Bob Barr Announces Presidential Runby Doug Mataconis
As expected, former Congressman Bob Barr, announced his candidacy for the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President today:
(CNN) – Former Republican Rep. Bob Barr formally jumped into the White House race Monday as a candidate for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination.
Barr, the onetime darling of conservatives who led the impeachment fight against former President Bill Clinton, said he is running because voters want a choice beyond the two political parties.
“They believe that America has more and better to offer than what the current political situation is serving up to us,” he said Monday at the National Press Club in Washington. “The reason for that is very simple, they believe in America as I believe in America. We believe in an America that is not and should not be and should never be driven by fear as current policies on behalf of both parties are in this country.”
Barr, 59, represented Georgia’s 7th congressional district from 1995-2003, and became an increasingly vocal critic of President Bush, especially over the president’s support of the Patriot Act. He formally left the Republican Party in 2006.
The next step is the LP Convention in Denver next week where Barr faces what looks to be somewhat of an uphill fight against party purists.
Update: Reason’s David Weigel attended the event:
The smallish room Bob Barr booked for his presidential announcement was overflowing with journalists. I’ve seen every Ron Paul 2008 event held at the venue, and they never drew this sort of interest: There were, I think, four working reporters at the press conference announcing the haul from the first momeybomb. But Barr’s announcement drew live reporters from the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post (even if it was the famously snarky “Sketch” author Dana Milbank). Barr foreign policy pal Doug Bandow stood by him at the podium, and foreign policy maven Jim Bovard sat in the audience.
Is Barr picking up the Ron Paul vote? He acrobatically avoided tying his campaign to Paul, but I talked to a few familiar Paulites in the audience. Ron Paul Rider Michael Maresco, who staged a 60-day bike ride across the country to support Paul, shook hands with Barr then told me he would back him. Brad Jansen, a ubiquitous DC organizer for Paul and manager of one of the Ron Paul Republicans’ campaigns for the House (Vern McKinley, in the DC exurbs), talked to Barr about writing a follow-up to his 2002 Liberty article defending him against attacks by the then-leadership of the LP.
This sounds more and more like it could be a very interesting campaign
H/T: Jason Pye