Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Monday he will not run for president in 2012.
“I will not be a candidate for president next year,” Barbour, a Republican, said in a statement. “This has been a difficult, personal decision, and I am very grateful to my family for their total support of my going forward, had that been what I decided.”
Barbour, the former chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said he would continue serving as governor of Mississippi and work to “elect a new Republican president in 2012.”
According to a source close to Barbour, the governor felt he received positive receptions on recent trips to the early contest states of New Hampshire and South Carolina, but that his decision in the end came down to a “gut feeling”
In all honesty, I am shocked to hear Haley Barbour is not running. The man is incredible fundraiser and could make the Republican primary interesting. Unfortunately, I have always questioned Barbour’s chances at winning a general election against President Obama. His heavy southern accent and appearance would be an obstacle if he ended up going against America’s first black president.
With Barbour out, does that mean Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels will jump into the ring? Politico reports:
Daniels is candid: He’d be less inclined to launch a White House bid if Barbour does the same.
“My first inclination would be to help Haley,” said Daniels, adding: “It would be unusual [if we both ran]. On every past occasion, we’ve been teammates.”
Also, Hot Air reported this earlier:
A source close to Daniels tells NYT reporter John Harwood he’s leaning towards yes: “mitchdaniels confidant: Indiana Gov. now ’60 to 70%’ likely to seek 2012 GOP nomination”.
The presidential race is definitely heating up.