[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/23/art.bar.gi.jpg caption=" Former Republican congressman Bob Barr is running as a Libertarian candidate for president."]
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Republicans have something else to worry about besides the war in Iraq, the economy and President Bush. Former Republican congressman Bob Barr is running as a Libertarian candidate for president. Some in the GOP are worried Barr's candidacy will take away conservative votes from John McCain.
They fear that the Barr factor combined with high turnout and enthusiasm among the Democratic base could spell trouble for McCain. One Republican says he doesn't think Barr would get more than 4 percent of the vote... but that might be enough in some states.
And some Democrats agree... saying that Republicans are crazy if they aren't worried about Barr – who was the first lawmaker to call for Bill Clinton's resignation over the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He also made a name for himself fighting against the loosening of drug laws and supporting gun rights. The Libertarian Party is already on the ballot in 30 states – and is aiming for the other 20.
Not everyone is worried though. Newt Gingrich says "no reasonable conservative is going to vote for anyone except McCain." And Barr himself insists he won't play the role of a spoiler – he says that if McCain loses, it will be due to his own message and vision.
It's worth remembering Bill Clinton won the presidency twice without ever getting a majority of the popular vote because of the third party candidate Ross Perot.
Here’s my question to you: Should Republicans worry that Libertarian Bob Barr will take away votes from John McCain?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Probably in Georgia, which would be huge. People always focus on Ohio, but Georgia only has 5 fewer electoral votes. So even if Obama lost Ohio, which I think he will win, he can pull an upset in Georgia with the additional help of Barr.
Ralph from Long Island writes:
Yes, and I want to send some money to Pat Buchanan, Pat Robertson, and John Hagee. Maybe they can run, too.
I'm voting for the lesser of three evils...I'm voting for Bob Barr.
Richard from Tennessee writes:
Jack, Bob Barr's appeal is to ultra/very-conservative Republicans, a group McCain is trying to bring into his camp. Should the McBush group be concerned about vote loss to Barr? You betcha.
Absolutely not! This political system only allows for the two parties’ candidates to be in front of the public. People will not put in the extra effort to get themselves educated on the issues and the other candidates. I bet more than half of the people who are going to vote will not even know about the Bob Barr option until the day of voting.
I think Bob Barr should at least frighten some Republicans. The fact that his message and Ron Paul's are closely connected should make many in the party worry. I am not saying this because I supported Paul, but because I recognized the fervor of his followers. If they join with traditional libertarians who didn't follow the Republican primary, they could raise money and start to tear into the base of that party.
Jay from Arkansas writes:
That's usually the way it works, but no problem. There's always Florida.
Josh from Illinois writes:
Paul from Texas writes:
Jack, You could run Bozo and he would take votes from McCain.