Barr announces campaign

Bob Barr has announced his plans to run for the Libertarian nomination this morning:

Former Republican Rep. Bob Barr formally jumped into the White House race Monday as a candidate for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination.
“They believe that America has more and better to offer than what the current political situation is serving up to us,” he said Monday at the National Press Club in Washington. “The reason for that is very simple, they believe in America as I believe in America. We believe in an America that is not and should not be and should never be driven by fear as current policies on behalf of both parties are in this country.”

Barr, 59, represented Georgia’s 7th congressional district from 1995-2003, and became an increasingly vocal critic of President Bush, especially over the president’s support of the Patriot Act. He formally left the Republican Party in 2006.

Barr will have to win the party’s nomination next weekend in Denver. I would not say that it is a slam dunk either. There has been some heated criticism of Barr, which was to be expected, though it could be a very vocal minority.

[UPDATE] There is audio of the press conference from Reason. You can listen to it here. There is also more here and here. There is some video of the press conference here.


  1. Burdell says:

    As best I can remember, I’ve only ever found one policy that I disagree with Bob Barr over.

    If he were to actually win the Presidency, he should rename the weekly radio address “The President’s Laws of the Universe.”

  2. TM2000 says:

    Barr is proof that Bush has alienated himself even from people who were initially some of his biggest supporters. Barr is too conservative for my taste but having met him I will say that he is a good man. I do agree with him on at least one thing, that Uncle Sam really needs to take a “How to spend your money wisely” class. Spending has turned into a behemoth as has the debt.

  3. StevePerkins says:

    Wow… I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen the LP get front-page coverage on all the 24-hour news network sites.

    I agree with Jason that the nomination won’t be a cakewalk… there are a lot of people whose vision is for the LP to be more of a book club than a political party, and the notion of an actual credible candidate scares them. However, I gotta believe that saner heads will prevail in the end. Barr’s candidacy is the reason why Denver will be the first national convention I’ve ever gone to be a delegate for in 15+ years of affiliation with the party.

  4. CobbGOPer says:

    At least now I can vote for Bob with some inkling of dignity instead of holding my nose while voting for McCain.

  5. I Am Jacks Post says:

    “Barr” and “credible” are two words that have no business being featured in the same sentence.

  6. John Konop says:


    Bob Barr, Insurgent Candidate, Calls For Immediate ‘Plan To Draw Down’ In Iraq

    BARR: The American people, as do I, do not believe in precipitous action. I believe in responsible action. First of all, you don’t signal to your adversary, regardless of the circumstances that brought you into that adversarial relationship, what your future plans and future timetables are. That is foolhardy. Only a fool would signal to whatever our adversaries are, whoever our adversaries are, exactly how and when we would be drawing down our troops. But I do believe that it is extremely important, and in the best interests of America’s defenses and our security, and our relationship with our allies, that we do begin immediately setting in place a plan to draw down, dramatically decrease the military, the economic and the political footprint that we maintain in Iraq. Currently there is absolutely no incentive whatsoever for the Iraqi regime, the Iraqi government to assume responsibility for its own economic affairs, for it’s own political affairs, for its own security affairs. So long as they have the American people and the taxpayer dollars —


  7. Hank Reardan says:

    So what you want but Georgia will be in play now. We will get alot more attention here because of this. Nationally Barr my get 2-3% but in Georgia it could go 5-9% range. If it does we will see alot more spending by the candidates here.

  8. I Am Jacks Post says:

    Would Barr have left the party had he beaten Linder? Probably not.

    . . . takes his ball and goes home.

  9. joe says:

    When there were still umpteen candidates running, I went to one of those sites that asked you 20 questions then matched you with your candidate. The highest match rate that I had was 56%.

    Finally, somebody that I can vote for without feeling dirty.

  10. Chris says:

    Barr getting in the race doesn’t necessary put Georgia into play.

