Recent Barr media

Here’s the clip that CNN ran about Barr’s campaign announcement.

The front page story from the Washington Times misreported one aspect of Barr’s campaign:

Mr. Barr said he still opposes abortion and the legalization or decriminalization of drugs, just as he did as a federal prosecutor during the Reagan administration and as a Republican in the U.S. House.

Here’s what was actually said, as transcribed by Fed News:


Q How do you square your past support for the drug war and your opposition to abortion with the positions of the Libertarian Party?

MR. BARR: As I mentioned, the Libertarian Party is not a monolithic party. And the goal — my goal is the same goal as every other Libertarian that I talk with, and that is to minimize the scope and the size and the power and the cost of government, particularly the federal government, and to maximize the areas of individual liberty.

Now, one does not do that by saying, “Okay, on day one we’re here, and on day two we’re not going to have any government.” I don’t believe that and most Libertarians are much more responsible than that. Are there diversities of views within the Libertarian Party on the drug issue, on the abortion issue? Absolutely.

But I think, at the end of the day, the important thing is to begin the process, as I would do as president, to begin the process in a very tangible way of cutting federal spending, cutting the size of the federal government — for example, telling the Congress in no uncertain terms, “You send President Bob Barr a piece of legislation that once again, as a matter of routine, raises the debt ceiling, and it will be vetoed. It will be vetoed.”

That process has to start somewhere, and it would start with a Bob Barr presidency. Neither of the other candidates for the other parties would do that. And we need to begin devolving the process of power that has become centered so heavily in Washington, such that even if the citizens of a state decide, for example, that the efficacy of medical marijuana, medicinal marijuana, makes sense to those citizens of that state and they pass a legitimate referendum in that direction, that that is respected by the federal government.

So that’s how that — we begin that process of taking these powers that, either by default or by specific design, have flowed to Washington, and begin the process — and it’s going to take a long period of time — but at least begin the process of turning those decisions back to the people of the states.

Q So you think those should be state matters, then, just to clarify -

MR. BARR: Yes.

Q — rather than federal matters. MR. BARR: Yes.

Q (Inaudible) — your personal position, you still oppose personal drug use and abortion?

MR. BARR: No — well, yes, I remain pro-life and I remain very much opposed to drug usage. But with regard to the whole range of areas here — and I think this is also important to keep in mind as a fundamental philosophical underpinning — since 9/11 we have witnessed an historically unprecedented surge — pardon the expression — of power from the individuals and from the states to Washington. And that has correspondingly and necessarily severely limited the sphere of personal liberty and personal privacy that we have left, which has been dramatically decreased since 9/11.

And, therefore, it makes it imperative upon all of us, I believe, Libertarians and conservatives as well, to take a very close and careful look at every area in which government is controlling lives and taking power from the states to see if there is a way that we can start returning that power, initially to the states and then to the people.

There are a couple of other pieces of misinformation floating around about Barr which will be corrected over the next couple of days or so.

Stephen Gordon is working with the Bob Barr 2008 Presidential Committee.

38 Responses to “Recent Barr media”

  1. Tom Bryant Says:

    That’s a dead-on answer from Barr. Drugs should not be a federal issue. State’s are moving in the direction of legalization all over the nation, and the federal government is stopping them.

    Barr’s advocating legalization without scaring off 99.5% of the voters by calling for immediately herion and meth legalization.

    I give him credit for taking a libertarian position and bundling it up in a package that a lot of voters can swallow. That’s exactly what a libertarian candidate should be doing.

    I’ve seen it work successfully on a bunch of city council races out here. Our candidates take libertarian positions and market them to the voters, and voters sign on big time.

  2. Joe Buchman Says:

    The difference between what was reported and what Congressman Barr actually said is stunning, but should not be surprising.

    Exposing the role of the major media in preserving a two party system, in underreporting Ron Paul, and likely underreporting and distorting Mr. Barr, must be part of our campaign efforts this year.

    Joe
    www.BuchmanForCongress.com

  3. Live Free or Choke Says:

    LOL-come on BOYS and girls, Barr isn’t Libertarian on the drug issue and he probably NEVER will be and it will be one of the reasons he’s GOING DOWN in Denver ! He won’t have the funds to break Clark’s ‘80 vote total, so don’t believe the LIE of hugh vote totals for Barr, if won’t happen.

