Barbour calls on Republicans to unite behind eventual nominee
June 17th, 2011
02:59 PM ET
12 years ago

Barbour calls on Republicans to unite behind eventual nominee

New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour exhorted Republicans on Friday to put their ideological differences aside and rally around their eventual presidential nominee with the goal of defeating President Barack Obama in 2012.

"We are not going to have a perfect candidate," Barbour told the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. "There has only been one perfect person that has ever walked on this earth and there's not going to be one who runs for president in 2012."

Barbour, who seriously considered a presidential bid of his own but decided against running, urged Republicans not to "get hung up on purity." Democrats, he said, are eager to see Republicans squabble among themselves and open the door for President Obama to win re-election.

"In politics, purity is a loser," said Barbour, long regarded as one of the GOP's top strategists. Whoever wins the nomination, he said, will be "many multiples better than Barack Obama."

Barbour said the current rifts within the party - divisions that pit populist-minded candidates against those backed by the GOP establishment - are nothing new.

He told reporters after his speech that Americans want a president with "plain-spoken, common sense solutions," not an ideologue.

"People want a president who gets things done," he said. "They are tired of happy talk."

Barbour also said he expects other Republicans to join the 2012 race, a departure from the emerging consensus in Washington just weeks ago that the GOP field was settled.

Of course, that was before Sarah Palin's bus tour, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's campaign implosion and the sudden emergence of Texas Gov. Rick Perry as a credible potential candidate.

Barbour said there is a chance Perry will run and said he "would be a serious candidate" if he decides to join the nomination fight.

"I think people have several weeks to consider running, whether or not to run," Barbour said. "Obviously the better known, or the more access to resources a candidate has, the later that candidate can wait. I think there is still plenty of time and I think there are likely to be other candidates."

Asked if Palin could raise the kind of money to be competitive, Barbour chuckled in agreement.

"She could raise enough money to burn a wet mule," he said.

soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Ed

    Barbour is from one of the most backwards states in the USA. Mississippi has a long history of civil evils and far right winge,almost fascist like state government. That state makes Texas look semi-intelligent! Anything "Bonebour" says shouldn't be taken seriously. He's just another GOP joke, aimed at angry old white people..

    June 17, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Hmmmm...his state has the highest infant mortality rate, some of the lowest wages per capita, one of the highest unemployment rates, one of the highest crime per capita rates, one of the lowest 4-year degree rates, and one of the highest poverty rates in the nation. Why would anyone lsiten to him?!!!

    June 17, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. Possum Dearie

    What happens if Palin gets in and wins New Hampshire?

    June 17, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    The majority of Republicans in Mississippi believe that interracial marriage should be illegal. Look it up.

    This is the guy they believe should lead them despite him helpin turn Mississippi into the "Last Place State."

    June 17, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. once upon a horse

    why can't the GOP have the perfect candidate, the Democrats already do! 🙂

    June 17, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. DumbasRocks [R]s

    Ok. So let's go through the quotes:

    "We are not going to have a perfect candidate". - This wins the understatement award!

    "There has only been one perfect person that has ever walked on this earth and there's not going to be one who runs for president in 2012." - I really do think he is talking about his own decision to not run in 2010. This would certainly be no more delusional than the rest of the tripe he trying to sell here.

    He claims [R]s should not "get hung up on purity. In politics, purity is a loser." - He is one hypocrit of the first order. He himself has required [R] "purity" in the past. Plus, I'd like to see him tell that to the Teabgging nazis that he welcomed into the [R] party just because they were so pure.....they have turned out to be 'pure' alright: pure nonsense.

    A [R] president would be "many multiples better than Barack Obama." - See what I mean about delusional? "Better"....Oh really? The [R] presidential track record for abysmal failure is deep and undeniable as laid out by GWB. So this is what he is selling: just as our current president is finally getting us out of the deep mess that the last [R] president made, we are to elect another [R] president so we can fall right back into the mess? Stupid IS as stupid DOES!!

    Americans want a president with "plain-spoken, common sense solutions," not an ideologue. - He is counting on the fact that his hypocrisy is so thick, that it will befuddle the stupid among you. Take a look at the [R] candidates: a rogues gallery of rightwing ideologues. And the one guy (Romney) who has a record of not being one, is so hard trying to be one now, that he is registering 9.6's in political gymnastics scorings.....with such high scores having not been seen since the candidacy of gramps McCain as he tried to placate the rightwing underbelly about his candidacy.

    Seriously, today's [R]s have some sort of genetic inferiority thing going on...... I really do not think that humans could be that stupid on purpose.

    June 17, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. diridi

    All these GOP idiots are and biggest bastards that this nation ever found on greed...greed....greed.....this greed is killing this nation....o.k, Obama2012/Biden

    June 17, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. thomas

    Say Grace , then pass the ribs an gravy !

    Chris Christie / Haley Barbour 2012

    Whats for disert ?

    June 17, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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