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Barbour defends Perry's Bernanke comment, blames the media

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) said he is not advising fellow Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) on his presidential campaign. Barbour, at one point considering his own presidential run, told Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC that he is not advising any candidate, and he doesn't intend to endorse anyone.

He did, however, stick up for Perry for his comments on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

"I don't take it as offensive to say that we would not treat you nice,” Barbour said. “We treat you nice. We like you, and we're proud to have you down here. That isn't exactly threatening language to most people."

About secession: "If somebody thought he was saying that seriously a couple years ago, that would be one thing, but everybody knew then he was joking about it. ...He's going to get nitpicked, because he's the governor of Texas, because the liberal media elite dislike George Bush so much, and he reminds them of him. As I say, conservative, Christian, Republican, Southerner. He needs to understand he doesn't have the liberty to say things loosely that somebody else might."

Barbour said he doesn't know of anyone else looking to get into the GOP contest, but doesn't think it’s impossible either.

"As Rick showed, you can get in late,” Barbour said. “This field reminds me of the Democratic presidential campaigns that I've watched in the past, where there wasn't a real front runner and somebody who a year-and-a-half before the election didn't seem to have a chance came out and won a nomination.... That could happen on our side, even though we don't normally have a contest that looks like this."