Bob Barr the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate appeared on ABC’s This Week program today. Host George Stephanopoulos asked Barr about his conversion from Republican congressman to third party presidential candidate, “The real epiphany and that is really a good word because it is the cumulative effect of looking back at the growth of government and the way particularly under this administration individual liberty is being taken away from us.”
Barr talked about the warrantless wiretapping bill, “You have a government an administration that believes it’s ok to electronically survel U.S. citizens in their own country without any inkling they have done anything wrong, which is what the administration wants and the Congress has now passed for this administration, we have a real problem. When you have an attorney general for example that says habeas corpus is no longer important, we have a real problem. It is when those policies came to light over the last couple of years that it became crystal clear to me and a lot of Americans that something is deeply wrong with this system.”
He was asked if George W. Bush has been a greater threat to liberty than Bill Clinton was. “Absolutely because of the systemic assault on the Bill of Rights, it is very different. I certainly had my differences with President Clinton and was one of the impeachment managers, but the problem with the current administration, and the mindset that has taken hold here in Washington, and there is really so little difference between the two major parties, is the fact that the system itself, and what the Bush administration has done to system of taking liberty from the people and imposing it here in Washington.”
Barr said that both Obama and McCain represent the status quo. He talked about the disenfranchised and disenchanted conservative Republicans that he is targeting. Barr said his strategy is a mixture of a 50 state strategy and targeting some individual states. He said that short of winning success would be defined as opening up the two party system.
Bob Barr is this year’s Ralph Nader, and just like Nader it isn’t his fault if some voters are underwhelmed with the two nominees and are looking for an alternative. His message seems specifically tailored to Ron Paul supporters, who definitely won’t be supporting John McCain. An endorsement from Paul could really help Barr especially with organization and fundraising. I think that both Barr and Nader deserve to be in the debates, if only to push McCain and Obama to talk about issues that they would rather avoid.