Election 2008

Former Republican Rep. Bob Barr

Barr Announces Candidacy Despite GOP Pressure

May 12, 2008 02:02 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
by Chris Coats
As polls predict a tight presidential election come November, third-party candidate Bob Barr is becoming a source of anxiety for the Republican Party.

30-Second Summary

Last month, former Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee to investigate the possibility of entering the race as a Libertarian candidate.

The former Republican congressman told The Washington Times that since then he has been subjected to “behind-the-scenes” pressure from GOP members telling him not to enter the race.

For example, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told the Times that Barr “will make it marginally easier for Barack Obama to become president. That outcome threatens every libertarian value Barr professes to champion.”

Nonetheless, Barr has bucked the GOP’s influence, officially announcing his presidential candidacy on May 12.

Barr has also publicly responded to critics who say his presence in the election could spoil McCain’s chances at the White House, telling The Philadelphia Inquirer, “The notion that Republicans see a third-party candidate as spoiling their chances simply illustrates the arrogance of the two-party system.”

Meanwhile, former Democratic candidate Mike Gravel has also declared his intention to run for the Libertarian nomination.

In addition, Nader has officially announced his fifth run for the White House, having declared his candidacy as an Independent after three attempts as a Green Party candidate and one as a write-in.

Similar to the way Barr is being scrutinized by the GOP, Nader was pressured by the Democratic Party during his 2000 presidential run, which some critics blame for shifting progressive votes away from Democratic candidate Al Gore.

Headline Links: Barr bucks GOP, announces candidacy

Background: Barr leaves the GOP

Historical Context: Third-party candidates of the past

Reactions: Barr and Nader take on spoiler accusations

Opinion & Analysis: Is Barr the new Nader?

Reference: Barr’s and Gravel’s campaign Web sites


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