Barr ‘embarrasses LP’ by no-show at Ron Paul press event

“Bob Barr continues to find ways to slap the Ron Paul movement in the face and embarrass the LP,” says former LP Vice Chair Chuck Moulton, in reference to Barr standing up Ron Paul at his National Press Club announcement. “Clearly [Barr] is in D.C. and at the national press club, since he has his own event there in 15 minutes. It is inconceivable to me that he would be a no show.”

Ron Paul invited Barr in addition to the Constitution Party’s Chuck Baldwin, the Green Party’s Cynthia McKinney, and independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, to attend his announcement that he would not be endorsing fellow Republican John McCain. Instead, Paul encouraged voters to choose one of the three third-party/independent candidates with whom he shared the stage — or no-show Bob Barr.

This isn’t the first time Barr has missed a Ron Paul event. Earlier this year, he skipped out on the R3VOLution March, opting instead for Las Vegas’s Freedom Fest, where it’s said that Barr was “always accompanied by handlers” to keep libertarians away from him.

UPDATE from gregsarnowski: According to Don Rasmussen, who is involved with the CFL, “Barr committed to participate, but had his campaign manager call us minutes before it started to tell us that Bob thinks ‘it just isn’t worth it.’ I look forward to hearing him explain how breaking a promise to Congressman Paul constitutes a wise campaign strategy. ”

UPDATE: Reason‘s Dave Weigel reports, “Barr pulled out of the conference this morning, but the LP’s Austin Petersen hadn’t been told. He showed up with campaign literature and was kicked out of the hallway by Paul spokesman Jesse Benton. ‘He was extremely angry,’ Petersen said. ‘I feel like the fall guy.'”

But Barr backed out much earlier, obviously, since he wasn’t included in a C4L press release issued at 8:47 a.m.

Ralph Nader “represented the Libertarian Party and fielded the first question directed at Bob Barr,” says Tony Wall, LP state chairman of Tennessee. “This is absolutely a disgrace to the Libertarian Party and is totally unacceptable.”

FROM DAN RASMUSSEN, EVENTS COORDINATOR, CAMPAIGN FOR LIBERTY:

“The following reflect my personal feelings and is not endorsed by Dr. Paul or Campaign for Liberty.

“I am deeply disappointed by Bob Barr’s decision not to participate in today’s press conference just as I have been disappointed with the Barr campaign throughout this election cycle.

“The idea that he was busy is absurd. I am sitting in the National Press Club right now waiting for his hastily called press conference to begin. This is the same building where Dr. Paul’s presser just ended. Barr committed to participate, but had his campaign manager call us minutes before it started to tell us that Bob thinks “it just isn’t worth it.” I look forward to hearing him explain how breaking a promise to Congressman Paul constitutes a wise campaign strategy.

“It is my great hope that the alternative parties will present the American people with quality candidates that offer a real option. Clearly the Libertarian Party has failed to do so. Bob Barr has repeatedly broken his promises to Dr. Paul, showed up uninvited at C4L events, and made statement contrary to Dr. Paul’s beliefs while still claiming the mantle of heir to the R3VOLution.

“Hopefully, the LP will find a way to reject this candidate without rejecting the idea of engagement in practical politics.”

36 thoughts on “Barr ‘embarrasses LP’ by no-show at Ron Paul press event

  1. Fred Church Ortiz

    http://www.unitedliberty.org/503/breaking-news-barr-backs-out-of-ron-pauls-press-conference/

    As much effort as Dr. Paul put into promoting this press conference, one has to wonder what effect this will have on his relationship with Barr and how Ron’s supporters will respond. If the reaction at Ron Paul Forums is any indication, missing this press conference was a mistake.

    http://reason.com/blog/show/128716.html

    Barr pulled out of the conference this morning, but the LP’s Austin Petersen hadn’t been told. He showed up with campaign literature and was kicked out of the hallway by Paul spokesman Jesse Benton. “He was extremely angry,” Petersen said. “I feel like the fall guy.”

  2. johncjackson

    see previous comments. Go back in time to last night and do a Google News search. It looks like Barr planned this yesterday according to the media. Seems like he forgot to tell somebody..

  3. G.E. Post author

    UPDATE: Reason’s Dave Weigel reports, “Barr pulled out of the conference this morning, but the LP’s Austin Petersen hadn’t been told. He showed up with campaign literature and was kicked out of the hallway by Paul spokesman Jesse Benton. ‘He was extremely angry,’ Petersen said. ‘I feel like the fall guy.’”

    But Barr backed out much earlier, obviously, since he wasn’t included in a C4L press release issued at 8:47 a.m.

    Ralph Nader “represented the Libertarian Party and fielded the first question directed at Bob Barr,” says one LP state chairman. “This is absolutely a disgrace to the Libertarian Party and is totally unacceptable.”

    FROM DAN RASMUSSEN, EVENTS COORDINATOR, CAMPAIGN FOR LIBERTY:

    “The following reflect my personal feelings and is not endorsed by Dr. Paul or Campaign for Liberty.

    “I am deeply disappointed by Bob Barr’s decision not to participate in today’s press conference just as I have been disappointed with the Barr campaign throughout this election cycle.

