Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” former Republican National Committee chairman Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) was peppered with questions on whether or not he supported some states flying the Confederate flag.
Several times Barbour said it was a state rights issue and refused to take a position.
Nonetheless, “Morning Joe” regular Mike Barnicle asked, “What’s Haley Barbour’s position on it? What’s your position personally as a resident of Mississippi?”
Barbour said, “I’m not offended at all by our flag or the Confederate flag for that matter, but some people are. And the ones who have to deal in Congress, the ones that have to deal in the legislature, the ones that have to deal in the county governments, they’re the ones who ought to take the leadership, not the has-beens. You know the last thing a governor wants to hear is well the old governor said we ought to do so and so.”
Co-host Mika Brzezinski , seemingly unsatisfied with that response, said, “Haley Barbour, I got to tell you, it just sort of seems a little bit like a cop out to leave it to others to decide. Either you have an opinion in your heart or you don’t.”
Barbour said, “Well, in my heart, I have this to say to you, while I was governor of Mississippi, Mississippi became the only state in the country to use state money, taxpayers money to build a civil rights museum. We’re building a civil rights museum in Mississippi to commemorate, to celebrate the civil rights movement in our state. And when the Freedom Riders of 1961 came to Mississippi in 2011 for their 50th anniversary, we had an event for them at the governor’s mansion at which time I apologized to them for the way that they were treated. And told them what we were doing with the civil rights museum which I think they were very, very proud of. Mississippi has a higher percentage of its African-American adults registered to vote than New York where you’re sitting. We’re proud of that record. We’re proud of the change that’s happened in Mississippi in my lifetime.”
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