Miss. gov slams Lynch, term law

MANCHESTER – Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate, said the new New Hampshire law releasing sex offenders and other criminals before serving maximum jail terms makes Gov. John Lynch even more vulnerable this November.

“I’ve never heard of such a policy,” Barbour told reporters after guest starring at a fundraiser for New Hampshire nominee for governor John Stephen. “Does that move the numbers? I can’t imagine that it doesn’t.”

Third-term Democrat Lynch has retained a large lead over Stephen in surveys until two independent surveys in the past week put Stephen just a few percentage points behind.

Barbour called Stephen one of the best hopes to elect a new Republican governor Nov. 2. Having a GOP chief executive here in the first-in-the-nation primary state would help frame issues for his party for the 2012 presidential campaign, he explained.