    “This isn’t your daddy’s LP”, said Bob Barr.

    No, national sales TAX Barr and it’s not YOUR LP either !
    Read and STUDY some Libertarian books and come back in 4 to 8 years, Boobie.

    “HEADS”“FAIRIES”&”WITCHES” united to defeat Bob Barr and his STORMTROOPER supporters !

    Jim LIBERTARIAN Burns/Steve KUBBY ‘08
    Become a FAN of the “fat”MAN and the “head”MAN

    www .infowars,com
    the TRUTH will set you free

    STOP Barr the drugWARRIOR
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/katz-j/katz-j28.html

  4. Tom Bryant Says:

    Hmmm…a lobbyist for the Marijuana Project Policy, who is supported by their President, is not Libertarian on the drug war?

    Maybe he doesn’t want to legalize meth tomorrow, maybe he does. As a candidate, he should only focus on what libertarian positions the voters are ready to swallow. And for the drug war, he’s got medical marijuana and a whole slew of civil rights violations.

    Voters are ready to accept small bites of libertarianism. Libertarians need to provide them with that taste of freedom.

    Once marijuana is used medically, it’s a matter of time before recreation use is legalized. Then when the nation doesn’t explode, the voters will be more accepting of meth legalization and such.

    I would rather have the Libertarian Party continuously offer more increments of liberty than to offer “all or nothing” candidates. I want government to shrink (I’ll settle for stop growing at this point) much more than I care about having conspiracy theory and anarchy debates at monthly meetings.

    We aren’t likely to win the Presidency this time around. We need more activists. Bob Barr is the best candidate to grow the party and bring in a lot more small government minded people. They can help us achieve more local victories, to turn into state victories, to turn into federal victories.

    Reaching out to the same 350-400,000 voters every four years will get you the same results. That Libertarian core of 400k is stretched out as far as it can go. Ron Paul showed that there’s a lot more supporters out there - we just need to reach out to them.

  5. Trent Hill Says:

    FairTax+Contributions to Republican neo-cons over the last 2 years=no nomination for Barr.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    There’s some good stuff in there. If Barr can position himself as running on fulfilling the botched GOP/Gingrich 1994 “Contract With America” instead of just against the post-9/11 Bushevik Terror, he can make his case to a broader base.

    However, that base is still the “disgruntled Republican” crowd rather than the Cato-identified “libertarian voter.”

    Personally I think that the LP should be positioned on the far side of the CWA, and prefer a candidate who so positions it; and I seriously question the wisdom of continuing the LP’s failed 20-year strategy of auditioning for the role of Mini Me to the GOP’s Dr. Evil.

    But if we’re going to give that failed strategy one more whack, we could probably do worse than Barr.

    “We could do worse …” There’s your campaign slogan, Steve!

  7. Susan Hogarth Says:

    I feel for the person trying to get a coherent statement from the garbleygook sort of non-answers Barr gives. They are real sentences, but they have no meat to them. The only real scrap of meat seems to be here:

    And, therefore, it makes it imperative upon all of us, I believe, Libertarians and conservatives as well, to take a very close and careful look at every area in which government is controlling lives and taking power from the states to see if there is a way that we can start returning that power, initially to the states and then to the people.

    So after all that obfuscation and hemming and hawing, Barr says “We really ought to consider if there is a way that we can maybe start - just START - returning power, to the states. And then to actual people.”

    Woo! Viva la revolution!! To the barricades

    What was it that Garrison said? “Gradualism in theory is perpetuity in practice.” I’m not suggesting that Barr stand up and say “Smash the state!” (though wouldn’t that be refreshing?!), but he could maybe get a little more forceful than “Hey, guys, can we maybe really think a bit about maybe making government a bit smaller maybe?”

    That’s a completely uninspiring message. That’s what McCain says, for heaven’s sake!

  8. Michael Seebeck Says:

    I asked this question of Phillies, and he answered it promptly and succincty.

