Haley Barbour’s son Sterling Barbour has written an e-mail to Bill Kristol, attacking him for a highly critical column Kristol wrote about the elder Barbour’s chances for the Republican nomination. “In these most desperate of times, you go around assassinating the character of a great conservative,” Sterling Barbour wrote.Kristol published a column in the Weekly Standard blog yesterday called “T-Paw v. Hee-Haw,” about Haley Barbour and Tim Pawlenty as potential 2012 candidates.
Kristol wrote that Barbour’s questioning of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan “certainly didn’t constitute any kind of serious presentation of a foreign policy agenda. His case for cutting defense spending was more political than substantive.” Barbour had also said that “anybody who says you can’t save money at the Pentagon has never been to the Pentagon” — comments that Kristol said were “a) childish, b) slightly offensive, and c) raises the question of how much time Barbour has spent at the Pentagon–apart from time spent lobbying for defense contractors or foreign governments.”
In Sterling Barbour’s e-mail to Kristol, obtained by the Associated Press, he writes: “It just makes no sense to me that a conservative man, such as yourself, would have such a blatantly obvious disdain towards my father.” He added: “Despite your best efforts, if he decides to run, he will likely win the nomination.”
“My dad would tell me to leave this alone,” Barbour wrote. “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?”
“I am a private person and don’t want him to run,” he also wrote. “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.”