Website Touts Barbour as Republican Running Mate - - Jackson, MS

Jackson 2/22/08

Website Touts Barbour as Republican Running Mate

By Jon Kalahar

What are the chances the Governor of Mississippi could be the next Vice President of the United States?

The question was first asked when then candidate for president Rudy Guiliani campaigned through the state last September.

Now a grassroots campaign wants to convince probable Republican nominee John McCain with the help of voters from Barbour's and McCain's home states.

Barbour introduced Guiliani last year at a campaign stop at Hinds Community College, but shrugged off questions about the possibility he could be Guiliani's running mate. Saturday and Sunday this commercial will hit the air in Jackson and Phoenix, Arizona.

The creator of the campaign to draft Haley Barbour for vice president says his reasoning is clear.

"Voters on both sides -- being democrats and republicans -- are citing the economy as their primary concern this election cycle, and Governor Barbour's experience as an economic conservative and a leader in Mississippi, we believe is translating into people looking at him more and more," said Josh Jones, the "Draft Haley" creator.

Josh Jones hopes to gather 50,000 signatures on a petition to prove to Senator John McCain and Barbour himself that more conservatism is needed come November.

"We're seeing people in California, people in states like Ohio which of course Ohio being important for Republicans in '08 as it always has been, signing the petition, and we believe Governor Barbour can continue to see that mass appeal as we move forward," said Jones.

Senator Thad Cochran says Barbour's experience makes him a good choice.

"More importantly, he'd be an excellent person serving in the office of Vice President. He has the know how, the ingenuity, the determination to do the right thing, he's a patriot, he's proven that time and again," said Cochran.

But Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant says there's work here in Mississippi that he thinks will keep Barbour as the state's governor.

"We need him here, as he says, he's still on storm duty, so I look for him to continue to lead this state, but it is an honor for Mississippi for our Governor to be wanted as Vice President of the United States," said Bryant.

Josh Jones says he plans to run the "Draft Haley" commercial in both Ohio and Texas, before their republican primaries. 

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