    I ask it now of the Barr campaign: Will you, Bob Barr as our nominee, use your campaign as a tool to assist the LP at all levels to help us build the infrastructure, raise the funds, and recruit the activists we need to grow the party?

    Or will you just be focused on media only?

  9. Disgruntled Says:

    Bob Barr will probably lose in Denver - and he the nominee will probably be Mary Ruwart. How sad, really.

  10. Tom Bryant Says:

    Susan…you seem to make a big fuss that Barr used the word “start”

    How does your plan to return power to the people without ever starting to returning that power?

    Wait I know…the Libertarian Party has been failing to start for 30+ years. Let’s follow their example.

    Barr’s statement is that no government program will be safe from cuts. Rather than using words and phrases that scare off 99.5% of voters that we’re used to, he has said it in a way that a lot of voters can agree with.

    It will take a while for Libertarians to translate normal language into the scary macho flash language we’re used to. That’s going to be Barr’s biggest obstacle - teaching Libertarians to stop being so scary while still saying the same thing.

    (Reminds me of way too many party events where a featured topic was proper hygeine practices and dress codes candidates should follow).

  11. Live Free or Choke Says:

    Tommie B. the word is RE-LEGALIZE. This country had NO DRUG LAWS for most of it’s history. But the “know better what’s good for you than you know for yourself STORMTROOPERS” raised their WICKED heads and attacked everyone’s freedom.

    Do you honestly believe that there isn’t an effort by more than one person to form a North American Union ? If so, where have you been, son?

    Those little glasses he wears are simular to Goebbles ? He needs to at least lose those. Someone may photoshop him a nice NAZI outfit anyday now.

    Who should have the final decision on what an adult puts into their body? The only way to have true LIBERTY is to be willing to give it to everyone else !

    I have FIVE Ben Franklins that says Bob Barr WILL NOT receive more than 920, 000 votes on Nov.4, 2008. Mr. Bryant will you put your five beside mine ? Seems you are a strong Barr sucker, er supporter. Anyone else want some action ?

    Jim LIBERTARIAN Burns/Steve KUBBY ‘08
    become a FAN of the “fat” MAN and the “head” MAN

    www .GenisisCommunicationsNetwork,com
    the TRUTH will set you free

    STOP Barr the drugWARRIOR
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/katz-j/katz-j28.html

  12. Tom Bryant Says:

    I too think that Bob Barr will lose in Denver. He is under the impression that the LP no longer wishes to be a debating society. If he’s correct, many longtime Libertarians will lose their social preserve. They will fight that tooth and nail.

    There is a very strong movement to make, rather than talk about, government smaller in the party. I just don’t think we’re numerous enough to win this time around. It will be close and it will be exciting. Can’t wait to see what happens in Denver!

  13. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Barr’s statement is that no government program will be safe from cuts. Rather than using words and phrases that scare off 99.5% of voters that we’re used to, he has said it in a way that a lot of voters can agree with.

    But they won’t vote for him. They will discover that it’s the ‘most important election ever’ (since the last one) and they will be stampeded into voting for McCain or Obama.

    Those are not the people who will get fired up about freedom.

    The LP doesn’t need a tame Republican who will get basically the same number of votes as a strong libertarian while confusing people who thought the LP stood for something more than ‘a little less’. We’ve tried the tame-Republican thing before. It didn’t miraculously increase our vote totals. The LP needs a spokesperson for freedom, not for less government.

  14. Susan Hogarth Says:

    I too think that Bob Barr will lose in Denver. He is under the impression that the LP no longer wishes to be a debating society. If he’s correct, many longtime Libertarians will lose their social preserve. They will fight that tooth and nail.

    Is it necessary to keep slinging this insult? Can’t you possibly imagine that those who disagree with you might just … disagree with you? That it might be a strategic or tactical disagreement?

    I’m really tired of the ‘lose their social preserve’ thing. Just because we don’t think the best way to grow the LP is the same way you think is best doesn’t mean we are not eager to grow it.

  15. Michael Seebeck Says:

    “The LP needs a spokesperson for freedom, not for less government.”

    Actually, Susan, I think we a spokesperson for both, as they are related, but we need concrete and practical solutions, not abstract theoretical rambles.

