Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has turned from the public scrutiny of elected office to the behind-the-scenes work of political action committees. A former policy director in Ronald Reagan’s White House and former chairman of the Republican National Committee, Barbour is now honorary chairman of Resurgent Republic, which tries to shape the debate over the role of government. He also is raising funds for the American Crossroads "super political-action committee." He spoke at the June 15 Monitor breakfast in Washington.
"I don't see any evidence of it, but ... people are right to think we have a bad system. The reason ... [is that] the two organizations that you are limited in giving money to are the campaign itself and the candidate's party. Those ought to be the ... organizations that we encourage you to give money to."
How he would change campaign finance laws:
"The law ought to be [that] any human being who is an American citizen or legally here should be able to give any amount of money to any candidate or party of his choice or her choice, and then it ought to be reported within 24 hours."
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's charge that the Republican Party has "an orthodoxy that doesn't allow for disagreement":
"There are a lot of people in the Republican Party who are not that conservative, including our nominee for president. [Mitt Romney] was the least conservative of the serious candidates. And he won the nomination, and the party is totally united behind him."
Mr. Romney's vice presidential choice:
"It looks to me like Romney will either try to pick somebody to do no harm or try to pick somebody to give him a state [in the election]."