    McCain is unpopular on several fronts (immigration being the biggest), but he has strong national defense experience, and like it or not, I don’t think Georgia is ready to ceed Iraq to terrorists and Iranian nutjobs just yet.

    Barr will have a hard time making the case that a vote for him isn’t a wasted vote. And unless Barr-mentum moves some elected officials from the R to the L side of the aisle, little of Barr’s effort will build the LP.

  11. Trevor Southerland says:

    Georgia is all ready in play, regardless of whom the third party or independent candidates are…

    Obama 08!

  12. IndyInjun says:

    Rat wrote:

    “I don’t think Georgia is ready to ceed Iraq to terrorists and Iranian nutjobs just yet.”

    But are they more ready to accept $6 gas caused by GOP majority borrow, print, and spend madness? The correlation of having a war on a credit card, along with doubled debt and social programs, and hyperinflation is becoming apparent.

    Some of y’all take Georgia’s status as a red state for granted.

    06 was a warning shot, but you thought it was a hummingbird whistling by. ’08 will reform the GOP the hard way, since the party was incapable of reforming itself.

  13. CHelf says:

    Indy – “But are they more ready to accept $6 gas caused by GOP majority borrow, print, and spend madness?”

    And willingly handing over all three branches of government to the likes of even higher gas, spending, government size, etc. is better? Cutting off your nose to spite your face doesn’t even begin describing this. Willingly giving the party who will ensure even more of what you are fed up with is not exactly smart strategy. I know there is an attitude of ‘cleaning house’ and getting rid of the ones causing problems. But when the enforcement, taxing, lawmaking, judicial reins are all handed over to one party thanks to division within the other party, you have to question is this somehow beneficial to America.

    You can be mad and start a cause on this all you want but don’t make me suffer in the meantime. I’d rather not have to deal with more regulation, higher taxes, more government bureacracy, etc. just because you want to stick it to somebody.

  14. Bill Simon says:


    The AJC already has a super-liberal guest female writer…that chick in the Sunday edition of the…which I’ve never been inspired to go read online.

  15. Ms_midtown says:

    I was in Texas in 1988 when Ron Paul ran as the Libertarian. Many folks were talking how Ron Paul would take 5% in Texas against the “phony conservative” George Bush, of course Texas was Bush’s home state.
    Ron Paul came in at 1%
    Also why would a pro life voter support the pro choice Libertarian Party?

  16. Chris says:

    The LP is not pro-choice. The LP is not pro-life. AFAIK, the LP lets each member and each candidate decide for themselves when life begins. And they obviously oppose any government funding of abortions.

  17. landman says:

    Barr,is a non-factor in this race and made a poor decision in entering this race.He will will not capture over 2% nationally and no more than 3-4% here in Georgia.What a dumb move!!!!!

  18. Romegaguy says:

    But it helps to sell books and increase lecture fees. You gotta see the big picture landman.

  19. IndyInjun says:


    That we have a 2 party system is most unfortunate, for then when a bad, totally corrupt element seizes control of the party most attuned with one’s interest it is THEY who are the biggest enemy, for they are impediments to achieving the primciples of the party.

    The Dems are irrelevant, for we cannot change them.

    We always get the f’ed up logic “you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face” when we seek to throw out lousy incumbents like Chambliss, but YOU are destroying America by coddling them. YOU reward bad behavior.

    Politicians have to learn there are consequences when they stab voters in the back. It makes them responsive.

    In this case, you have an imposter who voted for greater increases in social spending and expansion of government power than the Dems did in 40 years.

    Your method results in 4 term senators and 12 term congressmen within a totally broken system that represents no conservatives.

