Barbour not running for prez
April 25th, 2011
03:13 PM ET
11 years ago

Barbour not running for prez

(CNN) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Monday he will not run for president in 2012.

"I will not be a candidate for president next year," Barbour, a Republican, said in a statement. "This has been a difficult, personal decision, and I am very grateful to my family for their total support of my going forward, had that been what I decided."

Barbour, the former chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said he would continue serving as governor of Mississippi and work to "elect a new Republican president in 2012."

Although he is popular among Washington insiders, he has had trouble gaining traction in recent national polls. In an April CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll of likely Republican voters, Barbour received less than one half of one percent. But he did win a recent straw poll in Charleston County, South Carolina with 22 percent.

According to a source close to Barbour, the governor felt he received positive receptions on recent trips to the early contest states of New Hampshire and South Carolina, but that his decision in the end came down to a "gut feeling"

"He just wasn't quite there," the source said Monday. "It wasn't one particular thing. To run for president obviously is a big decision."

His announcement eliminates one name from a still crowded field of potential Republican candidates against President Barack Obama's re-election bid.

One of the likely GOP contenders for the party's nomination, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, praised Barbour as "one of the Republican Party's great leaders."

"When Republicans defeat Barack Obama next year, it will be thanks to the solid party foundation Haley helped build," Pawlenty said in a statement.

GOP consultant Ford O'Connell, who worked on Barbour's 2007 gubernatorial re-election campaign and for the McCain-Palin ticket in 2008, said Barbour's decision makes him "the most important man in the Republican Party not running for president."

"There are only three things Haley Barbour loves more than America: his wife, Marsha, his family and Mississippi. And it is time for him to focus on the things he cares about most," O'Connell said. "One of the hallmarks of Haley Barbour is his low-key behind the scenes effectiveness, and I don't expect that to diminish in any way."

From Gov. Barbour:
“I will not be a candidate for president next year. This has been a difficult, personal decision, and I am very grateful to my family for their total support of my going forward, had that been what I decided.

“Hundreds of people have encouraged me to run and offered both to give and raise money for a presidential campaign. Many volunteers have organized events in support of my pursuing the race. Some have dedicated virtually full time to setting up preliminary organizations in critical, early states and to helping plan what has been several months of intensive activity.

“I greatly appreciate each and every one of them and all their outstanding efforts. If I have disappointed any of them in this decision, I sincerely regret it.

“A candidate for president today is embracing a ten-year commitment to an all-consuming effort, to the virtual exclusion of all else. His (or her) supporters expect and deserve no less than absolute fire in the belly from their candidate. I cannot offer that with certainty, and total certainty is required.

“This decision means I will continue my job as Governor Mississippi, my role in the Republican Governors Association and my efforts to elect a new Republican president in 2012, as the stakes for the nation require that effort to be successful.”

- CNN's Peter Hamby, Kevin Bohn and Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Haley Barbour
soundoff (217 Responses)
  1. cherrystrawberry

    Ronald Hussein Reagan said:

    I'm not either – and for the same reason – I have no chance to be elected.


    April 25, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. Dave in SC

    Obama would've crushed this guy like a steamroller. Barbour would get the Tea Party and Bubba vote, but nothing else.

    April 25, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    LOL, this would be breaking news if he had had a snowball chance in hell of winning anything!!!
    The first one bites the dust. Sing it children 🙂

    April 25, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  4. Peter

    Gov. Barbour: the gulf coast wildlife thanks you for that decision

    April 25, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. La, La, La

    What was he thinking? It is the same for Gingrich, Santorum, Trump, Palin. Palin won't run, she's too dumb. Santorum is too Holy. Maybe Romney. Huckabee loves his TV salary and has anyone noticed? He's fat again!

    April 25, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. newsie

    have you been to Mississippi? It's still in the stone age sorry. Glad he is not going for it.

    April 25, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  7. Michael Courtney

    Speaking as someone who is from MIssissippi, I have one thing to say. HAHAHAHAAHHA!!

    April 25, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. Hairball

    And the Donut Shops of D.C. despair!

    April 25, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. Haley Barbour

    Ya'll don't understand my (spit) reasoning. I am stepping aside so I can devote all my time to training ma' new office girl.

    April 25, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. Caesar in Atlanta

    Once he saw Trump, the wild card, the powerhouse clown, loud mouth and liar, of course he saw no chance. Yes, liar because he was on CNN on Friday and got caught lying about his income, net worth, what buildings he owns and basically not accountable for what he says. Kinda like Palin. Currently working on his TV ratings by telling everyone to watch his show where he will announce his candidacy. Sorry, i just can't watch white trash TV.

    April 25, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. Scott F

    Probably a smart move. Only CLOWNS can be nominees for the GOP. My guess is that the next GOPer to announce will be Louie Gomer, a close relative of Bozo.

    April 25, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. durrrr

    The clown car that carries the GoPee wannabe candidates has a vacancy.

    April 25, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. James Edward Bates

    We're happy to keep people like you out of Mississippi. It's a great state with great people, most of whom would even help a jerk like you should you be in need of most anything.

    ConservaFascists -aka- Mammon's comment:

    I'm glad he's come to his senses. He needs to focus on his current job as governor of that FAILED state called Mississippi.

    April 25, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. newsie

    There is only one bathroom in that state I will stop at, just sayin' I drive kinda fast through it.

    April 25, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. Todd

    Haley Barbour is too old and fat to run for anything.This man can not even control his weight let alone the country.

    April 25, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. Aaron

    Could he be employed by the Mexican government again? Realized he had an even bigger conflict of interest as governor, much less with presidential aspirations?

    April 25, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. Mojobutta

    Of course he's not running. Just look at him. He has a head like a side of beef. He's horrible looking. Not one woman on planet earth would vote for him. HE'S NO OBAMA!!!

    April 25, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. Larry

    Darn, whom can I vote for now?

    April 25, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. Shorty32

    Way to go Barbour we don't need anyone in office who is going to set America back even father than what it is already. We are tryin to move forward not backward. I am from Mississippi and I would not recommend him to run because of his antics and that is because I am from the area where he grew up in. Its people like him who refuse to let Mississippi move forward. So why would we need him to keep us at a stand still.

    April 25, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. Radsenior

    No one wanted that bigot, Haley Barbour, in the race. He saw the light and it was a train headed straight for him!

    April 25, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. AB

    It is just as well that Haley Barbour decided not to run for president n 2012. This man is tone-deaf and very insensitive to the concerns and plight of racial minorities. Barbour failed to denounce Nathan Bedford Forrester–The founder of the Klu Klux Klan and the Confedency, the southern heritage of racism. Furthermore, Barbour represents a bygone era of America that was infused with race hatred and bigotry. There is no place for such bigotry and hatred in today's America and its political establishment.

    April 25, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  22. Bob Hamilton

    NOOOOOO!!!! Haiey's not running for President! It's not because he wouldn't have a snowball's chance in heck, is it? No. I doubt he would be that honest. I guess that reveals that I did not read this article. Someone let me know if he got up in front of the press and was honest. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have decided to announce that I am not running for President because I realized that I could not win under any circumstances under the sun. Thank you. Doughnuts are in the back.

    April 25, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. Luis

    Good... that means i wont have to protest. The last thing this nation needs is a stuck up republican.
    -Quoted by Me, a Mississippi resident

    April 25, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. wannabe

    Rumor ha it that Haley's opening a franchise for used KKK apparel.

    April 25, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. Greg in Arkansas

    I'm not running, thanks for your donation, please feel free to send me more money.....may want the VP slot....will decide on VP run after a few more fundraisers$$$$$$$$$

    April 25, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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