  16. Tom Bryant Says:

    Susan,

    Why do you think I’m referring to you when I said that a lot of the LPers want a debating society, with little real political action?

    Live Free or Choke,

    It’s been far too long to use the word relegalize. Do you interact with outside people much? What does the North American Union have to do with anything? Barr’s glasses? You’re strange.

  17. Tom Bryant Says:

    What Mr. Seebeck said.

  18. Susan Hogarth Says:

    “The LP needs a spokesperson for freedom, not for less government.”

    Actually, Susan, I think we a spokesperson for both, as they are related, but we need concrete and practical solutions, not abstract theoretical rambles.

    S’truth! But the connection must be made. We want less government because it’s a step closer to freedom. Otherwise those liberal friends of mine will think I just want less government ‘cause I’m cheap :-/

  19. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Why do you think I’m referring to you when I said that a lot of the LPers want a debating society, with little real political action?

    I didn’t think you were referring to me. But I am tired of the same reflexive insult. Possibly as tired as you are hearing ‘Republican lite’ ;-)

  20. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Susan, I don’t disagree that a connection must be made. That’s definitely part of the “why” part of the message. I’m just saying we need to not forget the “how” part as well.

    But I am most definitely cheap when it comes to government, because lavishness has gotten us nowhere. For our money they spend, we should have roads paved with palladium and a military with Star Wars blaster rifles, no homeless or poverty, no disease, and little crime. Yeah, sure we do. So if all that money of ours didn’t get the job done, we see no reason to “give” (let them take) any more. (But we all know that, that comes with the libertarian territory!)

  21. Live Free or Choke Says:

    Tom Bryant said
    I would rather have the Libertarian Party continuously offer more increments of liberty than to offer “all or nothing” candidates. I want government to shrink (I’ll settle for stop growing at this point) much more than I care about having conspiracy theory and anarchy debates at monthly meetings.

    ***
    The North Amer.Union is considered by many to be a conspiracy. Ron Paul and millions more know it is as true as a heart attack. Relegalization is the correct word and would show people that America got along just fine without prohibition. Everyone needs to know the truth, why and how Coca-Cola got it’s name. Everyone would be getting their moneys worth drinking a COKE made by the original formular.

    If you will settle to just stop the growth of gov, dude, you need to stop wasting time in the LP. Join a Republican Club you’ll fit in better.

  22. DrGonzo Says:

    If you will settle to just stop the growth of gov, dude, you need to stop wasting time in the LP. Join a Republican Club you’ll fit in better.

    What are you accomplishing with the “all or nothing attitude” that maintains the same 400,000 people every year?

  23. Robert Milnes Says:

    “You might say”Bob Barr, why are you running for president? Isn’t there a field already out there?...We do not have a field of candidates currently or anywhere on the horizon that understands & will raise the issues that are important to the great heritage of America…” Is he talking about the present field of LP candidates? I beg your pardon, Bob. I’d prefer any of them over you.

  24. Flyer Says:

    Barr is a fake. A Republican reject. He still toes the Republican line.

  25. Kenny Says:

    And I would prefer most of them over the delusional Mr Milnes.

  26. George Whitfield Says:

    I think that Bob Barr will win in Denver and then go on to earn the largest Libertarian Party Presidential vote in history. We will also bring many new people into our party and start advancing toward liberty. Lets do it.

  27. David F. Nolan Says:

    If I wanted to place a bet, I’d bet against Barr getting the nomination. The people who love him, love him—but there are more in the LP who view him with suspicion and/or loathing. And he’s done nothing since his announcement to allay those suspicions. He refuses to come out firmly against the War on Drugs, foreign intervention, or DOMA. He keeps talking about McCain not being a “real conservative,” instead of talking up the Libertarian Party. And while the Outright Libertarians don’t speak for all gay Libertarians, it’s pretty clear that Barr has no appeal to that constituency.

    My best guess is that Barr may well place first on the first ballot in Denver, but he will stall after that. His supporters will begin migrating to Root, who will then face off against Ruwart or Kubby for the nomination. And there’s always the possibility that Phillies (or even Gravel) could emerge as the compromise candidate: everyone’s second or third choice.

    It should be interesting! We’ll know the results in eleven days!

