Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) on Thursday afternoon addressed Senate Republicans during their annual retreat, telling them the Nov. 2 elections were a rejection of President Barack Obama’s agenda and urging them to “stay true” to their midterm campaign promises.
“Last year’s election was a repudiation of Obama’s policies; pure and simple, there’s no argument about that. Everybody recognizes that. The public expects you to stay true to that,” Barbour told Roll Call during a brief interview upon exiting the closed-door meeting in the Library of Congress’ Jefferson Building.
Barbour, who is considering a 2012 presidential bid and said he is likely to make a decision on whether he will run this spring, was the featured lunch guest at Senate Republicans’ near-daylong gathering to discuss the policy and politics of the 112th Congress.
The governor, who served as Republican National Committee chairman during the GOP’s rise to Congressional power in 1994 and later became a top lobbyist, said there is a clear difference between then — when his party captured both chambers of the Congress — and now.
“The Republicans are not in control. We can’t all get together and change laws, change policy — because we have a Democratic president, we have a Democratic majority in the Senate,” Barbour said. “People need to align their expectations with reality.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., walks on Broadway after a Future Forum with young entrepreneurs in the Flatiron District of New York City, April 16, 2015. Reps. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Grace Meng, D-N.Y., also attended.