- The Washington Times - Monday, April 28, 2008

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said today that he does not consider himself a likely candidate to be on presumed Republican presidential nominee John McCain’s short list for a running mate because he is still on hurricane duty, and he said the Arizona senator ought to wait until it is clear whom his opponent will be before picking a vice presidential nominee.

Mr. Barbour, in an interview with editors and reporters at The Washington Times, also said he disagreed with Mr. McCains condemnation of the North Carolina Republican Party, which is vowing to run a television commercial attacking two Democratic gubernatorial candidates who have endorsed Sen. Barack Obamas presidential bid. The ad uses some of the inflammatory racial rhetoric from the senators former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

Mr. Barbour, a high-powered Washington lobbyist before he became governor, said he did not think Mr. McCain would want a lobbyist on the ticket and said the Republican Party is virtually guaranteed to carry his state anyway.

TWT Video: Barbour on being a potential running mate for McCain

“First, we’re not even through what we’ve got to do in Mississippi in the next few months. Secondly, those people who think McCain’s got to choose a conservative running mate early to get the base straight, I don’t think that’s right,” he said. “I think what McCain ought to do is wait until the summer, maybe until after the Democratic convention, to make a decision. See what the other side does. We have that luxury.”

  • TWT Video: Barbour: Why McCain is a strong candidate

  • As for the ad, Mr. Barbour said Mr. Wright is a fair target in this election.

    TWT Video: Barbour on race in the 2008 presidential campaign

    “These two Democrats endorsed Obama. Everything is fair game. In a presidential election, people consider all sorts of things in a presidential candidate’s background. It’s the most personal office in the world,” Mr. Barbour said.

  • TWT Video: Barbour compares Bush to Truman

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