Breaking News: Bob Barr Backs Out of Ron Paul’s Press Conference
Sources say that Libertarian Party Candidate Bob Barr did not make an appearance at Dr. Paul’s press conference as agreed and is instead having his own press conference, per a flyer being handed out by LP Communications Director Andrew Davis.
As much effort as Dr. Paul put into promoting this press conference, one has to wonder what effect this will have on his relationship with Barr and how Ron’s supporters will respond. If the reaction at Ron Paul Forums is any indication, missing this press conference was a mistake.
Reason’s Dave Weigel at Hit and Run is now reporting this-
Barr pulled out of the conference this morning, but the LP’s Austin Petersen hadn’t been told. He showed up with campaign literature and was kicked out of the hallway by Paul spokesman Jesse Benton. “He was extremely angry,” Petersen said. “I feel like the fall guy.”
IPR has this-
According to Don Rasmussen, who is involved with the CFL, “Barr committed to participate, but had his campaign manager call us minutes before it started to tell us that Bob thinks ‘it just isn’t worth it.’ I look forward to hearing him explain how breaking a promise to Congressman Paul constitutes a wise campaign strategy. ”
Weigel continues his report after Barr’s press conference with Barr’s reason for not appearing and reaction from the crowd gathered-
Yesterday Barr sent Paul a letter (which I have a copy of, and I’ll scan in a bit) asking Paul to run as Barr’s vice presidential nominee. Wayne Allyn Root agreed to step aside if Paul wanted the job. Paul turned this down.
“This is no reflection, certainly, on the tremendous and positive leadership that Ron Paul has provided to the liberty movement over the years.” He recognized, for example, the strength of that movement, which has to come from the outside, back in 1987 when he left the GOP. What Barr is offering voters is…bold, focused, specific leadership. That is not the amorphous kind that says “any of the above” or “none of the above.” “That’s not leadership. What is leadership is what I, and our campaign, and the LP are doing. Putting before the American people not a wish list, not a menu of things you can pick and choose, not a group of candidates, but a candidate for president, Bob Barr, who stands for very specific programs and policies and direction for this country.”
Iraq veteran and Ron Paul supporter, Adam Kokesh, starting sparring with Campaign Manager, Russ Verney-
The print press asked for more details on Barr’s offer to Paul and details on what Barr supported from the message of that earlier event. Kokesh raised his hand and started talking; Barr campaign chairman Russ Verney asked him to identify his media organization. “I’m an independent blogger,” Kokesh said. Verney and Kokesh talked over each other for about 30 seconds, Verney trying to move on, Kokesh explaining what had made him so angry. “Leadership is not just about knowing when to lead, but knowing when to follow,” Kokesh said. “You failed that test today and I retract my endorsement of you.”
Weigel shares the mood of the crowd and a statement from Deputy Campaign Manager and former LP Executive Director, Shane Cory-
There were more harsh questions (is Barr a Republican agent trying to destroy the LP?) but nothing quite that harsh. The conference emptied out and Barr’s staff kept on message: All respect to Ron Paul, but “support one of these nice candidates” is not a libertarian campaign. “Dr. Paul is allowing the Ron Paul Revolution to wither,” said Barr aide Shane Cory.
I’m no political expert, but I’m speculating that Barr’s press conference will prove to be a step the campaign will regret taking.
I spoke to Don Rasmussen personally just a moment ago and he confirms everything that’s been reported so far. He has never seen Dr. Paul so angry and is saddened by the possible repercussions of Barr’s actions on the freedom movement. Shane Cory did indeed tell Don to go f*ck himself when he asked Shane why he did this, though he admits that Shane also recited a list of perceived grievences, ie; lack of invitations to events, etc., that led to the decision to eschew Ron’s press conference and stage his own. Don also clarified that Barr did agree to attend the press conference and that Russ Verney’s claims otherwise are lies.
We will update on the Bob Barr press conference as more news comes in.