May 3rd, 2009
09:09 PM ET

Bob Barr: GOP in ‘very deep trouble’

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/02/art.bob.barr.cnn.jpg caption="Former Rep. Bob Barr says the Republicans lack a 'coherent philosophy.'"]

Kristi Keck

Former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr said Saturday it’s hard to “overestimate the damage” that’s been inflicted on the Republican Party — not only with this week's defection of Sen. Arlen Specter, but also the “lack of any coherent philosophy, vision or leadership.”

“The Republican Party is in very deep trouble right now,” Barr said in an interview with CNN.

Barr, who was once a loyal soldier in the GOP, joined the Libertarian Party in 2006 and was the party’s presidential candidate in 2008.

The ex-Republican said he doesn’t feel like he relates to Specter's reasons for switching to the Democratic Party. “Where I came from there really was a philosophical basis for leaving the Republican Party,” Barr said.

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Filed under: Raw Politics • Republicans
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Leah

    Politics isn't what it use to be. It use to be that being a deomcrat and being a republican meant something. Not anymore. If you can't succeed as one party, jump on the bandwagon of the other. Whether you really feel affilitated and aligned with their beliefs or not.

    May 4, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  2. Michael C. McHugh

    American political parties are always unstable coalitions, and from time to time they break up and new coalitions form. The second party system broke up in the 1850s, for example, when the new Republican Party emerged, which ended up controlling the federal government most of the time from the 1860s to FDR's New Deal in the 1930s.

    FDR's New Deal coalition didn't last that long, and it came apart in the 1960s and 1970s over issues of Vietnam, race, civil rights, feminism, abortion, and other cultural issues, especially as the economy turned bad in the early-70s.

    Since that time, the Republicans have once again been trying to form a new majority party, and a couple of times, it looked like they had almost done it–under Nixon first, then under Reagan in the 1980s and Gingrich in the next decade. Certainly, they have been the dominant party since the 1970s, but that all came apart in recent years–not leats because of the economy and the long war in Iraq.

    Now, it's up to Obama to see if he can form a majority party that will endure fot at least several decades. It's not easy to do. It's hard to keep blacks and white southerners in the same party, for example, and hard to hold North and South together in one party at all. That's just for starters.

    May 4, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  3. Patricia Darden

    I agree the GOP is in trouble. They are still blinded by their pride, stubborness, arrogance and dislike for anyone who doesn't fall in line with the way they think. They are constipated from all the self righteous bloviating Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity dish out on a daily basis. All the while missing out on those who really matter...the average American. We are the ones they should be listening to. But I guess we're not saying what they want to hear so they have shut the door on us. No wonder people are defecting from the GOP.

    May 4, 2009 at 12:44 am |
  4. J.V.Hodgson

    It is certainly true.They continue to push the exact same policies that lost them the election. There is nothing wrong with Ideology per se but Republicans have to come up with the goods on:-
    Supporting the inevitable on Medical policy.
    Being constructive in the way they vote and not just voting Ideology all of the time unanimously virtually.
    They were given repeatedly opportunities to input to various bills, which they never gave adequately to Democrats.
    Develop your plans to meet the current Political and economic crisis and put that accross around the table. However, if its simply a repeat of the failed Bush policies of Tax cuts, less government ( which they did not achieve) and banging hard as usual on religious right wing ideals, guns, and sovreingty =war and National security excesses Then, the political wilderness awaits Republicans for the next 8 years and maybe more.

    May 4, 2009 at 12:26 am |
  5. yero69

    The soul-searching phase is a healthy sign, it happens to a party when the electorate decides they are not making the grade. The Republicans are rebuilding this takes time will they dump the neo-cons who brought them to this point and embrace a less rabid position we can only wait and see.

    May 4, 2009 at 12:10 am |
  6. DrFrann in CA

    In case he hasn't noticed, the whole country, no wait the whole world, is in deep doodoo. Retooling is needed in all areas, on all fronts, by all people, irrespective of party affiliation.

    May 3, 2009 at 11:13 pm |
  7. azra daie

    I see jeb Bush is holding Town Hall'meetting. Haven't we had enough from Bush's Dynasty for the last 40 years.Please tell them Enough is Enough

    May 3, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  8. lilith326

    Yes, they are in trouble, but the whole country is in trouble. We as a nation have an identity crisis. We focus on things in the news that are trivial ...

    May 3, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  9. pointofview

    the GOP is in just as deep trouble as they where in the early 90s and then the Dems where in trouble in the mid 90s till the mid 2000. but this talk is a nice distraction to all the other craziness the current administration is pulling us into.

    May 3, 2009 at 9:57 pm |