  20. CHelf says:

    Indy, since you don’t know me it’s very hard for you to say I reward bad behavior. Considering there is a primary process and a chance to remove the “bad”, you have the means to make the change. YOUR method gives us the extreme opposite ideology. Everything you complain about is actually exponentially applied when you ensure the other side wins. I find it difficult to call it good strategy to ensure the other party has AT LEAST two good years of control appointing judges, expanding government, muddling up foreign policy, etc. Basically you’re giving the political enemy a free pass to set a foundation for even more than 2 years to affect all 3 branches of government. YOUR method ensures we will have about 20 years of liberal effects on the federal courts, more bureacracy creating more dependence and therefore more entitlements being established which odds are will never be taken away, higher tax burdens for at least two generations, more regulations on the economy, etc. In a military equation Indy, you would have advocated handing the keys over to al Qaeda or Hitler or any other “enemy” for a few years just so we could “clean house” inside. Willingly helping your ideological opponent and letting them run the show for a few years does nothing to help the cause. It only ensures liberal ideas and policies are even more entrenched and makes regaining Congress and the White House even more difficult. Having the White House controlled by a Dem for 4 years means quite a bit. And two years is quite a few judges on the bench at all levels. Are you sure your method is really worth it?

  21. John Konop says:

    I talk to Tom Price yesterday and I do think he has gotten the message. He was clear about the problems with the farm bill, debt and sinking dollar, the failure of No Child Left Behind, energy policy…..

    At this point I will only judge Tom for what he does now. And if he votes against bills like the Farm bill and fights NCBL we win.

    I do agree by no one challenging Saxby we should just expect more of the same.

  22. John Konop says:


    The truth is we need a plan B in Iraq. We cannot afford nation building. If Iraq does not start picking up the cost it will destroy our economy.

    The problems in Iraq are mainly about tribal groups that have been killing each other since 700AD. Any gains in Iraq via any military analysis have come from separating the groups which I suggested years ago.

    This is called the containment strategy which was incubating in the Reagan administration and was our foreign policy until Bush 2.

    The concept that democracy is a magical sprinkle dust that will change Middle East hatred between groups is very naïve.

    The strategy should be how do we best contain the situation and get off the need of foreign oil.

    As Reagan learned heavy U.S. military involvement does not help contain the situation,

  23. IndyInjun says:

    CHelf –


    What you have described is why the vast of majority don’t bother to vote.

    It is how we got the disastrous second term of Bush 43.

    The Bush administration is a greater foe of America, the Constitution, and conservatism than are the Dems by all manner of objective measures.

    We the Indies, Constitutionalists, Libertarians, and fiscal conservatives empowered the GOP coalition when it swore to our principles. When it forswore same in exchange for personal and partisan power, it basically told us all “up yours!”

    In other words we are supposed to just shut up and pay up. It ain’t working that way. After 8 years of abuse like you expouse here, the Dems are not the opposition. You are.

    The GOP is about to reap what it has sown – the bitter crop of defeat.

    You seek to blame us for the consequences of GOP treachery instead of a hard look in a mirror. You are a burned child dreading the stove, instead of your own self-damaging actions.

  24. CHelf says:


    Again, if you actually knew me, you’d know I probably have more in common with you than you equating me with the problem. Since you bring up the fiscal concept, let’s run with that. Let’s go with cost-benefit analysis. Considering what a Dem win will give you, I ask you how that will help change things for the better? In ’94 we were told things would change. Those who pledged to change did not deliver. We’ve been told repeatedly by people like you that Rome must burn to get things right. Each time this only creates even more problems. Indies flocked to Perot in ’92. What happened? Where did it get us?

    Back to cost benefit, you see some glimmer of hope in jacking up taxes, forcing healthcare, creating more entitlements, adding more people to feeding off the government trough, adding activist judges on every level of the federal court systems, etc. You think setting us back 10-20 years on laws, rulings, regulations, etc. is somehow victory? Please do explain how defeat is victory.

    If you want to run with the Chambliss thought, there was an option for a real conservative in 2002. And who prevented one from running this time?

    Again, I’d like to see how you think defeat is somehow a guarantee of victory and accomplishing your goal. Besides making the country pay in more ways than one, how are you ensuring “‘victory”?

