"Draft Haley" Campaign Touts Barbour For VP Position - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

"Draft Haley" Campaign Touts Barbour For VP Position

What are the chances the Governor of Mississippi could be the next Vice President of the United Sates? The question was first asked when then presidential candidate Rudy Guiliani campaigned through the state last September. Now a grass roots campaign wants to convince Republican nominee hopeful John McCain to choose Haley Barbour.

Barbour introduced Guiliani last year at a campaign stop at Hinds Community College, but shrugged off questions about the possibility he could by Guiliani's running mate. Now, this weekend, a commercial will hit the air in Jackson and Phoenix, Arizona.

The creator of the campaign to draft Haley Barbour for vice-president says his reasoning is clear.

"Voters on both sides, democrats and republicans, are citing the economy as their primary concern this election cycle. And Governor Barbour's experience as an economic conservative and a leader in Mississippi, we believe, is translating into people looking at him more and more," Jones said.

Jones hopes to gather 50,000 signatures on a petition to prove to Senator John McCain and Barbour himself that more conservatism is needed come November.

"We're seeing people in California, people in states like Ohio, which of course Ohio being important for Republicans in '08 as it always has been, signing the petition. And we believe Governor Barbour can continue to see that mass appeal as we more forward," Jones said.

Senator Thad Cochran says Barbour's experience makes him a good choice.

"More importantly, he'd be an excellent person serving in the office of Vice President. He has the know how, the ingenuity, the determination to do the right thing. He's a patriot, he's proven that time and again," Sen. Cochran said.

But Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant says there's work here in Mississippi that he thinks will keep Barbour as the state's governor.

"We need him here. As he says, he's still on storm duty. So I look for him to continue to lead this state, but it is an honor for Mississippi for our Governor to be wanted as Vice President of the United States," Bryant said.

You can hear from Governor Barbour on this topic and many others, including Katrina Recovery and the legislature, on WLOX News This Week. That airs Saturday at 6pm on WLOX-TV.

by Jon Kalahar

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