Inquirer: If you decide to run for president, why?
Barr: To win.
Inquirer: What do you hope to accomplish?
Barr: I want to move the agenda of smaller government and increased individual liberty forward; help the Libertarian party to become a major, consistent player on the national political scene; raise the level of debate; bring the issues of smaller government back to the table, and cut government spending - that's at the root of all the issues facing the American people. I want to end the artificial control of the economy and end burdensome taxation; take a hard look at cutting cabinet positions; reduce the cost of the occupation of Iraq by beginning the process of removing the security blanket from the Iraqi regime . . . return respect for habeas corpus; reinstate the rule of law; stop the warrantless surveillance of American citizens; and remedy the abuses of the Patriot Act. . . .
Inquirer: As a Republican congressman, you were among the most visible and vocally conservative. What caused you to suddenly switch parties two years ago? Did you have a Paul-on-the-road-to-Damascus experience that led to your conversion?
Barr: What laid the groundwork for my epiphany was the result of six years of the Bush administration.
They claimed to be Republicans and for a smaller government. Instead, with a complicit Republican Congress, they moved to dramatically expand the size, power and scope of the federal government. I concluded that the party I had been associated with for decades was no longer that party I had joined and no longer had an interest in smaller government. They no longer had an interest in increasing individual liberty and showed no signs of changing in my lifetime. I looked for a political venue for what was important for me. The only party out there that advocates and practices moving to smaller government and increased civil liberties was the Libertarian Party. . . .
Inquirer: Do you believe there may be other Republicans attracted by the Libertarian Party?
Barr: I'm sure there are. There are some libertarian-leaning Republicans in the House; Ron Paul [R., Texas] of course . . . . Then there's Chuck Hagel [R., Neb.] on the Senate side, Larry Craig [R., Idaho], John Sununu [R., N.H.], I think there are a number that share a large part of the libertarian philosophy. Whether they've ever considered joining, I don't know. But there are a number in both houses that from my experience care very deeply about the libertarian philosophy and principals.
Inquirer: You've made some radical turnabouts from many of your previous positions. Once a foe of any drug use, you recently said the Federal government should butt out. Haven't you also changed your stance on same-sex marriage? . . .
Barr: Since 9/11, there has been unprecedented growth in government power and the ascendancy of this notion that, because they are fighting terrorism, the government can do whatever it wants regardless of law. That has forced me to go back and take a look at areas that in prior times I could afford to support because we had a certain amount of freedom in other areas. It's no longer the case. We have to be much more zealous in protecting ourselves against government power. Once it may have made sense, been even acceptable to allow the government more leeway. With same-sex marriage, it's a decision states ought to make. That has always been my position. Over the past few years I have testified at the Federal level and state government level against the federal marriage amendment.
Inquirer: What about marijuana laws?
Barr: I believe it's important to turn that decision back to the states. If California voters decide in a referendum to recommend the use of medical marijuana, it should be respected by the federal government.
Barr: I'm pro-life. I have always been pro-life. I say get the federal government out of it. Leave it up to the states to decide.
Inquirer: Monetary issues?
Barr: I'm focused on what I'm focused on. I would dramatically reduce the size and cost of government, and that will strengthen the value of our currency at home and abroad.
Inquirer: What is wrong with the two-party system?
Barr: The two-party system has become stale and a state-controlled monopoly. I think it has removed an important element of choice for the American voter and led to a dumbing down of political discourse in America. I would like to see the people be able to go into a voting booth and not have to pull the lever for the lesser of two evils.
Inquirer: How do you feel about John McCain, the presumptive Republican candidate?
Barr: He's a candidate. But I don't think he espouses anything resembling the philosophy of smaller government that I support. Anyone whose signature piece of legislation is destructive of the First Amendment can hardly call themselves a conservative. His view of civil liberties is very much in the Bush administration mold. I have major disagreements with him. His position of a lengthy occupation of Iraq is well known. I would disagree with him there also.
Inquirer: A Zogby poll this week has you outpolling Ralph Nader. What do you think that signifies?
Barr: I think it indicates that there there is legitimate support for a third party candidate.
Inquirer: What base would a Barr candidacy draw from? Could you match or exceed the support received by Ross Perot during his bid for the White House?
Barr: I think there is a very significant base of support out there. If I choose to be the candidate and the Libertarian nominee I would surpass by far any prior Libertarian nominee and stand a very good chance of outpolling Perot's '92 numbers.
The votes would come from a variety of sources: libertarian-leaning Republicans not inclined to vote for McCain and other big-government Republicans. Others would include civil-libertarian Democrats. But most importantly, the votes would come from the significant number of young people who have become very involved in this election cycle. Many of them are not wedded to the two-party system to the same extent their parents and grandparents have been.
Inquirer: Did you consider yourself a Reagan Republican?
Barr: I was a very strong supporter of Ronald Reagan.
Inquirer: You've had years of experience in the federal government. You worked for the CIA, served as a congressman and as U.S. Attorney. What's the most important lesson you learned during your tenure?
Barr: That the government has a great deal of power. It doesn't need more power. It has too much power, and that power is frequently abused. The use of government power to effect social change is beyond the intent of the Constitution, the role of Congress and beyond the framework of our constitutional representative democracy.
Inquirer: Pundits have called a Barr candidacy a possible spoiler for Republicans.
