State News

Libertarian candidate Barr visits N.C. campuses

Posted October 28, 2008
Updated October 29, 2008

— Libertarian and Duke University doctoral student Horacio Carias said he was likely to make his presidential choice based on what he heard Tuesday in a small campus lecture hall.

Carias, 25, of Orlando, Fla., wanted to hear from his party's presidential candidate, former Republican U.S. Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia.

"I'm torn between Bob Barr and none of the above," he said before the first of two Barr campaign appearances on North Carolina campuses Tuesday. Barr also was scheduled to speak at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Carias said he held off on mailing his Florida absentee ballot until he could hear from Barr, who Carias said lacked credibility by becoming a Libertarian after a political career as a Republican.

Barr made no pretense that he believed he would win next week's presidential election. Lacking any entourage or visible bodyguards, Barr leaned on a wooden lectern and told the audience of about 100 that both major political parties were working to build a bigger, more intrusive government.

Neither the Democrats who have run Congress for almost two years nor the Republicans in charge for most of the preceding decade were interested in limiting the president's growing powers, Barr said.

"Why? Because both of the two major parties have an institutional interest in preserving the powers of the federal government," Barr said. The major parties assume it's only a matter of time before their party will retake the presidency, he said.

"Very little, if anything, will change in Washington if either of these candidates are elected," he said.

Barr focused on the $700 billion bailout of the financial industry as evidence that both major parties were intent on expanding their control over the economy.

"The job of the president is to devolve power back to the people, to protect their liberty," Barr said.

An Associated Press-GfK poll last week showed Barr's support unmoved at about 1 percent of likely voters.

A former federal prosecutor, Barr built a national following in the 1990s for doggedly pursuing President Bill Clinton's impeachment. He won the Libertarian Party nomination in May after becoming disillusioned with what he saw as unchecked growth of government and federal intrusions into personal privacy under President George W. Bush.

But Carias said he wasn't persuaded that Barr's conversion was genuine.

"I'm pretty certain I'm voting none of the above," Carias said after hearing Barr out.


Bob Barr:


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • colliedave Oct 29, 2008

    if the Libertarian Party would be for the life and liberty of the unborn, I would consider voting for the party

  • Harrison Bergeron Oct 29, 2008

    "If Barr was anti-illegal immigration, I would have voted for him. As it is, all of the candidates are for the 3rd world invasion of this country." -JAFOinWF

    That is also one of my beefs with Barr, but no candidate is perfect. You could also consider the Constitution Party, which holds many of the small-government libertarian ideals but is also against illegal immigration. It is probably what the Republican Party should be.

    In the end though, I voted for Barr, as the Constitution Party is somewhat less secular than I'd like.

  • whatelseisnew Oct 29, 2008

    There are so many reasons not to vote for Obama or McCain, I would need the equivalent character count of a 1000 page novel to list them. While Barr might not be a true libertarian, he is correct about the fact that both Political parties have just one interest and that is control of the Federal Government. They become wealthy through that control. Each party has its money people that pay for them. In some cases, the same money people will purchase any candidate regardless of party. They want influence and access. They care about money, not about the country. In the meantime, the span of control of Government over our lives, continues to grow and grow. You sell your freedoms for the few bread crumbs you will get in return. I vote none of the above as well.

  • JAFOinWF Oct 29, 2008

    If Barr was anti-illegal immigration, I would have voted for him. As it is, all of the candidates are for the 3rd world invasion of this country.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Oct 29, 2008

    After finding out, for the first time, that he was running as a Libertarian, I was dumbfounded. Then I read the Duke student's response that he was trying to decide between Libertarian Barr and no one else.

    I only have one response.

  • lizard Oct 29, 2008

    fhwqw- the issue is Obama voted against it. Not that he found a mistake with it. His excuse is so lame. He's not on the side of the unborn. Nobody is saying that he is. He's not made any commercials to advocate for the pro-life stance. He's a wolf in sheeps clothing.

  • Sir Freezy McQuackers Oct 28, 2008

    I don't know why people keep bringing up the partial-birth abortion issue. It's been debunked time and time again. Obama, with the support of the Illinois State Medical Society, opposed the bill because it need to be clarified or it could be construed as unconstitutional. Once it was clarified, it passed. Also, there were already laws requiring doctors to provide care for such infants.

  • Here kitty kitty Oct 28, 2008

    As m uch as I like Bob Barr I'm afraid voting for him will be the same as a vote for Obama, and with the pro-abortion views of Obama I'm just learning about we DO NOT want him in the White House. Do those of you who want Obama realize he is not just pro-choice but he is pro-partial birth abortion? Do you know what partial birth abortion is or how it's done? Look at his past votes while in the Illinois senate...he will wipe out all the pro-life laws and legislation immediately. Do not vote for him.