View Full Version : The Hill: 20 Questions with Bob Barr

Bradley in DC
10-08-2008, 02:36 PM
The Hill: 20 Questions with Bob Barr


20 Questions with Bob Barr
By Betsy Rothstein
Posted: 10/02/08 05:40 PM [ET]

Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr doesnít have cameras following him day and night like the Republican and Democratic contenders.

The former GOP congressman from Georgia also has no security detail ó itís too pricey, he says.

What Barr does have, besides two sons and six grandchildren who are not working on his campaign, is a hectic schedule and a serious Starbucks addiction.

Barr, who served in Congress from 1995 to 2003, is no longer a Republican, but is unchanged in certain respects. Heís still a man with a brusque exterior and a shrewd sense of humor who likes to be in charge of his interview.

We met Wednesday afternoon inside an office suite at the Watergate Hotel that serves as the Libertarian Partyís headquarters and includes a beautiful view of the Potomac.

Barr made himself comfortable in an armchair and refused to stand for a picture, saying he was comfortable and would pose for a photo when the interview was over. In other words, when he says so, and after answering more than 20 questions.

Why are you running for president?
I believe in this country. I believe weíre going in the direction of a federal government that is far too powerful. None of the candidates want to reverse that trend and it needs to be reversed.

Do you believe you can win?
It is a long shot. It is possible. I donít believe it will happen, but that doesnít detract from the importance of what Iím doing. There are important things to accomplish even if we donít win. . .

What do you believe ought to happen with Wall Street and the bailout?
Those who engaged in fraud need to be prosecuted. We need to turn more to the marketplace and less to the federal government.

What should Congress do this week?
Congress should go home.

Pass nothing?
Steps need to be taken outside the halls of Congress. If Congress wants to do anything, hold some hearings and find out what is going on.

So no bailout.
No bailout. I donít think the sky is going to fall. I think the American people should be suspicious of a government that says the sky is going to fall. . .

Which sitting member of Congress do you admire most and why?
Probably [Texas Republican Rep.] Ron Paul. Heís very consistent, extremely consistent in his voting record. . . .

If you win, what will be your first act as president?
To order an immediate 10 percent cutback of the office of the president and then go to the Hill and ask them to do the same.

Who would be your secretary of State?
I would want someone with significant experience in foreign travel, foreign business ó not someone who could see Russia from their back door.

Since youíre obviously referring to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, what do you think of her?
Iíve never met her. I can tell she has done a very good job, but I donít think she has anywhere [near] the depth of experience to be vice president. . .

What does your wife think of potentially being first lady?
She works for a living and vows that if she is the next first lady, she will continue working. She works at a social service agency in suburban Atlanta that helps keep women off welfare.

What are your thoughts on Sen. McCain?
I think McCain is a hypocrite. He claims he is for smaller government and thatís not the case.

And Sen. Obama?
Sen. Obama is more in the mold of a classic liberal. Heís not hypocritical.

Is Obama a better person, then?
Iím not saying heís a better person, but heís not hypocritical politically, as many Republicans are these days.

Are you disappointed in the Republican Party you were a part of in Congress?
Very disappointed, not only in the Republican Party but Congress generally. This Congress has allowed the president to walk all over it. Congress sits back and says, ďThank you sir, may I have another, sir?Ē . . .