Barbour’s Take on the Political Environment
Republican Governors Association chair and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour spoke Friday to The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg at the Washington Ideas Forum — essentially a two-day long episode of the Charlie Rose Show, with interviews of politicians, CEOs and other leaders — where he made a point that is crucial to understanding the math of the midterm elections.
“I don’t think the big political environment can change in over a month; in individual campaigns, things can change,” he said, speaking to the idea that close races can be swiftly transformed by tactics even while a tough economy has set much of the tone in the overall political climate.
“We’re better up as a bottom-up party and that’s where the power is,” said the former RNC chairman, refuting the idea that the National Republican Senatorial Committee or any other Republican committee should endorse candidates in the primary. He dodged questions from Goldberg about any statements from some surprise GOP candidates — namely Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle, but also others like Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell or New York State gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino — as being “beyond the pale.”
Goldberg asked Barbour about what he told USA Today about President Obama and why many think he’s a Muslim. “I don’t know why people think what they think,” he said in early September. “This is a president we know less about than any other president. But I have no idea.” He qualified, ”I accept totally at face value that he’s a Christian.”
“I’m not implying anything other than I take it at face value. Why wouldn’t I not take it at face value,” Barbour said Friday. He was not asked was about the qualifier “at face value.”
*This post originally appeared at *The American Independent.