STATEMENT from Gov. Haley Barbour

April 25, 2011


"I will not be a candidate for president next year. 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.

"Hundreds of people have encouraged me to run and offered both to give and raise money for a presidential campaign.  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.

"A candidate for president today is embracing a ten-year commitment to an all-consuming effort, to the virtual exclusion of all else.  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.

"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."

Ed. The expectation was that Barbour would get in.  He was featured on the cover of the April issue The American SpectatorAn April 24 story by AP's Beth Fouhy reviewing Republican hopefuls' fundraising prospects contained a line that "Barbour, who's expected to join the field as early as this coming week..." which was picked up by a number of news organizations.  As Politico reported, Barbour was fairly close to getting in:

Jonathan Martin & Maggie Haberman.  "Why Haley Barbour pulled the plug."  Politico, April 25, 2011.  They write, "Haley Barbour had his presidential announcement plan lined up: A May 2 launch, followed by a fly-around to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada and Florida, before winding up in in Jackson on Saturday the 7th for a big home-state fundraising bash."

There was also the back story that Barbour's wife didn't want him to run; she told WLOX-TX on March 31, 2011 that the thought of him running for president "horrifies me."

Barbour's decision not to run turned attention to Gov. Mitch Daniels.  There were several stories like these:

Jonathan Martin.  "Haley Barbour's exit frees Mitch Daniels, big-money GOP donors for 2012."  Politico, April 25, 2011.
Robert Hendin.  "Does Haley Barbour's opt out mean Mitch Daniels will opt in."  CBS News (Political Hotsheet), April 25, 2011.

Pawlenty Statement on Governor Barbour

"Nobody has done more than Haley to build the Republican Party over the last three decades, including last year, when I had the privilege to be his vice chairman at the Republican Governors Association. He is one of the Republican Party's great leaders and an outstanding Governor for Mississippi. When Republicans defeat Barack Obama next year, it will be thanks to the solid party foundation Haley helped build. We wish he and Marsha the best and thank them for all that they do for their state, their Nation, and the Republican Party."

# # #