  25. IndyInjun says:

    “Indies flocked to Perot in ‘92. What happened? Where did it get us?”

    It got us TWO major parties shocked back into their senses.

    On the GOP side it resulted in the ’94 victories behind the Contract with America, largely inspired by Perot’s appeal to fiscal conservatism and a broken DC establishment.

    On the Dem side, it got us a much more conservative POTUS than Bush 43, one who took on welfare reform, cut capital gains taxes, eliminated taxes from most home sales, and produced balanced budgets.

    For TWO YEARS, treasury debt was being retired.

    As for Chambliss, the failure of an established GOP pol to challenge him is emblematic of why so many won’t vote GOP in November.

    This may be shocking to GOPers, but it is actually less damaging to raise taxes to PAY for your spending plans than to borrow $5 TRILLION, a big chunk from adversaries, or print it out of thin air.

    Y’all don’t get it, but the Bush gang was a total horror show for fiscal conservatives with no Dem equivalent in history.

  26. CHelf says:

    “Y’all don’t get it” – actually I got it very early in the game Indy. Again, knowing me would confirm this.

    As for Perot, HE did not give us a more conservative POTUS than Bush 43. Clinton was determined before that. Perot might have shocked the system but it did not change it, especially in a long term sense. Let’s see. The effects of the ‘shock’ you refer to has given the Dems Gore and Kerry..both failed, and Pelosi and Reid…not exactly middle of the road Dems. On the GOP side, no more mention of the ’94 elections especially from that particular class still in office. Many of those ‘shocked’ into office have rubber stamped what we currently have. So the ‘shock’ we’ve seen in the past has yielded no worthwhile results for either party. We’ve seen tax burdens increase, government size increase, etc., etc., etc.

    You basically call me the ‘enemy’ and problem. Actually, I found myself chased out of a few message boards including a GAGOP Yahoo board a few years back because I dared criticise the party and the President for steering down the wrong path. So believe me when I say I am in no way defending anything that Bush and the party did over the last 8 years. But to just hand power of two branches of government ultimately all three over to the other party to have at least two years to dig the hole deeper does not help in any way.

    You seem to equate your problems with Bush with the whole election coming up. Bush will be out. But are your actions ensuring and even guaranteeing a better end result? Or greater burden on those fiscal conservative principles you hold? Frankly, I’m not willing to pay higher taxes, lose more rights, and make my kids pay a higher burden in the future just to prove a point.

  27. Bill Simon says:

    Konop said: “The problems in Iraq are mainly about tribal groups that have been killing each other since 700AD.”

    Here is a question that should be asked of the “Muslim” world: How do they track calendar days, months, and years?

    Because if they are truly in the majority of the world population via sheer numbers, and they use the denotation that, say, today is May 13, 2008, doesn’t that mean they are acquiescing (sp?) to the West’s way of life?

  28. Chris says:

    One step at a time Bill. First goal is to move the Prime Meridian from Grenwich to Mecca. They we can all subtract 632 to get the current year.

  29. IndyInjun says:


    No topic dealing with the SHOCKING loss of ANOTHER “safe” GOP seat in Mississippi?

    “After losing special elections in Illinois and Louisiana, the House GOP conference already expects a bad year for their party. But those two districts voted for President Bush by eleven and nineteen points, respectively, not by a whopping twenty five points.”

    Is Debbie’s “Katrina emigre” theory true for all of the red states? How many people were there in NOLA, anyway?

    The GOP has a huge problem. Conservatives want to see it D-E-A-D.

  30. liberator says:

    How can McCain swear to preseve and defend the Constitution when he co-sponsored McCain-Feinghold which guts the First Amendment? Barr is the only choice for people who truly value freedom.

  31. Icarus says:

    “Unbelievable that no front page PeachPunditeer has made this a topic……”

    I haven’t won the election yet.

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