Entries in Governor Haley Barbour (3)


Potential Presidential Candidates to Take the Stage in Iowa Saturday

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Get ready for another 2012 “cattle call” in Ohio Saturday as the field of possible candidates comes into focus and they test their messages in front of Hawkeye State voters who are serious about their role in the presidential nominating process.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, former Sen. Rick Santorum, Georgia businessman Herman Cain and even former Ambassador John Bolton, who says a presidential run could still be in the cards, will all be on hand for Iowa Rep. Steve King’s Conservative Principles Conference in Des Moines on Saturday.

Notably, this is Barbour's second visit to the state in just two weeks.  And, he heads from Iowa to New Hampshire next week for his first-ever visit as a potential candidate.  Not on the podium this weekend: The winner of the 2008 Iowa Caucuses, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who continues to be coy about his presidential ambitions.

Bob Vander Plaats, a well-known political figure in Iowa who ran unsuccessfully in the state’s Republican gubernatorial primary last year and chaired Huckabee’s campaign here during the last presidential cycle, said that Huckabee was still doing his “due diligence” and shouldn’t be counted out yet.

“He sees the depth of support in Iowa, he sees the national polls with him up against Obama and faring very well -- probably the best of all Republicans," Vander Plaats told ABC News in an interview last night.  “My gut is he’s going to look at all options on how to get in versus how to get out.”

Another absentee at King’s event will be former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who announced the unveiling of his presidential exploratory committee earlier this week.  Still, no one can accuse Pawlenty of not paying attention to the state.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will also be a no-show -- so far, he’s focused more on behind-the-scenes fundraising.  Romney told a group of high-dollar donors in New York Thursday that it would take at least $50 million to successfully win the GOP presidential nomination.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


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


Mississippi Governor Clarifies Controversial Civil Rights Comments

Photo Courtesy - JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(JACKSON, Miss.) -- A day after Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour sparked criticism with comments he made about his experiences growing up in the south during the civil rights era, he sought to clarify those remarks, calling that period of history a “difficult and painful era.”

“When asked why my hometown in Mississippi did not suffer the same racial violence when I was a young man that accompanied other towns’ integration efforts, I accurately said the community leadership wouldn’t tolerate it and helped prevent violence there," Barbour said in a statement on Tuesday. "My point was my town rejected the Ku Klux Klan, but nobody should construe that to mean I think the town leadership were saints, either. Their vehicle, called the ‘Citizens Council,’ is totally indefensible, as is segregation. It was a difficult and painful era for Mississippi, the rest of the country, and especially African Americans who were persecuted in that time.”

At issue are comments he made in an interview with the Weekly Standard in which he appeared to downplay the tension of the civil rights movement in Mississippi. “I just don’t remember it as being that bad,” Barbour told the Weekly Standard’s Andrew Ferguson.

The remarks drew a sharp rebuke from the president of the Mississippi chapter of the NAACP, members of the left-leaning blogosphere and a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, among others.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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