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Barbour Helps Raise $250,000 for McDonnell

Anita Kumar

It seems like every Republican considering a possible presidential run in 2012 is coming to Virginia to help Bob McDonnell and, in the process, raising their profile in the swing state.

Haley Barbour was just the latest.

The Mississippi governor is spending the day with McDonnell at fundraisers in Virginia Beach, Richmond and Alexandria. The Richmond event at the Marriott was attended by House Speaker Bill Howell and Attorney General Bill Mims, among others. The three events are expected to raise $250,000.

Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee and incoming chairman of the Republican Governors Association, compared this year's atmosphere for Republicans similar to 1993 when President Clinton had just been elected and George Allen won as Virginia governor.

"The Democrats are going to try just as hard as they can,'' he said. "The labor unions are going to try just as hard as they can. The left has got a huge stake in this election. But I believe we can win here just like we did when Gerge Allen got elected."

So is Barbour running for president?

He nodded his head no when he was asked by a reporter at a press conference today, but then said: "Any Republican who's really trying to focus on how to help his party and help our country needs to focus on the elections of 2009, including Virginia and New Jersey, and the elections of 2010. After that we can start worrying about 2012."

Of course, he didn't mention his trips this month to Iowa and New Hampshire, early states on the nominating calendar, but he didn't need to.

By Anita Kumar  |  June 22, 2009; 12:58 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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