Barbour: GOP must recognize it doesn't run gov't

By Philip Elliott/The Associated Press

BALTIMORE — Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi is advising Republicans newly in charge of the House that they must keep voters’ frustrations with the nation’s lagging economy focused on Democrats who still run the Senate and control the White House.

Barbour told House Republicans on Friday that they mustn’t become arrogant or believe that they are running the government. He says some in the GOP became cocky in 1995 and some asserted President Bill Clinton didn’t matter.

That gave Clinton’s poll numbers time to improve and helped him win re-election a year later.

Barbour, a former Republican National Committee chairman who helped the GOP take over the House in 1994, was speaking to Republican lawmakers gathered for an annual strategy retreat.