  28. Live Free or Choke Says:

    Barr got almost 20 minutes on Glenn Beck tonite. Any of you can catch the repeat at :29 past the hour. I’m through attacking him. It is up to the delegates now. Whoever gets this nomination shouldn’t be attacked by any LP member after the voting is completed. You may not like the nominee, however keep it to yourself and work locally for the LP. We can survive any of the top candidates so don’t be depressed if your candidate losses. In fact, I’m through attacking any LP candidate, I turn my wrath toward the Ds & Rs. Each of you need to do the same, starting May 26.

    I await the delegates decision ! Whoever you give us, I will support the best that I can.
    PEACE

  29. kombayn Says:

    Barr/Root ‘08 - This is the ticket to all the Libertarian Party’s needs and that’s getting national exposure across the United States of America. Lets hope a Libertarian Party Grassroots Campaign can work just like Ron Paul’s very successful one. It’s about spreading the message of liberty, civil rights and the constitution.

  30. Kyle Says:

    I will be interested to see how this money bomb effort for Bob Barr goes on May 20th http://www.bobbarrmoneybomb.com/

  31. Stefan Says:

    Barr is essentially against the FEDERAL war on drugs, by making it a states issue.
    Between the tyranny of a law outlawing every type of freedom, there is on the other saide also the tyranny of absolute anarchy where laws are seen as evil and obstruction to liberty. The LP should define itself as a healthy balance between the two extremes. The vision should be to make “government” more local, not only states’ rights, but also district, city council etc. more freedom to decide.

    I want to ask the anarchists: would they in their household families makes no “law”, e.g. prohibit and warn their children from the evils of prositiuion, drug usuage, and give them pusnishment (apart from love) if they hurt themselves and family in this way, OR would they tell their children everything is allowed, they can use drugs, sell their bodies etc., and propogate that “liberty” that they have?

    Liberty is NOT without values!

    I have to say that Barr has support from a prominent gay intellectual: Justin Raimundo, so he would be able to win support among the “outright libertarians”, just as Paul received an endorsement from such a magazine, although he also represent social conservative values like Barr.

    Paul has recently commented on a Bloomberg TV interview asked about the reason for non-success of the LP over the decades. He gave two reasons: one the media black-out, the system biase towards only two parties and two:
    the public perception of the LP as being a libertine party, e.g. “pink” etc. (e.g. pot smoking, prostitution types etc. etc.).

    And I am afraid the LP WILL never be able to become a “mainstream” party with substantial support and influence if it does not “combat” the libertine perception it has. I think Barr will succeed -if elected - to give the LP a “mainstream image” and to get substantial support from not only disaffected Republicans, but also Independents as well as disaffected Democrats without having to sacrifice any major libertarian principle. It is already clear that Barr will embark on a ruthless, radical slashing of government departments and huge fiscal conservatism (a pillar of LP philosophy) and will also provide more choice and liberty on the state and local level.

    This year has shaped up to be the “perfect storm” year for the LP to carve out substantial support on the double digit region. If it squanders this unique opportunity, it only has itself to blame AND would at least be party responsible of less liberty for the individual in society and for failing to reserve this trend.
    The LP does not necessarily have to win the election to make a substantial influence on the debate and political direction. If it scores double digits gains (Mary Ruwart has also mentioned it), then it will be on the map for the long term and the major political parties need to adjust and the LP would be able to capture quite a fee congressional seats and possibly also senate positions in 2010. If it does not, not only Barr is toast but with him also the LP IMHO. Personally I think a Barr-Ruwart ticket would be able to unify the party and also project the maximum outreach to conservatives, liberals, centrists, greens etc.
    It has to be planned very strategically. The VP choice would also be important.

  32. Peter Orvetti Says:

    Have any of the presidential candidates other than Gravel said they would not be willing to seek the VP nomination if they do not get the top spot?

  33. Peter Orvetti Says:

    Paul on NPR:

    CONAN: Republican Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul with us here at the Newseum. You are listening to Talk of the Nation from NPR News. And a couple of quick last questions, Ken?

    KEN RUDIN: A quick question. Ralph Nader says, to him, at least, there’s no difference between the Republican and Democratic Party. Do you feel that way, that there’s no difference between Obama, assuming he’s a nominee, and John McCain? And would you advise your supporters to sit out the election to November or go with a third party? What would you say?

