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Potential 2012 contender Haley Barbour tells Caliifornia Republicans they can win if they 'try hard enough'

March 19, 2011 | 11:55 pm

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who said he is “seriously considering” a run for president in 2012, told delegates at the California Republican convention Saturday that they should not be discouraged by their losses in November and that voters would be receptive to the economic arguments that helped the party pick up seats in other parts of the country. 

During a weekend in which state Republicans set about trying to rebuild their party’s clout in a political environment that favors Democrats, Barbour sought to buck them up. Closing out the Saturday night session, Barbour recalled that President Reagan, his former boss,"used to say that California was the wind tunnel of America -— anything that worked in California, people would try everywhere else.

"That works in the other direction too,” Barbour told delegates. “We didn’t win this year in California, but it isn’t because we didn’t have the right ideas. We just didn’t drive them home well enough; we didn’t cast the net wide enough."

He added that “what works in the rest of America will work in California if y’all try hard enough," Barbour said.

The Mississippi governor did not elaborate on why the party was unable to get its message across in 2010 in the race for governor, where former Ebay chief executive Meg Whitman outspent Democrat Jerry Brown by a 5-1 ratio.

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 -- Maeve Reston in Sacramento


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