Haley Barbour Can't Figure Out the Race Thing

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Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is one of the more improbable contenders for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012--the former lobbyist is pretty much the exact image conjured by the phrase "Washington fat cat." And then there's his whole problem with race. In December, he had to walk back his praise of segregationist White Citizens Councils and his assertion that racial conditions in Mississippi in the 1960s just weren't "that bad." (They were really bad.)

Now Barbour caught up in a controversy over a proposal to issue a Mississippi state license plate honoring Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and famous Klansman. When asked about the plate, Barbour said, "I don't go around denouncing people. That's not going to happen... I know there's not a chance it'll become law."

As Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall notes, apparently Barbour wants to get "out of the 'denouncing' business altogether."

Barbour will visit Iowa next month.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.