Controversy spreads over Libertarian U.S. presidential nominee Bob Barr

Friday, September 12, 2008

Former Congressman Bob Barr
Image: Commissioned by Bob Barr.

Libertarian U.S. presidential nominee and former congressman Bob Barr is the subject of controversy today after his last minute refusal to attend former Republican presidential hopeful Congressman Ron Paul's third party unity conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on Wednesday.

Barr instead decided to hold a press conference of his own two hours after Paul's at the same location. "I'm not interested in third parties getting the most possible votes," he told reporters. "I'm interested in Bob Barr as the nominee for the Libertarian Party getting the most possible votes."

Several of Barr's supporters were furious, some even going so far as to retract their endorsements of him. Bloggers quickly picked up on the story and by Thursday evening there was an Internet frenzy.

"Bob Barr's presidential campaign is effectively over," Libertarian Party co-founder David Nolan said. "His no-show at Ron Paul' conference — followed by an insulting suggestion that Ron should join Barr on the LP ticket in the VP slot — demonstrated just how out-of-touch the Barr campaign is, and how poor Barr's vote total is likely to be."

Do the Libertarians have time to bring in a new candidate?

A number of former Barr supporters have since rallied around Constitution Party presidential nominee Chuck Baldwin, who has been climbing in the polls over the past few months. Others have joined independent Ralph Nader in his presidential campaign.