AP Interview: Barbour reflects as term ends

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says the response to Hurricane Katrina shaped his legacy, and the 2005 storm boosted the state’s image because outsiders saw Mississippians’ willingness to work hard and help their neighbors.

The 64-year-old Republican leaves office when his second term ends at noon on Jan. 10. He plans to travel as a paid speaker and work for BGR, the Washington lobbying firm he helped found two decades ago.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Barbour reflected on what the state did, and didn’t, accomplish during the past eight years. He also offered advice for his Republican successor, Phil Bryant, and the lawmakers who begin serving in January. He said leaders should stick to their principles but be willing to compromise to enact policies that could help the state.

“Purity in politics and government is a loser,” Barbour said.