Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour called Republican victories in 2010's
midterm elections "a good start" in a speech to conservative activists
Saturday, saying the GOP must cement its gains next year by taking
back the Senate and White House.
Barbour, a rumored 2012 presidential contender, also touted another potential GOP hopeful in his speech: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.
"Governors deal with problems," said Barbour, praising Daniels for achieving a balanced budget while cutting taxes. The Mississippi governor also praised Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.) and the mere mention of his name elicited one of loudest cheers from the crowd during the entirety of Barbour's speech.
He accused the Obama administration of neglecting jobs and the economy
in favor of "concocting a government-run healthcare system," and said
Obama's economic policies are among the most hostile to business that
he has ever seen.
In his praise of GOP governors, Barbour didn't mention either former Govs. Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty, both of whom are likely 2012 contenders who spoke yesterday at CPAC.
Barbour also touted his own record as governor of Mississippi, particularly his efforts to reform the state's Medicaid system.
"We can save money on entitlements," said Barbour. "You just have to have the willpower and the courage to do it."
Calling 2010 "the greatest repudiation of a president and a party in history," Barbour implored activists to focus on 2012 saying, "The main thing is to elect a Republican president next year and a Republican Senate."