“Bob Barr continues to find ways to slap the Ron Paul movement in the face and embarrass the LP,” says former LP Vice Chair Chuck Moulton, in reference to Barr standing up Ron Paul at his National Press Club announcement. “Clearly [Barr] is in D.C. and at the national press club, since he has his own event there in 15 minutes. It is inconceivable to me that he would be a no show.”
Ron Paul invited Barr in addition to the Constitution Party’s Chuck Baldwin, the Green Party’s Cynthia McKinney, and independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, to attend his announcement that he would not be endorsing fellow Republican John McCain. Instead, Paul encouraged voters to choose one of the three third-party/independent candidates with whom he shared the stage — or no-show Bob Barr.
This isn’t the first time Barr has missed a Ron Paul event. Earlier this year, he skipped out on the R3VOLution March, opting instead for Las Vegas’s Freedom Fest, where it’s said that Barr was “always accompanied by handlers” to keep libertarians away from him.
UPDATE from gregsarnowski: According to Don Rasmussen, who is involved with the CFL, â€œBarr committed to participate, but had his campaign manager call us minutes before it started to tell us that Bob thinks ‘it just isnâ€™t worth it.’ I look forward to hearing him explain how breaking a promise to Congressman Paul constitutes a wise campaign strategy. â€
UPDATE: Reason‘s Dave Weigel reports, “Barr pulled out of the conference this morning, but the LP’s Austin Petersen hadn’t been told. He showed up with campaign literature and was kicked out of the hallway by Paul spokesman Jesse Benton. ‘He was extremely angry,’ Petersen said. ‘I feel like the fall guy.'”
But Barr backed out much earlier, obviously, since he wasn’t included in a C4L press release issued at 8:47 a.m.
Ralph Nader “represented the Libertarian Party and fielded the first question directed at Bob Barr,” says Tony Wall, LP state chairman of Tennessee. “This is absolutely a disgrace to the Libertarian Party and is totally unacceptable.”
FROM DAN RASMUSSEN, EVENTS COORDINATOR, CAMPAIGN FOR LIBERTY:
“The following reflect my personal feelings and is not endorsed by Dr. Paul or Campaign for Liberty.
“I am deeply disappointed by Bob Barr’s decision not to participate in today’s press conference just as I have been disappointed with the Barr campaign throughout this election cycle.
“The idea that he was busy is absurd. I am sitting in the National Press Club right now waiting for his hastily called press conference to begin. This is the same building where Dr. Paul’s presser just ended. Barr committed to participate, but had his campaign manager call us minutes before it started to tell us that Bob thinks “it just isn’t worth it.” I look forward to hearing him explain how breaking a promise to Congressman Paul constitutes a wise campaign strategy.
“It is my great hope that the alternative parties will present the American people with quality candidates that offer a real option. Clearly the Libertarian Party has failed to do so. Bob Barr has repeatedly broken his promises to Dr. Paul, showed up uninvited at C4L events, and made statement contrary to Dr. Paul’s beliefs while still claiming the mantle of heir to the R3VOLution.
“Hopefully, the LP will find a way to reject this candidate without rejecting the idea of engagement in practical politics.”