Barr launches presidential exploratory committee

Former Republican Rep. Bob Barr (Ga.) has launched a presidential exploratory committee, the first step in a possible White House run as a Libertarian. 

Barr made his announcement while giving the keynote address at the Heartland Libertarian Conference in Kansas City, Mo.


“America today faces a grave moral and leadership crisis, and those of us who care about our country’s future can no longer sit on the sidelines and remain neutral,” Barr said in prepared remarks.

Barr had served eight years in Congress, where he was a House manager during former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonEx-CIA chief calls Trump intel shakeup a 'virtual decapitation' of the intelligence community Meghan McCain after Gaetz says Trump should pardon Roger Stone: 'Oh come on' Enlightening the pardon power MORE’s impeachment trial. However, he lost his seat in 2002 after redistricting.

Barr said that Libertarians must give Americans a “real choice” in this election.

“America’s voters, when they go into that polling booth on Nov. 4 of this year, they deserve better than the choices that they have faced year after year after year, and that is for going for the lesser of two evils,” the former lawmaker said.
Since leaving Washington, he has been a vocal critic of President Bush for ordering a preemptive war in Iraq, increasing executive power through the Patriot Act and authorizing domestic warrantless wiretapping. In his speech, he said that only the Libertarian Party had the willingness to dismantle “the nanny state.”

“The notion that our military has no business whatsoever in engaging in domestic operations needs to once again be reminded to the American people,” Barr said.

He added that both the Republican and Democratic parties had failed the American people since neither had done enough to protect the nation’s borders and respect national sovereignty.

“They have no real understanding of the need and the privacy of sovereignty against those international organizations that would take it away,” he said.

Barr currently serves on the Libertarian Party's national committee. In recent years, he has been a member of the National Rifle Association's board of directors while also consulting for the American Civil Liberties Union on privacy issues.