The Republican from Mississippi issued a statement today, saying point blank he "will not be a candidate for president next year."
Barbour said he lacked the "absolute fire in the belly" and "total certainty" that a presidential candidate needed to succeed in the race. Defending a segregationist group a few months ago didn’t exactly help his chances either.
He plans to keep his day job and help elect governors across the country.
"When asked why my hometown in Mississippi did not suffer the same racial violence when I was a young man that accompanied other towns' integration efforts, I accurately said the community leadership wouldn't tolerate it and helped prevent violence there. My point was my town rejected the Ku Klux Klan, but nobody should construe that to mean I think the town leadership were saints, either. Their vehicle, called the "Citizens Council," is totally indefensible, as is segregation. It was a difficult and painful era for Mississippi, the rest of the country, and especially African Americans who were persecuted in that time."
Tonight, we'll be talking about these comments on race in the old South. Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Matt Cooper, White House Managing Editor for the National Journal, joins us at 10pm ET.
Will this kill any chance of Barbour getting on the GOP ticket in 2012? Please tell us in the comment section below.