The following email arrived last night from Sterling Barbour, Gov. Haley Barbour's son, in response to a blog post by William Kristol:

From: Sterling Barbour

Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2011 20:23:40 -0400


Subject: Gov Barbour's son. Question? Attn: Mr. Kristol

Mr. Kristol,

Well, you have pulled it off again. Every chance you get to sabotage my dad in an article, you pounce on it. I have a very simple question. Why? Did he do a bad job as RNC chairman? We all know he beat your guy. Does that still bother you? You win some and you lose some. Move on already. At the end of the day, we conservatives won big. Do you dispute that? Do you believe that he was a bad RGA head? He has gotten seemingly unelectable conservatives elected. Once again the proof is in the pudding, and that pudding was good. Do you believe that he has been a bad Governor? Come on now. Is it that he is a bad strategist? Of course not. Almost to a man, people in the know would tell you that he is the best we have got. What gives?

My dad would tell me to leave this alone. And for the record, I have never heard him say an ill word against you. And he never will. He is the consummate team player. Maybe we should rename him the anti- you? In these most desperate of times, you go around assassinating the character of a great conservative. Isn't it hard enough with the corrupt, left-wing media? And you beat up on the best man I have ever known? It is despicable and sad. I am begging you for a reason. Please!

It must be personal. The two of you agree on almost every single issue! Mississippi is the safest place in the country for an unborn child. Good, right? He balanced the budget in the poorest of states. He did it without raising a single tax in his first term. Wow, that is good stuff. But people like you and Chris Wallace want to talk about his reinstatement of a hospital tax (dating back to '93) at a lower rate, and the fact that he raised taxes on cigarettes in his second term (he told the voters of such during his re-election campaign). Would it surprise you that MS still has the third lowest cigarette tax in America? I hope not. You get paid to know the FACTS, right? Let me give you a couple more while we're at it. My dad is neither childish nor a racist, and you know it. He is completely color blind.

Come to think of it, you two may disagree on whether defense cuts are on the table. If we were staring at 15 trillion dollars of debt (not to mention 120t of unfunded liabilities), we would probably need to look at everything. Oh wait, we are!! But that's not what this hee-haw article was about. You used it to talk about dad's past as a lobbyist (you sabotaged him just the same on the race issue in December). Let's get something straight. My dad lobbied for businesses. We have a president who organized against them. Take your pick. It is a shame that you don't like my dad. I just want to know why.

At a time when conservatives need to be rallying together, we have people like you beating up on our own. That's amazing to me! Is your plan to just rip good conservatives to pieces and let the president have it? Or is it personal? This is a team sport. We have a common goal here. We have a country to take back. And whether you like it or not, my dad is a player. He is part of the solution, not the problem. I don't know if he's running or not, but either way he is no doubt in the game. You mark my words, any Republican nominee will want his advice along the way. Do you doubt that?

p.s. I am a private person, and don't want him to run. I'd prefer not to listen to people like you talk bad about any member of my family. But this decision is bigger than me. If he runs, I will be his biggest supporter. But it just makes no sense to me that a conservative man, such as yourself, would have such a blatantly obvious disdain towards my father. Despite your best efforts, if he decides to run, he will likely win the nomination. He has beaten "your" guy before. Who have you got this time, T-Paw? Please. History often, if not always, repeats itself. You would be well served, for the sake of the party and most importantly our country, to back off quite a bit. Shame on you sir! There is so much more I'd like to say. Maybe next time, although I doubt there will be a next time. I'm probably going to be in trouble with my dad for this. But enough is enough!


Sterling Barbour

Small business owner-Alabama


William Kristol responds:

I admire Sterling Barbour for standing up for his dad. Needless to say, I stand by criticism of Haley Barbour’s comments on the defense budget and Afghanistan.

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