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Inching Closer To A Run? Mississippi Gov. Barbour Plans Iowa Visit

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Fresh off a testing-the-waters appearance at last weekend’s CPAC conference in Washington, Mississippi governor and potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate Haley Barbour has scheduled his first trip of the year to Iowa.

Barbour will headline a dinner organized by the Iowa GOP in the Quad Cities area in the eastern part of the state on Mar. 15.

Barbour’s appearance in Scott County next month will be the first in a series of events that the state’s Republican Party plans to hold over the next year.

Barbour’s recent travel, which has included several stops in another key nominating state -- South Carolina -- is yet another sign of his interest in pursuing the Republican presidential nomination. He said he has not made up his mind about whether to enter the race, but plans to decide this spring.

Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee who is clearly laying the groundwork for a 2012 presidential campaign, delivered a pointed critique of President Barack Obama in a speech to conservative activists on Saturday. He called the Obama administration’s policies “reckless,” arguing that they have “brought America to a crossroads.”

Despite his tough words, Barbour finished near the bottom of the CPAC straw poll, a non-scientific indicator of conservative enthusiasm. He won just 1 percent of the vote, though potential rivals like Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels and Sarah Palin did not do much better -- each one ended up in the low single digits.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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