    Rep. PAUL: I wouldn’t tell them to sit out. But I wouldn’t tell them what to do, because some come from the left. I have a lot of Green Party people who support me, because they know my position and they’re very anti-war and they like civil liberties. You know, and I defend environment through property rights differently than they do. So, no, I wouldn’t tell them what to do.

    But as far as difference goes, no difference. I mean, I like Obama, what he says on foreign policy. He’ll probably be, maybe, a little bit better. But foreign policy, regardless of whether you have Republicans or Democrats, foreign policy never changes. Monetary policy, though nobody ever talks about it, very important, it never changes. Domestic welfare policy never changes regardless of the policy. So, yes, George Wallace was right.

    CONAN: Here’s an email question from Kurt in Renton, Washington. “Yes or no or nothing in between, please. Is Representative Paul going to run for president in the general election?”

    Rep. PAUL: No.

    CONAN: Ron Paul, thanks very much for being with us.

  34. Peter Orvetti Says:

    Grover Norquist discusses Barr with Stephen Colbert:

    COLBERT: Now I assume that you’re an advisor for Bob Barr. Because he is, his pledge is that no more nanny state. And you seem to be anti-nanny state.
    NORQUIST: I’m certainly anti-nanny state. Right now, we want a government to treat us like adults rather than like we’re in high school for the rest of our lives and too much of the government wants to run our lives and treat us as if we’re in high school.
    COLBERT: We are not in high school anymore and anybody who says so is two-faced.
    NORQUIST: I didn’t like being treated like I was in high school when I was in high school and I don’t appreciate it now.
    COLBERT: What did they call you in high school? Come on, “Grover” must have had some good derivations.
    NORQUIST: Grover was about as unique as it got. Bob Barr is a great activist…
    COLBERT: Great American.
    NORQUIST: Great American. John McCain has actually made commitments to oppose any and all tax increases. Has a pro-growth tax cut agenda…

  35. Stefan Says:

    Bob Barr’s radio interview with Lars Larsson:
    https://www.larslarson.com/pg/jsp/charts/streamingAudioMaster.jsp?dispid=362&size=10&headerDest=/pg/jsp/media/audiofileswelcome.jsp

  36. Steve LaBianca Says:

    True this is a misrepresentation “The front page story from the Washington Times misreported one aspect of Barr’s campaign:

    Mr. Barr said he still opposes abortion and the legalization or decriminalization of drugs, just as he did as a federal prosecutor during the Reagan administration and as a Republican in the U.S. House.

    But then . . . just about anything would be a misrepresentation as Barr really has not really represented himself MUCH in regards to the drug war. His responses to being asked about his position of being at odds with the LP members is one of glittering generalities.

    The LP does NOT need evasive politicking in the mold of the Democrats ans Republicans. Barr is doing just this. I firmly believe that Mr. Barr will need to reiterate his positions regarding the drug war, federalism and the continuance of the drug war at the state level.

    Barr saying that he is personally opposed to drug use will not be a sufficient stance for delegates in my view.

    What WOULD be sufficient is, as Mary Ruwart has clearly stated, tolerance is a Libertarian virtue . . . which must be upheld. We may be personally opposed to the decisions others make, but we uphold their right to make that decision. If Barr does not believe in tolerance as Ruwart explains, nor reiterates it to delegates, then his candidacy is doomed . . . and rightly so.

  37. End the Empire Says:

    LaBianca, why can’t you be libertarian TOLERANT, to Barr ?

    LOL

  38. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Stefan asks:

    I want to ask the anarchists: would they in their household families makes no “law”, ...?

    In my home I am the law.

    There is an old English doctrine (not followed anymore, alas) that a man’s home is his castle. What this means is that the Crown’s law doesn’t apply to a person’s home and family affairs.

    Anarchists (or voluntaryists, or what-have-you) don’t necessarily reject the idea of law itself (some do, but they are confused, I think), but only the idea of government law.

    Some of us think law - like others goods such as food and education - is too important to be left to the bungling mismanagement that one inevitably sees in government.

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