Gov. Barbour: Lobbying background is good White House preparation

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) defended his background as a longtime Washington lobbyist Sunday, calling it great preparation for the White House. 

Barbour said he's "very serious" about a run for president in 2012 and that he will make a final decision on whether to jump into the contest by April. 

ADVERTISEMENT
The rumored 2012 presidential hopeful addressed what many observers think is his greatest liability in a potential White House run during an interview on "Fox News Sunday," claiming that whoever wins the presidency in 2012 will "immediately be lobbying."  

"They'll be advocating to the Congress, they'll be lobbying our allies and adversaries overseas," said Barbour. "That's what presidents do for a living. Presidents try to sell what's good for America to others in the world as well as to Americans." 

"I'm a lobbyist, a politician and a lawyer," Barbour joked. "That's the trifecta." 

The Republican called former President Ronald Reagan the "ultimate lobbyist." 

Barbour also deflected questions about some of the work done by the lobbying firm he previously worked for, claiming he was not involved in working for nations with poor records on human rights.

"Once I left the firm, other than getting paid my retirement, I don't have anything to do with what they do," said Barbour. 

The governor also downplayed the results of the Conservative Political Action Conference's straw poll, which was won by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). Barbour earned just one percent of the vote in the straw poll.

Barbour said Sunday that voting had ended by the time he addressed CPAC Saturday.