Barbour meets and greets in Iowa
March 15th, 2011
09:26 AM ET
12 years ago

Barbour meets and greets in Iowa

(CNN) - Appearing more and more like a presidential candidate, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour wraps up a two-day visit to Iowa Tuesday night by headlining a state Republican party dinner.

Barbour keynotes the Chairman's Dinner in Davenport, Iowa. The gathering is the first of a series of fundraising dinners designed to strengthen the Iowa Republican Party and county party organizations across the state.

"We're excited to have Governor Barbour as the first speaker in the Chairman's Series. This will be one of Governor Barbour's first visits to Iowa, and he'll have an opportunity to introduce himself to a key constituency in southeast Iowa at our county building event tonight," Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn tells CNN.

On Monday evening, Barbour was in Sioux City, on the other side of the state, attending a Woodbury County Republican party dinner. Before the dinner, Barbour met with local residents, saying that "if I run I intend to compete to win Iowa," according to Mason City Globe Gazette.

Barbour continues reaching out to Republican party lawmakers, leaders and activists Tuesday with a stop at the Statehouse in Des Moines before heading to Davenport.

Barbour continues to say he plans to decide at the end of April, after the Mississippi legislature concludes its session, whether or not he will seek the GOP presidential nomination. This month he's beefed up his political operation with some key hires.

The two-term Mississippi governor and former chairman of the Republican Governors Association and the Republican National Committee was also in Iowa last month, meeting with state GOP officials and Republican Gov. Terry Branstad on Presidents' Day. The state plays a crucial role in the race for the White House as its caucuses kick off the presidential primary and caucus calendar.

Barbour arrived in Iowa after heading to President Obama's hometown to criticize the his economic polices. During a speech Monday to the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Barbour painted a bleak picture of the economy despite recent clamor from many Democrats in Washington that conditions are improving.

Barbour arrived in Iowa as news spread that his press secretary in the Mississippi's governor's office stepped down in controversy. Dan Turner resigned after reports that he wrote internal e-mails poking fun at former Attorney General Janet Reno, and that he made insensitive jokes about the earthquake in Japan.

- CNN's Peter Hamby and Alexander Mooney contributed to this report.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Haley Barbour • Iowa
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Darth Vadik, CA

    Did all 5 people in the state of Iowa come to see him, or more likely they probably stayed home to watch the Bachelor on ABC (I do have a girlfriend so I know the Bachelor schedule, and I cant wait until Monday Night Football so I get the TV on Mondays)...but who the heck wants to see a guy from Mississippi speak anyway???

    A speech that would take a normal person 3 minutes takes Barbour 4 and a half hours...

    March 15, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  2. Chas in Iowa

    Another example of a GOP canidate coming to Iowa and going from one private right wing event to the next, never appearing in public for Iowans to see or visit with.
    They are not testing the waters, they are testing the cash flow.

    March 15, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  3. Johnson

    The racist in this country are becoming more and more irrelevant. I have a question. Is it just me or do alot of republicans support their candidate for the sake of party affiliation regardless of how horrible that person obviously is? If so, China and the rest of the World for that matter is going to completely eat our lunch. We are so hateful and divided that we can't get anything done. We do not think big in this country anymore, I would vote for the first person who says that he or she would raise taxes and cut defense so that we can start rebuilding our infrastructure which creates jobs (high speed rail) all over the country. I would be able to economically 150 mile or more away from home without blowing alot of money on fuel. The Republican Party is outdated, they represent an America that is from the PAST.

    March 15, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  4. TruthAndBeauty

    George Wallace is now running in the Republicant party!!

    March 15, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  5. Marie MD

    Gross a meet and greet with barbour? I can't speak for othe women but this guy turns my stomach every which way and that's just from photographs! If I was a member of the oldest profession i would have to deny any money this guy would give me!!!

    March 15, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  6. jeff, alabama

    Just save yourself time
    and money Barbour and
    hand your check book
    over to Sarah Palin.
    We don't need another
    relic for a candidate in
    the conservative corner.
    It's time for all good
    republicans with no kahoonies
    to yield to Palin in the next
    She's the closest thing to
    Harry Truman in modern times.

    March 15, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. Jamie

    I did some research on this guy because I didn't know much about him and there is no way that I would vote for him. Most everything he stands for is what I am against. A lobbiest for the tabacco and healthcare industries. In fact his lobbying firm was recently named most powerful. His firm is employed by severl foreign countries as well as oil and cigerette companies. He also lobbied on behalf of the Embassy of Mexico which would allow illegals citizenship through family connections or job skills. This guy is not who we need sitting in the Oval Office.

    March 15, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. carlos

    did they have a translator?????....hard to understand what he utters....

    March 15, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. diridi

    Iowa, do not be stupid and idiotic and these nasty GOP idiots....o.k, God bless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 15, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    What does he have to offer? What is better about him than the other candidates that haven't officially entered the race yet? I don't see much difference between him and many of the others.

    March 15, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. Mountaineer

    CNN appears to put a lot of stock in the likes of Haley Barbour and his Chief of Staff. His Chief of Staff made slurrs that only Barbour himself would make and we have Mr. Barbour speaking of the bleak economy that his party is responible for creating. And it's worth noting that his state of Mississippi doesn't have the best economic track record, even with his anti-union stance (right to work). His state ranks near the bottom in every conceivable ranking from education, poverty, jobs, racial harmony, you name it. Now, CNN has 4 political tickers on Haley Barbours with no opportunity for comments on three of them, knowing what the public thinks of his potential presidential run!

    March 15, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    Ex-Governor Pawlenty chose NOT to address Minnesota issues for the past three years, but instead began his presidential Ego Trip tour the day after he was re-elected Governor of Minnesota in 2006. Apparently Barbour is now using the Pawlenty playbook of absenting himself from his job (and his State) to further his own egotistical ambitions . . . It was a disaster for Minnesota, and - I suspect - will be a disaster for Mississippi as well.

    March 15, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |