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“Whether it’s the Republican Party, Democratic Party or Libertarian Party, anybody that goes into a party nominating process viewing it as a sure thing is almost bound to recognize that they’re surely going to lose,” he said in an interview after his LPNC speech. “You cannot, and I do not, take it as a sure thing. I feel very confident that if I do become a candidate, that I will win the party’s nomination, but I do not take it for granted.”
WHETHER OR NOT he is the LP’s presidential nominee, Barr remains committed to expanding the party’s reach and political viability.
“The Libertarian Party has a tremendous advantage, because they have the opportunity to define themselves,” he said, explaining that LP Chairman Bill Redpath and Executive Director Shane Cory share his concern for recruiting and training candidates who will talk “about issues that matter to families,” including economic and education issues. “I see that happening, and I hope it can continue, because if it doesn’t happen, the party’s going to be relegated to incidental status, as best.”
Relegating the LP to incidental status is something Republican leaders clearly hope to do. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich last week was dismissive of the potential impact of a Barr candidacy, saying that Americans in 2008 are not “really fed up with Washington” as they were in 1992 when Ross Perot’s third-party presidential bid helped derail George H.W. Bush’s re-election.
Gingrich’s analysis “overlooks the similarities between the situation when Ross Perot ran and currently, which I think are profound,” Barr said. “The implication is people are not dissatisfied with government. I would beg to differ with the former Speaker. People are very dissatisfied with government and they’re particularly dissatisfied with the Republican Party, and I think would welcome the opportunity for a real alternative even more so now than when Ross Perot ran.”
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