This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," May 27, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, to the new face in the presidential race, Bob Barr, a Rasmussen poll showing the Libertarian candidate just picked by his party would command 6 percent of the vote in a general election matchup, and he hasn't really even gotten campaigning yet. He says he's in it to win it, that he's not interested in being a spoiler.
Bob Barr joining me now.
Congressman, good to have you with us.
BOB BARR, LIBERTARIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Neil, always good to go with -- to...
BARR: Always good to be with you and your viewers.
CAVUTO: Six percent, that's a pretty good number, considering you haven't done squat yet. I mean, you just got nominated.
So, how do you become a Ross Perot phenomenon?
BARR: Well, I'm interested in being more than a Ross Perot phenomenon. I have great respect for him. And, as a matter of fact, his campaign manager is now our campaign manager.
We're putting together a team that will deliver a positive message to an awful lot of new and disenfranchised older voters.
CAVUTO: Will you be on all 50 state ballots? How does that stand?
BARR: We hope to be.
The Libertarian Party, alone among America's third parties, has enjoyed -- not universal, but near-universal ballot access. Last cycle, in 2004, we had -- Libertarians were on the ballots in 48 of 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. This time, we hope to gain at least that degree of ballot access, if not 49 or 50 states.
CAVUTO: All right, you know the argument against you, Governor -- or, Congressman, that is that you are going to siphon votes away from John McCain. What do you say?
BARR: Not so.
I cannot think of any reason why somebody who is predisposed to vote for John McCain, a big-government Republican, would choose instead to switch from John McCain to Bob Barr, a small-government Libertarian. It would make no sense.
There are a number, a large number of disenfranchised, disenchanted Republican voters that we hope to pick up and appeal to. But those are voters that would not vote for McCain in the first place.
CAVUTO: All right.
Libertarians, typically, though, say their backup choice is a Republican. The ones who voted, for example -- that is, third-party types, independent types, who voted for Ross Perot in '92, said that, if they had a backup choice, it would have been George Bush Sr. So, the argument then was that he siphoned votes away from George Bush Sr. and handed the White House to Bill Clinton.
What do you make of that?
BARR: Every election cycle is different, as you indicated. And the dynamics this time, Neil, are very different from in '92 or '88 or '96 or any other race.
The deep, deep dissatisfaction with this administration and with the party that he represents, coupled with the huge number of new voters that are becoming active for the first time, really changes the dynamics and makes it very possible -- not likely; we're realistic about this -- but realistically possible to actually win this race.
CAVUTO: All right.
Now, the fact is that you've got an uphill fight. And a lot of those independent voters, the rare sort of people who are, sort of, galvanized this year have been galvanized by Barack Obama. Whether that sticks, Congressman, is anyone's guess. And you're quite right to say there's a ways to go to determine that.
But what would be your signature issue?
You're basically not an anti-government guy, but certainly a limited government guy, right? And that applies all the way to taxes, government spending and the like.
CAVUTO: Will that be palatable in a year people are looking to rescues and bailouts and that sort of thing?
BARR: I think it will be. The Libertarian message of smaller government means much lower taxes -- a new tax system, ultimately, dramatically cutting back the size and the power of the government, whether it's here or spending $400 million a day of taxpayer monies in Iraq.
These are pocketbook issues. And the Libertarian philosophy, the programs that we'll be putting forward will be very relevant to voters from, really, Neil, from across the political spectrum, because everybody's hurting. Everybody's standard of living is going down, as the standard of living for the government is going up. We aim to reverse that.
CAVUTO: All right.
You know the math. It tends to be, the League of Women Voters, they don't include you in a debate unless you're polling 10 percent or more in the polls.
If you were polling 6 percent to 8 percent, which certainly is very good at this stage, Congressman, but you never get above that, and you're not invited to the debates, you're finished, right?
BARR: It's very, very difficult. But we certainly anticipate more than meeting the threshold that is set down for the debates in the fall.
When we can start out with very high name I.D., as I do have, and as the polls, including the one that you mentioned, indicate, a floor -- not a ceiling, but a floor of at least 6 percent, over the next few months, as we begin to raise money, get our message out through personal appearances and through the Internet, I think that figure is going to dramatically increase.
We don't anticipate a problem being in the debates.
CAVUTO: Congressman Barr, thank you very much. Best of luck.
BARR: Thank you, Neil.
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