Barr Could Be the Ralph Nader of 2008: GOP

Republicans fear Libertarian will pull votes from McCain
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2008 6:23 PM CDT
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said voting for Bob Barr is the same as voting for Barack Obama. "No reasonable conservative is going to vote for anyone except McCain," Gingrich said.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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(Newser) – A former ally has Republicans sweating the possibility that he could siphon votes away from John McCain, the AP says. Bob Barr, an outspoken ex-GOP congressman and Libertarian Party presidential nominee, is now trying to get on the ballot in 20 states in time for November. “Bob could be the Ralph Nader of 2008,” warned a Republican consultant.

And that suits Democrats just fine: One strategist said Republicans “are crazy if they aren’t worried about Barr.” Newt Gingrich insisted the GOP isn’t threatened by Barr’s candidacy: “No reasonable conservative is going to vote for anyone except McCain.” But Barr, an NRA member who denies playing the role of a spoiler, could benefit from dissatisfaction with McCain, experts say.