Barr: I'm no more a spoiler for John McCain than John McCain could be a spoiler for me. The notion that Republicans see a third-party candidate as spoiling their chances simply illustrates the arrogance of the two-party system. Republicans and Democrats have come to view themselves as the only ones with a God-given right to choose a president. I want to offer voters something they will not get from the two major parties. If my platform polls well, it will be because the voters contrast it with McCain and whatever Democrat senator wins the nomination. If my platform polls well, its because the agenda I espouse is preferable. By offering a choice, it's something the other candidates should embrace rather than whine about.
Robert L. (Bob) Barr, Jr. (born November 5, 1948) is an American attorney and former member of the United States House of Representatives. Barr represented Georgia's 7th congressional district as a Republican from 1995 to 2003. He achieved significant notoriety as one of the leaders of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.
Barr joined the Libertarian Party in 2006, and serves on its National Committee. He is seeking the Libertarian nomination for President of the United States in the 2008 election. Wikipedia - Bob Barr
Big Government and Big Spending — The Root of all Problems:
Government spending at all levels is out of control. Most Americans understand the problem of “earmarks,” commonly used by pork-minded congressmen to buy votes. ([color=786cd2]continued)
Maximize Individual Liberty & Restore the Constitution:
The United States was created for the purpose of securing the liberties of its people. The colonists fled oppressive old world governments...
Unfortunately, in recent years government at all levels has shown growing disrespect for the Constitution, particularly the Fourth Amendment that protects citizens from unlawful searches and seizures. ([color=786cd2]continued)
Secure the Borders:
The current platform of the Libertarian Party paints a bright and accurate picture regarding the issue of immigration: "Our borders are currently neither open, closed, nor secure. This situation restricts the labor pool, encouraging employers to hire undocumented workers, while leaving those workers neither subject to nor protected by the law. ([color=786cd2]continued)
Restoring National Defense:
For far too long and at the cost of American blood and treasure, our great military has been too willingly and quickly used for purposes other than national defense. ([color=786cd2]continued)
Barr was a strong supporter of the War on Drugs, reflecting his previous experience as Anti-Drug Coordinator for the Department of Justice.
Barr advocated complete federal prohibition of medical marijuana. In 1998, He successfully blocked implementation Initiative 59 -- the "Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1998" -- which would have legalized medical marijuana in the District of Columbia. The "Barr Amendment" to the 1999 Omnibus spending bill not only blocked implementation of Initiative 59 but prohibited the vote tally from even being released.
Barr took a lead in legislative debate concerning same-sex marriage. He authored and sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act, a law enacted in 1996 which states that only marriages that are between a man and a woman can be federally recognized, and individual states may choose not to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in another state.
[color=786cd2]Wikipedia - Bob Barr
In 2005--the year the Patriot Act was due for renewal he helped found an organization called Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances, a bipartisan group dedicated to eliminating aspects of the Patriot Act that could potentially affect law-abiding citizens rather than terrorists, and to "restore traditional checks and balances on government power so the country can effectively fight terror without sacrificing the rights of innocent Americans, rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution. [color=786cd2]Wikipedia - Bob Barr
Barr sat on the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association from 2001 to 2007. (visit Wikipedia Link)
More recently, Barr has become a prominent member of the American Civil Liberties Union, sometimes doing paid consulting on privacy issues. (visit Wikipedia Link)
On December 12, 2006, he became a regional representative on the Libertarian National Committee, representing the Party's Southeast Region. (visit Wikipedia Link)
He is one of the four founders of the American Freedom Agenda, which is described as "a coalition established to restore checks and balances and civil liberties protections under assault by the executive branch." (visit Wikipedia Link)
He is also a member of the Constitution Project's bipartisan Liberty and Security Committee. (visit Wikipedia Link)
Barr hosts a political talk radio show on Radio America called Bob Barr's Laws of the Universe, on which he has had guests including Trent Lott, Tom DeLay, Oliver North, and Robert Bork. (visit Wikipedia Link)
Root Outpolls former United States Senator Mike Gravel and United States Congressman Bob Barr
April 7, 2008--Libertarian Presidential frontrunner Wayne Allyn Root won the biggest victory of his political career this weekend at the largest Libertarian State Convention of the Year - the Heartland Conference Presidential debate. The Heartland Conference brought together the 5 Midwest states of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Oklahoma in one Libertarian convention. Root beat out a field of 17 declared or potential Presidential candidates for the Libertarian Party - including former Democratic United States Senator Mike Gravel, participating for the first time in a Libertarian debate. Also on the ballot for the first time was former 4-term Republican United States Congressman Bob Barr. Barr announced the launch of a Presidential exploratory committee immediately following the Libertarian Presidential debate. Root finished in first place, edging out second place finisher Congressman Bob Barr and third place finisher Senator Mike Gravel.
Root Outpolls former U.S. Congressman Bob Barr and U.S. Senator Mike Gravel Again
April 26, 2008--Libertarian Presidential frontrunner Wayne Allyn Root won yet another Presidential Preference Poll after another Libertarian Party State Convention- this time in New York State, one of the biggest prizes of the pre-nomination process. Root has now won the 2 biggest state Presidential polls - New York and California, as well as the largest Libertarian State Convention of the Year - the Heartland Conference Presidential Preference Poll (featuring 5 Midwest states).
Root finished with 28 first place votes, followed by Bob Barr in second with 20 votes, Mary Ruwart in third with 15 votes, and Senator Gravel in 4th with 10 votes.
Root has now won Presidential Preference Polls in New York, California, Colorado, Michigan and the 5 Midwest states of the Heartland Conference. California is the most populous Libertarian state, with the largest delegation to the national convention in Denver in May 2008.