    “The idea that he was busy is absurd. I am sitting in the National Press Club right now waiting for his hastily called press conference to begin. This is the same building where Dr. Paul’s presser just ended. Barr committed to participate, but had his campaign manager call us minutes before it started to tell us that Bob thinks “it just isn’t worth it.” I look forward to hearing him explain how breaking a promise to Congressman Paul constitutes a wise campaign strategy.

    “It is my great hope that the alternative parties will present the American people with quality candidates that offer a real option. Clearly the Libertarian Party has failed to do so. Bob Barr has repeatedly broken his promises to Dr. Paul, showed up uninvited at C4L events, and made statement contrary to Dr. Paul’s beliefs while still claiming the mantle of heir to the R3VOLution.

    “Hopefully, the LP will find a way to reject this candidate without rejecting the idea of engagement in practical politics.”

  4. G.E. Post author

    Wherever Barr can be stripped of his ballot line, he should be. It is an outright disgrace for him to be the LP’s nominee.

    Denver delegates who voted for this cretin, whether on the first or final ballot: HANG YOUR HEADS IN SHAME. You have brought disgrace down upon the LP and irrevocably damaged the party. Happy?

  5. G.E. Post author

    If you want to have your stomach turned, just go to tReason and read the blog comments from the libertine elitists there. They think it’s a good thing that their hero, baby-murderer Bob Barr, skipped out on this event, since it helps “shed the image that libertarians are insane.”

  6. Casey Bowman

    At the Rally for the Republic, Bob Barr spent hours making himself available to Ron Paul supporters in the entrance hall and the Starbucks across the street. I know, because I was there with a sign and suggested to a number of people, such as one Steven, that they ask Bob Barr himself directly their challenging questions since he was standing right over there. I saw many surprised eyes, followed by open questioning and conversation. My direct experience flies in the face of what you have written. I might post a video I have of Bob Barr at the Starbucks.

  7. Tim in Ohio

    Brilliant, just brilliant!

    Bob Barr can’t even be assed to show up. Why should anyone else care?

    Fuck Bob Barr. Hes done nothing but harm to the LP and the Liberty movement.

  8. Sean Scallon

    Why would Barr do this? Because he doesn’t want his campaign to be seen as another “third party” run for President. He wants to be seen as above third party politics. That’s why he won’t participate in any kind of joint appearances or debates with such candidates.

    Barr and Root seem to believe they can remake the LP into the disgruntled Republicans club (or better yet the Eric Dondero Society), a means to influence the broader GOP. As the pick of Sarah Palin as McCain’s VP , they’ve already succeeded in that regard. But just as there’s not enough of those around any more than there are enough regular Libertarians to build a broad based Libertarian Party (the purists and the crazies can go elsewhere thank you very much.) You need both for better or worse. Most regular LPers are deserting Barr and this slap at Ron Paul will only make it worse.

    Ever since the Palin pick the air has gone right out of the Barr campaign, as if thought they feel satisifed with Palin and are just gointg through the motions (you get that feeling from Root). But then again it was already losing altitude. Regular libertarians are now refusing to work for Barr, purist libertarians are forming their own party (Boston Tea Party). Barr may have more name recognition than most LP nominees and may very well get over a million votes this fall. But the potential vote that was out there created by Ron Paul was even bigger and this clear insult to Ron Paul and his supporters.

    Fine then. Barr may very well find a sympathetic ear at Reason as they cast aspersions on Ron Paul’s supporters. But now there’s simply no grassroots base for Barr. It’s a top-down camapaign that had potential but wasted it because it couldn’t decide what it wanted to be. Ideally the best LP ticket would have been Barr/Kubby because Kubby was a regular libertarian and would created the broad base party that could have done good things this fall. Now what we see is basically a ticket that can only be celebrated by the RLC.

  9. johncjackson

    The only news I am seeing on Bob Barr right now is his request to delay the trial where he is defending and\ accused child molester. Never knew about that one before. The guy has been awaiting trial for 8 years and I guess Barr needed it pushed back until after the election.

  10. Curt Boyd

    I suppose this is the final nail in the coffin for me…I’ll vote for Nader now. I’ve been less and less impressed with Barr since he won the nomination in Denver. I’d have voted for any other candidate on that stage (except for Root), but now Barr has lost my support.

  11. G.E. Post author

    Wait for Dondero’s spin on how great it is that Barr did not share the stage with Paul.

    What do you guys put the odds at that Barr/Root endorse McCain/Palin within the next two months?

    Not that it would matter. This ticket has no real support and will go down in glorious flames.

  12. sunshinebatman

    I’d be surprised if Dondero doesn’t endorse McCain/Palin by November. Dondero freaked out earlier this year at the idea of a Barr/Paul ticket, which Barr confirmed today he would prefer to Barr/Root. If Barr somehow won, Dondero would probably assassinate him to elevate Root.

