Presidential races

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, told
the 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 remarked
famously 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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