POLITICO – Haley Barbour, ‘most powerful republican,’ lays 2012 defense

Barbour, in his most open discussion yet of presidential run, sought to make the best of two of his most glaring liabilities with the Hoover Institution’s Peter Robinson.

“If I run for president, what you see is what you get, and I am from Mississippi, I do have a Southern accent,” Barbour said. “I was a lobbyist and a pretty damned good one. And I’m very proud — we were talking before the show came on — I am happy about my life. I’ve got a great marriage. I’ve got great family, and I’ve had a great career. Wouldn’t do anything differently.”

As for his years on K Street, the governor said the skills that made him one of Washington’s most powerful lobbyists would actually be an asset for him were he elected president.

“The next president of the United States on January 21, 2013 – – is going to start lobbying,” Barbour said. “He’s going to be lobbying Congress, he’s going to be lobbying other countries. He’s going to be lobbying the business community. He’s going to be lobbying the labor unions, the governors, because that’s what presidents do, and I feel like it’s an advantage for me to have the chance to do that.”

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9/2/10