Haley Barbour Will Not Seek Republican Nomination in 2012
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Gov. Haley Barbour announced Monday he will not seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
While Barbour’s name has generated some buzz, he trailed badly in polls at both the national level and in key early contests, including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
"I will not be a candidate for president next year,” said Barbour. "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."
Elected to his current position in 2003, Barbour has retained his popularity with many GOP activists from his time as chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) from 1993 until 1997. During his time at the helm of the RNC, the Republicans won control of both houses of Congress for the first time in four decades.
Barbour hinted at that continued support from Republican activists as he bowed out of the race Monday.
"Hundreds of people have encouraged me to run and offered both to give and raise money for a presidential campaign,” said Barbour, whose leadership of the Magnolia State in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina won national attention and acclaim. “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.”
Despite that support, Barbour insisted his heart simply was not into making a presidential campaign.
"A candidate for president today is embracing a 10-year commitment to an all-consuming effort, to the virtual exclusion of all else,” continued Barbour. “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.”
Barbour insisted that his announcement does not mean he is headed to the political sidelines, though his term as governor expires later this year.
"This decision means I will continue my job as governor of 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,” said Barbour.
Despite Barbour forgoing a chance to run for the nomination, a large crowd of declared and potential candidates is starting to line up to take on President Barack Obama in 2012.
Former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico, businessman Herman Cain, former Gov. Buddy Roemer of Louisianan, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and activist Fred Karger have already announced their candidacies or launched exploratory committees.
Other potential candidates include U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, former Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah, former state Chief Justice Roy Moore of Alabama, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former New York Gov. George Pataki, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, and businessman Donald Trump.
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