Donors pushing Barbour to run in 2012

Republicans are encouraging a self-described “fat redneck” to run against President Barack Obama in 2012.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) is getting pushed by major Republican donors to enter the race for the GOP presidential nomination. Barbour, a two-term governor, described himself as a “fat redneck” with an “accent” in a recent interview with CNN.

Casino magnate Steve Wynn, a major Republican donor, is leading a group of friends who are encouraging Barbour to run, according to the New York Post. The two men became close while Wynn put together riverboat gaming operations on the Mississippi River.

Democrats believe the former Republican National Committee chairman and lobbyist may be a formidable candidate.

“He’d be very compelling and very formidable,” Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, toldthe Associated Press. Barbour currently heads the Republican Governors Association.

Barbour has maintained he’s focused on the 2010 midterms. But at the last National Governors Association meeting in Washington in February, he remarkedfamously that if he starts slimming down, it could mean he plans to run for president. “If you see me losing 40 pounds that means I’m either running or have cancer,” he cracked.


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