The subsequent fall-out from Bob Barr's "no-show" at Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty press conference yesterday morning continues to mount unabated. Reports from many blog sites, including the Independent Political Report, the Last Free Voice, and LewRockwell.com, are indicating that the Bob Barr for President Campaign is effectively over.
Shortly after Barr snubbed Paul by not bothering to show up at the press conference at the National Press Club in D.C., he tried to put a implausible and lame spin on the uproar via a press release, claiming that he showed "leadership to unify the liberty movement." In the same release, he illegally offered Paul to be his running mate. He notes:
Barr cited Paul's 1987 letter to then-GOP Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf, in which Paul stated that, "after years of trying to work through the Republican Party both in and out of government…[Paul] concluded that [his] efforts must be carried on outside the Republican Party."
Though recognizing Paul's personal investment in the Republican Party and his recent attempts to reform the party from inside, Barr said he disagreed with Paul's strategy. "Better options remain that will carry a message of liberty onto the ballot in November and beyond," Barr stated, adding at a news conference called today at the National Press Club, that "change in politics and public policy in America cannot and will not be done from within the current, two-party system."
Barr continued, "The status quo will not change the status quo' and impact comes entirely from gaining votes in the General Election." That is why Barr said he would remain focused on the Libertarian Party's electoral effort and clear message, and why he invited Paul to join him.
"While you declined my offer to seek the Libertarian presidential nomination many months ago, I ask that you seriously consider this final offer as an opportunity to show true, lasting leadership beyond party politics," Barr stated in his letter to Paul.
Wayne Allyn Root even agreed to step down as Barr's running mate and let Paul have if he accepted the offer. The vice presidential candidate noted in the next following two paragraphs:
Barr's running mate, Wayne Allyn Root, expressed support: "As the Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee, I believe in one thing above all else—principle. There can be no compromise on the ideals of limited government, lower taxes, lower spending, and more freedom for the American people. Those are the principles to which I've dedicated my life. The GOP and Democratic candidates only give lip service—at best—to these ideals and principles. It is only an act at election time every four years."
"I want to end the charade once and for all," Root continued. "I am willing to sacrifice anything to advance the cause of liberty, freedom, smaller government and to enable the American taxpayer to keep more of their own money and property. Understanding Dr. Ron Paul's reputation and name recognition in the freedom movement, I am willing to step aside as Libertarian vice presidential candidate if he would be willing to take my place. I will pledge to work day and night, just as I have as the vice presidential nominee, to support Dr. Paul. I believe this is a wonderful opportunity for the Libertarian and freedom movements. I encourage Dr. Paul to accept Congressman Barr's offer. The campaign is making this offer because we believe there is no sacrifice too large when it comes to improving the lives of the American people and American taxpayers."
When Paul rejected his offer, Barr then decided to opt out of the event and hold one of his own. Even one Paul backer reported that he had never seen Paul "so angry" over Barr's pull-out from the conference. He remarked:
I spoke to Don Rasmussen personally just a moment ago and he confirms everything that’s been reported so far. He has never seen Dr. Paul so angry and is saddened by the possible repercussions of Barr’s actions on the freedom movement. Shane Cory did indeed tell Don to go f*ck himself when he asked Shane why he did this, though he admits that Shane also recited a list of perceived grievences, ie; lack of invitations to events, etc., that led to the decision to eschew Ron’s press conference and stage his own. Don also clarified that Barr did agree to attend the press conference and that Russ Verney’s claims otherwise are lies.
To make matters worse, Barr held a solo press conference the same time that he was supposed to be at Ron Paul's, where Adam Kokesh, an Iraq War veteran and now-former Barr backer, took angry potshots at Barr for his behavior towards Paul. Barr was even further trashed and denounced by Paul backers who attended his event. When Kokesh identified himself as an "independent blogger," Barr's campaign manager Russ Verney tried to silence him.
But the fall-out gets worse for Barr. Robert Kraus, the LP's Acting Executive Director, wrote a blog entry on the LP's blog, in which he stated that party loyalists should "consider the facts and not rely on blogs for your source of news." Furthermore, he states that he is responding what he claims are the concerns of the LP membership "over Bob Barr not attending Ron Paul's press conference." Not only that, Kraus criticizes Paul and his supporters for the "treatment that LP personnel received today by Ron Paul's staff and the games they have attempted to play over the past year" and even yesterday. Here's the blog post in its entirety:
To our supporters and volunteers
posted by Andrew Davis on Sep 10, 2008
I have been hearing a lot from many LP Members about concerns over Bob Barr not attending Ron Paul's press conference.
However, before you form an opinion, perhaps you may want to consider the facts and not rely on blogs for your news.
First, the Barr campaign met with Ron Paul's staffers yesterday afternoon to deliver the offer of the LP's VP slot to Ron Paul and to discuss the details of the event that Bob Barr was invited to attend. More details were to be submitted to the Barr campaign but did not arrive until nearly 3 a.m. the morning of the event. At 9 a.m. Barr's campaign manager, Russell Verney, informed the Paul campaign that Bob would not be attending however he would still give his backing of the four principles highlighted by Dr. Paul.
Second, read the press release by the Barr Campaign you will see why Bob's own press conference (attended by many members of the press) was so significant:
Third, as CNN and others reported, Ron Paul's press conference was more about him not endorsing McCain and less about Dr. Paul's non-sanctioning of other candidates running for president.
The Barr campaign chose not to attend in order to make a very valid point, which was expressed, in their following press conference. Bold leadership is needed right now! Scattering support for the liberty agenda to the four winds as Dr. Paul is proposing will not serve liberty.
Ron Paul deserves respect and credit for what he has done over the last year in rejuvenating so many people across this nation, however either him or possibly his staff have made the bland decision to remain ambiguous with their intent and direction for liberty.
Personally, I will say that I do not appreciate the treatment that LP personnel received today by Ron Paul's staff and the games they have attempted to play over the past year. This morning, our volunteer coordinator was rudely ejected from the press conference before it even started. This was followed by Ron Paul staffers and supporters close to the staff disrupting Barr's press conference.
This pattern is something that we never wanted to disclose but holds true to previous treatment where staff members for Paul's campaign tried on more than one occasion to have Bob Barr uninvited from events, including Bob's gracious introduction of Ron Paul at last year's CPAC conference.
I do doubt that Dr. Paul was aware of these antics.
I hope this answers some of your concerns and questions. Our staff, volunteers and the Barr/Root campaign are totally psyched up and ready to work very hard for all Libertarians through November and beyond – including ballot access, in as many states as possible, which will benefit all Libertarian Candidates!
We hope you too will continue to support those candidates that support your views, even if just on a local or state level. Please fill out the volunteer form here if you are: http://www.lp.org/action/volunteer.shtml and please do not forget to donate so we can continue to “send a message” between now and November: https://www.lp.org/contribute.
Acting Executive Director
By responding the way the LP and the Bob Barr Campaign did, both have ensured the Barr Campaign's eventual self-destruction simply by placing all the blame on Ron Paul and none of the blame on themselves. If anything, Bob Barr's pathetic and stupid move has cost him whatever support he's had left in the Party and in the movement.
More to come in Part II. To be continued.