  13. Ross Levin

    Sean – if he wants to have an effect on the “broader GOP”, Barr should associate himself with the CfL and Ron Paul, a member of the GOP. And I’m not convinced the Sarah Palin pick is evidence of Barr’s influence, or Paul’s. At most, it seems, her faux libertarianism was an afterthought in that choice, which itself was based on very little thought.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    Quoth Sean Scallon:

    “Ever since the Palin pick the air has gone right out of the Barr campaign, as if thought they feel satisifed with Palin and are just gointg through the motions (you get that feeling from Root). But then again it was already losing altitude. Regular libertarians are now refusing to work for Barr, purist libertarians are forming their own party (Boston Tea Party).”

    Which part of “the Boston Tea Party was formed nearly two years before Barr became a presidential candidate, and has an arguably more ‘moderate’ platform than the LP” did you not understand the first n times I explained it to you?

  15. Fred Church Ortiz

    Tom, how many ‘moderates’ would you say there are in the BTP? My impression might be wrong, but from the outside it seems to be nothing but the folks Scallon calls “purists” lining up behind the moderate platform.

  16. G.E. Post author

    Fred – Are you kidding? The BTP endorsed George Phillies, who’d be a really libertarian Democrat at best.

  17. Fred Church Ortiz

    lol GE, I’m not going to try to paint Phillies as a purist, though I think it was more about Jay not going to be on-ballot in Mass & NH and Phillies’ line on Barr than his ideology. Tom’s brought up the platform several times now when someone (was it Scallon every time?) called it a purist party. I’m asking its membership more than its program or endorsements.

  18. G.E. Post author

    The BTP invited Phillies to be their candidate in Denver. They invited Alden Link, a hardcore socialist, too. Charles Jay is not that radical, either. He’s to the statist side (whether you view that as left or right) of Kubby, Smith, and Ruwart, for sure. He seemed to advocate some form of government interference in health care in ’04 (he could have changed by now).

    But if the membership skews radical, so what? The platform is moderate and cannot be changed. I view this as a major obstacle to the BTP being a real mouthpiece for liberty, and that’s why I am not a member. But there can never be a “purge” of moderates or radicals, etc., over a platform fight, and that’s the idea.

  19. Fred Church Ortiz

    Not so much, I’m against joining because I’ve been in parties that size before and don’t want to repeat the experience. I like the WSPP, the current program, and maybe half the people I know are in it. My question to Tom was real, as it seems to be an entirely radical project even if not by design or admission. My own problems are tangential and deeper.

  20. darolew

    How do I describe my feelings about this? Rage might fit the bill. God fucking dammit Barr, I’ve tried to stay determined to vote for you. Why do you keep destroying my determination? For the first time, I’m seriously considering other options.

  21. Sean Scallon

    If you were not purists Tom you would not be forming your own little claque. Yes, you’re right this has been going on since Portland in ’06 but clearly you haven’t stopped since then, especially when Barr become the nominee.

    I agree with you G.E., the way thing are going now Barr might just as well support McCain.

  22. Trent Hill

    The BTP seems not to care wether the candidate is purist or reformist, statist or anarchist–only that they identify are left-libertarian.

  23. VTV

    Sigh…

    I am also really angry now.

    I TOLD people this would happen at the LP convention. I TOLD people over and over again. But the people who followed Barr were like brainwashed or something. They vehemently defended him no matter how much history I showed them. Well people, our party was the best third party chance this election. We have the most ballot access of any of the Liberty minded parties. And now, the ex CIA Neo-Con has made sure to lock down that ballot access for MORE OF THE SAME!

  24. sunshinebatman

    You told everybody in May that Barr would skip a Ron Paul press conference some time in September?

    Do you do stock picks? Horses?

  25. Scott7

    I’d like to provide a balanced outlook, if that’s still possible. The article referred to Barr’s earlier “snub” of Paul’s previous event. In fact, it was Paul who was the “snubber” on this date. Many of us who had previously committed to FreedomFest decided to fulfill our commitments there instead of running off to the last-minute “March”. I greatly respect Bob Barr for fulfilling his previous agreement. I was disappointed that Dr. Paul, who I greatly respect, was a no-show at the event, and more disappointed that they chose to schedule the March to directly conflict with FreedomFest, an annual libertarian event. I had the pleasure of meeting Rep. Barr at the event.

    I don’t know any of the background to this event, and it does appear that Barr handled things poorly. However, even the greatest Ron Paul supporters such as myself know that the Paul campaign has not been known for smooth handling of operations. As such, I’m inclined to cut Barr some slack, despite the appearance of this event.

    In other words, it really isn’t worth fighting amongst ourselves over this. It’s disappointing, and may steer my vote elsewhere, but it doesn’t really prove that Barr is anything but a man who is fighting for what he believes is right, albeit perhaps imperfectly.

  26. Don Lake, FYI, not necessarily a unilateral endorsement

    # 5 sunshinebatman // Sep 10, 2008:

    I’d be surprised if Dondero doesn’t endorse McCain/Palin by November.

    Dondero freaked out earlier this year at the idea of a Barr/Paul ticket, which Barr confirmed today he would prefer to Barr/Root.

    If Barr somehow won, Dondero would probably assassinate him to elevate Root.

    [Lake: Whoa, whoa, Tsunami humor, JFK humor, RFK humor, MLK humor ??????????????? Can’t we be better than that ????????]

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