Haley Barbour was a wealthy K Street lobbyist for giant corporations such as RJ Reynolds, Philip Morris, Amgen, Microsoft, United Health, Southern Company, and many others. This makes him a devil in the eyes of much of the progressive Left, but Barbour's background and record also upsets many conservatives and Tea Party types.
A Big Business, K Street guy, former head of the RNC is hardly the man for a time where anti-establishment sentiment reigns on the Right, but the base's problems with Barbour extend beyond pedigree and aesthetics to ideology: Barbour's Big Business ties also undermine his conservatism.
Start with this Daily Caller piece by Chris Moody:
in an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller, the seven-year governor said he’s in favor of keeping the Depression-era welfare programs going.
“Some of them are very important,” Barbour told TheDC when asked if he supported taxpayer subsidies for farmers. “What we want to have in the United States is abundant food at a responsibly low price. To do that, we have to have an appropriately large supply of agricultural products. When sales volumes are good, prices are reasonable, there shouldn’t be any farm subsidies. But for natural reasons, nature, or what other countries are doing in terms of how they’re handling their markets, sometimes it is appropriate to have farm subsidies.”....
Republicans often tout a free, or lightly regulated market as the best method to distribute goods and services, but for Barbour, that principle does not apply to agriculture, which he says needs the government interference to function properly.
“What you want is to have policies that lead to ample supply and prices that yield good prices for the person at the grocery store but profits for the farmers,” Barbour said.
This isn't Barbour's only departure from a free market, though. He touts job growth down in Mississippi under his governing, and some of that is due to tort reform, but some of it is do to rank favoritism and special-interest deals more akin to Obama than Reagan -- for instance, subsidies for a biofuels plant.
If the Tea Party still has some wind, it's hard to see how Barbour gets anywhere near the GOP nomination.