Bob Barr on Principles & Values
Libertarian nominee for President; Former Republican Representative (GA-7)
Barr said his qualifications are “at least equal to the other senators running, and they far exceed Gov. Palin’s.” But even if he doesn’t win, Barr said whatever votes he does garner will help change public policy; to show the government that they’re not happy with how things are going.
A: Certainly, the message that we bring to this campaign --limited government, greatly enhanced individual liberty, shrinking the size of the government, government spending being dramatically cut--will appeal very strongly and very clearly to Ron Paul’s supporters.
Q: Well, have you talked to Ron Paul?
A: Yes. I saw Ron and talked with him just a few days ago.
Q: And will he back you?
A: Ron Paul is a very good friend of mine, I of his. He supports very much what we’re doing. I support very much what he is doing. But I cannot speak in terms of what he might do formally for our campaign.
Q: But he seems to have informally told you that he would be rooting for you. Am I reading him correctly?
A: Well, he publicly had some very kind things to say about Bob Barr and our campaign.
A: We are working--along with the Libertarian Party--to be on the ballot in at least 49 states, and possibly all 50 states.
Q: Oklahoma and West Virginia were the tough ones, I heard?
A: Oklahoma is an extremely tough nut to crack, because the two status quo parties make it almost impossible to get on the ballot. It may be that we will have to file a lawsuit in order to get on the ballot.
A: Well, I’m interested in being more than a Ross Perot phenomenon. I have great respect for him. And, as a matter of fact, his campaign manager is now our campaign manager. We’re putting together a team that will deliver a positive message to an awful lot of new and disenfranchised older voters.
Q: Will you be on all 50 state ballots? How does that stand?
A: We hope to be. The Libertarian Party, alone among America’s third parties, has enjoyed near-universal ballot access. Last cycle, in 2004, Libertarians were on the ballots in 48 of 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. This time, we hope to gain at least that degree of ballot access, if not 49 or 50 states.
A: Not so. I cannot think of any reason why somebody who is predisposed to vote for John McCain, a big-government Republican, would choose instead to switch to Bob Barr, a small-government Libertarian. It would make no sense. There are a large number of disenfranchised, disenchanted Republican voters that we hope to pick up and appeal to. But those are voters that would not vote for McCain in the first place.
Q: Libertarians, typically, though, say their backup choice is a Republican. The ones who voted for Ross Perot in ‘92 said that if they had a backup choice, it would have been George Bush Sr.
Q: Every election cycle is different. And the dynamics this time are very different from in ‘92 or any other race. The deep, deep dissatisfaction with this administration and with the party that he represents, coupled with the huge number of new voters that are becoming active for the first time, really changes the dynamics.
A: They have no idea why I’m doing it, and, plus, that’s just a knee-jerk reaction. Does anybody getting into the race plan to ask the tough questions or plan to point out some of the areas where McCain is less conservative than he would like people to believe? Those pundits have no idea where my votes would come from, nor do they know about the issues I stand for. As a matter of fact, I suspect the votes I will get will come from folks who would be more inclined to sit out the election, because there’s not a real conservative in the race. The votes are not going to come from people that are committed to voting for McCain.
A: History provides no blueprint for the future in politics. We know that by looking at the dynamics of this particular race, which are very different in terms of the significant increase of new younger voters, the deep dissatisfaction with the status quo, the more than 70% of voters who believe that the country i on the wrong track. I’m a very different candidate from the Libertarians and other candidates who have run in the past.
Q: Take me through your strategy. In which states will you be most competitive?
A: We’re not going to disclose that at this point. There are a number of states that we believe, based on our analysis, give us a greater chance for carrying those states. But I don’t think it would be appropriate to lay those out right now. But that is a very tangible part of our strategy.
Since leaving Congress, Barr has been advocating American citizens’ right to privacy and other civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. He serves also as a board member for the NRA, the American Conservative Union and other groups.
As Rev. King told us more than four decades ago, ‘the true measure of a man is where he stands at times of challenges and controversy.’ And, as Dante Alighieri said many centuries before, ‘the hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.’“
Barr continued, ”When has the risk of inaction carried more serious consequences? What must happen to our Constitution before we set aside our complacency and expediency in favor of principle?“
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As Republican Members of the House of Representatives and as citizens seeking to join that body, we propose not just to change its policies, but to restore the bounds of trust between the people and their elected representatives. That is why, in this era of official evasion and posturing, we offer instead a detailed agenda for national renewal, a written commitment with no fine print.
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