years. It didn't work. Corporation before middle class is the key. Now, going back to these same failed policies which created the mess again? My papor or whatever, get over it. President Obama is doing a wonderful job recovering the economy that collapsed under your policies. We are not stupid to forget this. Do you think we have a short memory? No way, we already know your solutions: give tax break again for the rich and cut programs for middle class. Shame on you. It's a matter of time we middle class will recall you all republicans.

    March 14, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. Weeper of the House: Two and the Door

    Haley said:
    "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.

    Trust Wall St. No regulation needed. Sure.
    WHat were those #s when the shrub was driving our country off a cliff?
    Barbour must be part of that trickle down crew. THAT hasn't worked. Obama has gotten the economy on the road to recovery in spite of the party of No trying to impede progress at every turn.
    This from the party of McCain "the fundamentals of the economy are strong, my friends"
    This from the Gov. of the poorest state in the union. Haley, your advice isn't worth jack. Haley, like pretty much all Rs, needs to sit down and shut up and let the smart people handle this.

    March 14, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  24. Larry

    Haley Barbour is the leader of a state that ranks nearly dead last in every vital statistic – health, education, employment – you name it, they can't do it. Sounds like the only job he'd be qualified to do is Sarah Palin's campaign manager.

    March 14, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. BC

    Tough talk for a governor who is more focused on his own political aspirations then working to improve the economy in his own state! If you can't handle things where are you, you're certainly not ready to be elevated to the Presidency!

    March 14, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
1 2 3 4