2008 Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate Bob Barr Announces Bid For U.S. Congress In 2014 As A Republican

From Bob Barr.com: 

“Smyrna, GA, Thursday, March 28, 2013”

“Former Congressman Bob Barr, who represented the 7th District of Georgia in the House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, today announced he would seek the Republican nomination for the 11th District seat currently held by Rep. Phil Gingrey.

Yesterday Congressman Gingrey declared his candidacy for the United States Senate seat for which incumbent Saxby Chambliss will not seek reelection.

Barr made his announcement in Smyrna, Georgia at Adventure Outdoors, one of the largest sporting goods retail stores in the southeast, where he was introduced by owner Jay Wallace, who will be serving as Barr’s Finance Chairman.

The backdrop was referred to by Barr as the perfect venue from which to launch his bid to return to the Congress, because the future success of businesses such as Wallace’s depends on “turning around federal policies that,” according to Barr, “under President Barack Obama, strangle small businesses with red tape, high taxes and burdensome regulations.”

In declaring his candidacy, Barr stressed the need for serious leadership in the House, and drew on his prior, eight years of service in the Congress and his prior activities that helped pass the first federal balanced budget in more than three decades in 1997. Barr also referred to his leadership in securing the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton and his stewardship of legislation protecting Americans’ Second Amendment rights during his previous tenure in the House.

Barr also said, “at time when this President has led America to the brink of a fiscal abyss with annual, trillion-dollar deficits, and crisis upon crisis abroad is met by indecision and error, the people of the 11th District of Georgia cannot afford to send a novice to Washington to represent them.”

Joining Barr on the stage were his wife, Jeri, two of their sons — Derek and Adrian — his son-in-law Scott Thompson, and granddaughter Codie Thompson.

For further information, please contact Barr’s Campaign Manager, Jeff Breedlove, at 404.558.4905.”

Some media coverage about the announcement:

AJC (Atlanta newspaper): http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/political-insider/2013/mar/28/bob-barr-author-doma-enters-gop-race-11th-district/

CNN: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/28/back-to-the-future-for-bob-barr/

 

50 thoughts on “2008 Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate Bob Barr Announces Bid For U.S. Congress In 2014 As A Republican

  1. Jill Pyeatt

    What is it with politicians who refuse to retire?

    John McCain? Diane Feinstein? Lindsey Graham? This is the best evidence ever that they have hugely inflated egos.

  2. Mark Axinn

    Of course he did not mention his run for President.

    Nor his sponsorship of DOMA which the Supreme Court looks likely to strike down after the last couple of days of oral argument.

  3. Trent Hill

    Don’t know whether to hope he gets defeated for acting like a douche-canoe, or to root for him and hope he’s more libertarian this time around.

  4. Sam Kress

    I actually don’t care. Between him and the Democrats it is hard to say which is worse. And thanks to Georgia’s ballot access laws no other parties or independents are likely to be on the ballot. Maybe a Ron Paul Republican could challenge him in the primary?

  5. Googlenaut

    From the AJC article:

    I asked Barr whether his late relationship with the Libertarian Party would prove a burden. He said absolutely not:

    “Ronald Reagan said libertarianism with a small ‘l’ is at the heart of the Republican party. Smaller government, lower taxes, local control – all of those sort of things. Respect for civil liberties. That’s what Republicans have always stood for.” […]

    The CNN article included this:

    When he became a libertarian, Barr called for the repeal of the law, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

  6. paulie

    Smaller government, lower taxes, local control – all of those sort of things. Respect for civil liberties. That’s what Republicans have always stood for

    Republicans have never stood for this.

  7. NewFederalist

    “Congratulation to all Libertarian Party delegates who voted for CIA Bob to be your presidential nominee in 2008.”

    Could have read… “Congratulations to all Libertarian Party delegates who voted for Ron Paul to be your presidential nominee in 1988.” if IPR had existed in 1993. He did basically the same thing in the same relative timeframe.

  8. paulie

    I don’t think that’s a good comparison. Ron Paul has a much better record in Congress than Bob Barr. Notice the headlines on those news articles?

  9. Jill Pyeatt

    Mark @ 3: Did you listen to the Prop 8 arguments? Do you have a sense of how the Supreme Court is leaning on that?

  10. New Federalist is Right

    NF @ 9: “Could have read… ‘Congratulations to all Libertarian Party delegates who voted for Ron Paul to be your presidential nominee in 1988,’ if IPR had existed in 1993. He did basically the same thing in the same relative timeframe.”

    New Federalist is right, as usual. Gary Johnson will eventually do the same thing. A dog almost always returns to its vomit.

  11. paulie

    Gary Johnson will eventually do the same thing.

    I don’t believe so. But Gary Johnson did come back to the LP after running as a Republican in the interim.

  12. johnO

    Bob Barr is more CP than ever being LP. LP should’ve stopped him from being nominee. Being a R nominee is like Tancredo leaving CP and going back to R’s too. Both saw a ballot line to exploit then ran back to natural home. Tancredo even said , R’s only game in town. He actually helped CP get major party status in Colorado then left them! Not sure how much Barr did for LP?

  13. Andy

    “19 johnO // Mar 28, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Bob Barr is more CP than ever being LP.”

    The Constitution Party also has differences with Bob Barr. I’d say that he’s more of a Republican.

  14. Trent Hill

    My hope is that Barr will see how popular people like Amash and Massie have become and attempt to emulate them. He’ll do it for all the wrong reasons and that’s just fine by me.

  15. Thane Eichenauer

    I supported Bob Barr in 2008 and don’t regret the fact that I voted for him. Of all the Presidential candidates that qualified for the ballot in Arizona he was the best choice. I am not 100% certain that the powers that be count ballots accurately but in am 100% certain that the powers that be can’t be relied upon to accurately count write-in votes.

  16. Andy

    “Trent Hill // Mar 29, 2013 at 2:43 am

    My hope is that Barr will see how popular people like Amash and Massie have become and attempt to emulate them. He’ll do it for all the wrong reasons and that’s just fine by me.”

    I’d rather have a person whom you know where they really stand than one who pretends to agree with you so they can use you.

  17. Trent Hill

    “I’d rather have a person whom you know where they really stand than one who pretends to agree with you so they can use you.”

    Why? What they “really think” doesn’t matter when the votes get counted. All politicians, at least all successful ones, are using you in some form or fashion. They are all posturing. Better to understand the game for what it is and be able to play it decently than to shut your eyes and remain ineffective. Libertarians can’t become viable by remaining on the sidelines with our ideals and standards–you have to be in the game to score points. Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Thomas Massie, Justin Amash, Tom Davis–they’re scoring points, what’s the Libertarian Party doing?

  18. paulie

    Pushing the envelope. If we weren’t pushing radical ideas into the mainstream and holding the stick of costing them elections because they are too far in the other direction on those, the moderate libertarians and libertarian-leaners in their own ranks would have a lot less steam behind them. Same thing the socialist, progressive, prohibitionist and populist parties did a century ago for their issues.

  19. Trent Hill

    Paulie,

    I think it’s true that libertarians, socialists, progressives, and prohibitionists did that–but third parties representing those groups had very little to do with the success. The Prohibitionists, Progressives, and Socialists all had much more success electorally–but even then the success in pushing those ideas into the mainstream largely occurred in the two major parties or outside of parties (in media).

    The movement towards libertarianism recently and the libertarian success has mostly come as a result of demographics, technology, the increasing media presence of libertarians, the good work of Cato/IHS/other orgs, and Ron Paul and his fellow travelers. The LP was able to help the Ron Paul campaign in 2008 in some small ways, which is great, but it’s entirely clear that a libertarian working in the LP is largely a waste of time and effort. The same amount of money, activism, and effort being focused on a capable and presentable candidate in the Republican Party (or Democratic Party, under the right circumstances) would likely result in elected Congressmen or even Senators.

  20. paulie

    The Prohibitionists, Progressives, and Socialists all had much more success electorally–but even then the success in pushing those ideas into the mainstream largely occurred in the two major parties or outside of parties (in media).

    I believe a lot of that had to do with the pressure those parties put on the establishment parties and the threat of earning votes away from them and changing election outcomes, or even becoming major parties.

    it’s entirely clear that a libertarian working in the LP is largely a waste of time and effort.

    I disagree, of course.

  21. Andy

    Trent Hill said: “which is great, but it’s entirely clear that a libertarian working in the LP is largely a waste of time and effort. The same amount of money, activism, and effort being focused on a capable and presentable candidate in the Republican Party (or Democratic Party, under the right circumstances) would likely result in elected Congressmen or even Senators.”

    I disagree as well. I am supportive of libertarians who run as Republicans or Democrats or independents or some other banner, however, this does not mean that it is good strategy to abandon the Libertarian Party, because it is not.

    Running under the Libertarian Party means that one can openly be as Libertarian as they want to be, as in they don’t have to bother trying to “tone down” what they say if they do not want to for fear of not making it through a primary. Also, they can properly attach the Libertarian label to themselves without having to run away from it.

    Libertarians running under the Libertarian Party label can also reach a lot of people who will not listen to the message if they hear it coming from somebody with the Republican or Democratic Party label next to their names. Ron Paul did real a lot of people running as a Republican, and this was a good thing, however, there were a lot more people out there who he did not reach simply because either A) they hate the Republican Party and won’t listen to any Republican; B) they hate both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party and won’t listen to anyone from either of those parties; C) they do not pay attention to politics until AFTER the primaries are over. So running in the major party primaries does NOT reach everyone who’d be open to the libertarian message.

    It also gives off the mistaken belief to some people that the Republican Party is more libertarian than the Democratic Party, or it could be vice versa if a lot of libertarians started to run as Democrats. Now I do not think that most Ron Paul supporters fall into this trap, but there are a lot of people out there who mistakenly believe that the Republican Party is more libertarian than the Democratic Party (including some people in the LP), when the fact of the matter is that the core of the Republican Party is just as hostile to liberty as the Democrats are.

    Another shortcoming of libertarians running in major party primaries is what if they do not make it through the primaries? If they lose in the primary then there is nobody who is a libertarian to vote for in the general election. Having the Libertarian Party on the ballot in the general election means that people who vote WILL have a Libertarian choice for whom they can cast a vote.

    Since you appear to not see any merit in minor parties, this begs the question of why do you still bother posting here?

  22. Andy

    “Trent Hill // Mar 29, 2013 at 6:32 am

    ‘I’d rather have a person whom you know where they really stand than one who pretends to agree with you so they can use you.’

    Why? What they “really think” doesn’t matter when the votes get counted. All politicians, at least all successful ones, are using you in some form or fashion. They are all posturing.”

    A person who doesn’t really believe what they say they believe is a person who will stab you in the back whenever they think that it is convenient for them. I would never support anyone like that.

  23. Mark Axinn

    Jill way back @ 12:

    I did not hear any of the arguments, just news stories on the net. My understanding is that Justice Kennedy had problems with Congressional action defining marriage (hence, I think key portions of DOMA will be struck down), but he may be more deferential to a state legislature on the subject, meaning that he would not strike down Prop. 8.

    Decision in June.

  24. Sam Kress

    Andy is correct.

    Also, I remember a recent comment by Richard Winger.

    Prohibition passed soon after the second time the Republicans blamed the Prohibitionists for costing them the election.

    And FDR’s new deal passed at a time when the larger parties seriously feared the rise of a Socialist Party to challenge them.

    Among other such examples.

  25. Trent Hill

    ” this does not mean that it is good strategy to abandon the Libertarian Party, because it is not. ”

    I didn’t say the LP should be abandoned. It is the very small stick compared to the large carrot of libertarian voters within major parties. But lets face it, in 6 years Ron Paul’s movement has accomplished more for liberty than the LP’s 35. Easily, in my book.

    It just seems like such a waste to have people with money, reputation, and real political skill and energy running in the LP when they could otherwise be WINNING SEATS as a major party type.

  26. paulie

    Again, I don’t agree, and I’m not sure which of the big two I’d even be in if I had to be in one. They are both so unappealing to me at this point. Maybe the Democrats, out of force of habit, but I’m still way too fed up with them. And I sure see no place for me in the Republican Party, we are way too far apart. So I prefer to stay LP and I’m glad the LP is here for people like me.

    It may seem like a small stick to you but it looms large in the minds of the big party operatives, which is why they pull out all the stops to keep us off the ballot and suppress our votes. And I don’t agree about who accomplished more for liberty, either.

  27. Trent Hill

    Then you’re pretty much ignoring reality. Rand Paul singlehandedly pushed droning-Americans polling numbers down by 25%. That’s an immediate outcome of an action he did in ONE DAY with ZERO MONEY.

  28. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    Trent I do agree with you. Libertarians hardly ever win when they run in the LP. They can wins as Republicans, Amash and Massie are living proof.

    That said I likewise don’t want to abandon the LP and it needs to exist. Just like the CP needs to exist because it is the only 100% pro-life national political party in the USA. When there is a Big Government statist running as an R, and Big Government statist running as an D, I want to vote for principle and vote for the LP. Even if it is a symbolic vote.

  29. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    I completely agree that Ron Paul did more for liberty in 4 years or so than the LP did in 40. I’m not hating on the LP at all, but before Ron Paul emerged on the national scene, do you you think most Americans even knew what libertarian ism was? I don’t. His contribution to liberty and freedom cannot be understated.

  30. Andy

    Trent Hill said: “It just seems like such a waste to have people with money, reputation, and real political skill and energy running in the LP when they could otherwise be WINNING SEATS as a major party type.”

    I think that you are jumping to a conclusion if you automatically think that libertarian can win if they run under a major party banner. It’s been tried a bunch of times before and they usually lose.

    I know that Libertarian running under the Libertarian Party banner usually lose as well (although I think with better planning and strategy they could win more often), but even when they lose, at least they are able to appear on the general election ballot with the Libertarian label next to their names, and they can promote a Libertarian message which less informed people will not confuse for being something else.

    I’ve been advocating for a while that Libertarian Party candidates advocate some issues that people can use outside of electoral politics to gain more freedom without electing anyone to office. The two best things that fits this criteria to promote in my opinion are #1) fully informing people of their right as juror to nullify laws, and #2) the use of alternate currencies like gold, silver, and Bitcoins. Getting these two issues out to the masses could have a big effect even if no Libertarians get elected to anything meaningful.

    I’m not opposed to libertarians running in major party primaries, but I also do not think that it is the “magic bullet” be all and end all solution that you are making it out to be.

  31. Andy

    “37 Krzysztof Lesiak // Mar 31, 2013 at 12:44 am

    I completely agree that Ron Paul did more for liberty in 4 years or so than the LP did in 40. I’m not hating on the LP at all, but before Ron Paul emerged on the national scene, do you you think most Americans even knew what libertarian ism was? I don’t. His contribution to liberty and freedom cannot be understated.”

    This is pretty much true, but keep in mind that Ron Paul was not an overnight sensation. The success he had from 2007-2012 is something that he started building back in the 1960’s. Also, I don’t think that he would have been as successful as he was if not for the time he spent in the Libertarian Party when he won the Libertarian Party’s Presidential nomination in 1988. This helped him build up a national fund raising list, which helped him get re-elected to Congress in 1996. Ron Paul was still involved with the Libertarian Party after this has he was a speaker at Libertarian Party events around the country, such as at the LP National Convention in Atlanta, GA in 2004. There were a lot of former and current Libertarian Party members who supported and were involved with both his 2007-2008 campaign and his 2011-2012 campaign. So it is not like Ron Paul did all of this stuff without the help of the Libertarian Party, because he got a lot of help from Libertarians.

  32. Andy

    “Trent Hill // Mar 31, 2013 at 12:34 am

    Then you’re pretty much ignoring reality. Rand Paul singlehandedly pushed droning-Americans polling numbers down by 25%. That’s an immediate outcome of an action he did in ONE DAY with ZERO MONEY.”

    Yeah, but if it had not been for his last name, and the millions of dollars raised from his fathers national fund raising list, he never would have been elected in the first place.

  33. Robert Capozzi

    Putting polling numbers down is helpful, but that is no substitute for being in a position to change policy.

    Getting right-minded people in a position to change policy requires concerted effort based on a solid philosophy. Part of a solid philosophy is to recognize that absolutism is actually porous, as it does not track with truth.

    This is why Rand is moving in a direction of being consequential, as he’s kept much of his father’s beliefs and yet he seems to have shirked the fringy absolutism.

    He’s still one guy, though.

  34. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    I agree that he got a lot of help from big L Libertarians, and that a lot of him were/ are still his base. His association with the LP probably helped to shape his views. And maybe if he hadn’t run in 1988, he would not have wanted to do it in 2008 and 2012? So thanks to the LP.

  35. Andy

    “Krzysztof Lesiak // Mar 31, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I agree that he got a lot of help from big L Libertarians, and that a lot of him were/ are still his base. His association with the LP probably helped to shape his views. And maybe if he hadn’t run in 1988, he would not have wanted to do it in 2008 and 2012? So thanks to the LP.”

    A lot of current and former Libertarian Party members donated money to Ron Paul’s campaigns for President for 2008 and for 2012, and for his runs for US House, and to Rand Paul’s run for the US Senate.

    I am one of them, as I donated to Ron Paul for President in 2008 and 2012, and I also donated to Ron Paul for US House for 2008, plus, I also donated to Rand Paul for US Senate for 2010.

    I know that there are other Libertarian Party members that donated to Ron Paul and/or Rand Paul, and I know that some of them post here.

    I am undecided at this point as to whether or not I will donate any money to Rand Paul in the future.

  36. Mark Axinn

    Andy.

    I will happily take any money you don’t want to give to Rand.

    You can make checks out to either LPNY or Manhattan LP, and know that your money will go for ballot access, ballot access and ballot access, in that order.

  37. Andy

    “Mark Axinn // Mar 31, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Andy.

    I will happily take any money you don’t want to give to Rand.

    You can make checks out to either LPNY or Manhattan LP, and know that your money will go for ballot access, ballot access and ballot access, in that order.”

    Donating to state Libertarian Party affiliates or to individual candidates so they can get on the ballot is definitely a good thing.

    For those out there who don’t know, the Libertarian National Committee does NOT always handle or assist in ballot access efforts, and if Libertarian Party affiliates and/or candidates sit back and ASSUME that the LNC will take care of ballot access, there will be (and are) a lot of occasions where they end up NOT making the ballot. The Libertarian National Committee does not always have enough money for ballot access, plus, depending on how the LNC members vote, they may or may not have enough votes to allocate any funding to go to ballot access. So anyone who thinks that they can sit back and wait for the LNC to get them on the ballot could end up being disappointed.

    Also, different states have different ballot access laws and some of them are more difficult than others, plus some allow for different time periods for ballot access than others. The fact of the matter is that most of the state parties that do not have ballot access need outside help to get them on the ballot, and that help is not necessarily going to come from the LNC.

    The Libertarian Party of New York is prohibited from starting their ballot access drive for 2014 until July of 2014, however, there are other states where the Libertarian Party does not currently have ballot access, but where the party could be working on it right now if the resources were available. One such state is Arkansas, and the Libertarian Party of Arkansas is trying to get on the ballot for 2014. They could use some help to make this happen, so if anyone here could go to the following link to make a donation to them that would be great:

    http://lpar.org/ballotaccess2014/

  38. Mark Axinn

    Andy @ 46 is 100% spot-on.

    Here in New York, we are both dependent upon and grateful for the help the LNC has provided over the years, but we also realize that it is only part of the equation and we need to have quite a bit of our own skin in the game as my friend Bill Redpath has reminded me on many occasions.

    Accordingly, last summer the LPNY raised over $18,000 and obtained over 7000 volunteer signatures in addition to those obtained through paid petitioners with the assistance of the LNC.

    While Andy is correct that we cannot petition now for the 2014 races, we are already gearing up for 2013 races on Long Island, in New York City, Albany, Rochester and elsewhere. Each one requires local chapters to petition without financial help from state or national LP. For example, Mayor of New York requires a minimum of 3750 valid petition signatures (figure 5000 raw) in six weeks this summer. I guaranty we will do that.

    Finally, for those with a few extra bucks burning a hole in their pockets, you cannot find a better place to spend them than LPAR as Andy suggests. Rodger Paxton and his team have done a great job there.

  39. Andy

    Mark Axinn: “For example, Mayor of New York requires a minimum of 3750 valid petition signatures (figure 5000 raw) in six weeks this summer. I guaranty we will do that.”

    Yes, that’s right, there are local races in New York that happen in the odd year, so there will be Libertarians petitioning for these local race in New York this year who will need some extra help.

    “Finally, for those with a few extra bucks burning a hole in their pockets, you cannot find a better place to spend them than LPAR as Andy suggests. Rodger Paxton and his team have done a great job there.”

    Yes, Rodger and his wife Jessica are both dedicated Libertarian go-getters that have really turned things around for the Libertarian Party in Arkansas. The Libertarian Party of Arkansas has gone from being one of the least active state LP affiliates to one of the fastest growing state LP affiliates over the last couple of years. Help them keep the momentum that they’ve created going by sending them a donation:

    http://lpar.org/ballotaccess2014/

  40. Andy

    “Mayor of New York requires a minimum of 3750 valid petition signatures (figure 5000 raw) in six weeks this summer. I guaranty we will do that.”

    Did the signature requirement for Mayor of NYC go down recently? I recall a few years ago that it was 7,500 valid signatures.

  41. paulie

    We should get some state parties to contribute their national data dumps and any non-national databases they have to a pool to help each other raise money for ballot access outside the bureaucratic process. Any states that are interested in the idea, let me know.

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