Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour said Sunday that Republicans wouldn't have any problem rallying behind a GOP presidential candidate, regardless of whether or not that candidate's positions lined up with every faction of the Republican Party, because anti-Obama sentiment was "the greatest uniter of Republicans and conservatives."
Barbour, speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation," called Mr. Obama "the greatest uniter of Republicans and conservatives, and increasingly large numbers of independents."
He argued that whether the GOP candidate ended up being Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Chris Christie or anyone else, "this election is a referendum on President Obama's record, on his policies and the results of those policies - that will unite Republicans and independents behind our candidate."
The Mississippi governor (who at one point was considering a presidential bid himself) argued that the reason there was "so much interest in looking at other people" to get into the GOP field (as evidenced by interest expressed in New Jersey's governor tossing his hat in the ring), was that Republicans and independents "want a new president."
"They want the Rrepublicans to nominate somebody who is going to win," Barbour said. "So I think that is why people are looking at this so hard and want to make sure we have the very, very best candidate."
He suggested that Republicans may yet nominate someone "nobody thought was a very good candidate" at first.
"Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton, Democratic nominees and Democratic presidents who the summer before the election year, nobody thought was a very good candidate," he said. "I think our candidate will be very similar to that."