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Haley Barbour criticizes Obama administration, announces civil rights museum in State of State

Adding to speculation of a 2012 presidential run, Mississippi Republican Gov. Haley Barbour criticized the Obama administration and recommended the state build a civil rights museum in his State of the State speech Tuesday.

In recent months, Barbour has sparked speculation he might run for president in 2012. Barbour's speech Tuesday supported that possibility. In the speech, Barbour criticized the Obama administration on its healthcare, financial regulation and energy policies.

"We still have federal policies that stifle economic growth: If the Obama administration's healthcare mandates actually go into effect, employers don't know what their costs and responsibilities will be, so it impedes hiring; uncertainty about the Dodd-Frank financial services law and its implementation stymies investment; and the gigantic deficits and resulting purchases of trillions in U.S. treasures by the Fed mean that money can't go into private sector projects."

Barbour also criticized the Obama administration's cap-and-trade policies.

"Sunday's Clarion Ledger includes a column by Dr. Shughart at Ole Miss that catalogues example after example of the Environmental Protection Agency's anti-energy efforts, all of which drive up energy costs," Barbour said.

Barbour called for the construction of a civil rights museum, a project that had stalled. The announcement comes a few weeks after he was quoted in The Weekly Standard magazine as saying that the White Citizens Council in his hometown of Yazoo City, Miss., was just group of "town leaders." Barbour was criticized for underplaying the council's segregationist goals and the importance of the civil rights movement.

"I urge you to move this museum forward as an appropriate way to do justice to the civil rights movement and to stand as a monument of remembrance and reconciliation," Barbour said.

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