Barbour: We need salt-and-pepper political parties

Former Gov. Haley Barbour, who helped Republicans sweep Congress in 1994 and Mississippi offices starting a decade later, says the state and country needs a strong two-party system to keep governance in the middle.

Barbour, in a guest lecture at Jackson State University, invited African American students to “keep an open mind and an open eye” on the GOP. He said Mississippi needs “salt and pepper” political parties.

“We do not need a white party versus a black party,” Barbour said. “We need two parties made up of both races – in fact people of all races as we’ve seen the demography change in Mississippi, with more Hispanics coming to our state, more Asians coming to our state.”

Barbour, former chairman of the Republican National Committee who helped expand the party in the 1990s with the “Big Tent” philosophy said, “We in the Republican Party need to do a better job of making you feel more welcome.”