Barbour sees no baggage on race issues

By The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa — Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says he carries no political baggage because of his positions on racial issues.

The issue flared as recently as last week when Barbour declined to denounce an effort by a group pushing for a license plate in honor of confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, a leader of the Ku Klux Klan. Barbour says the proposal was never going anywhere.

Barbour says he denounces the Klan, but doesn’t denounce specific people and that’s what he was asked to do.

Barbour says he was a child during much of the Civil Rights movement and that people should focus on the progress that’s been made throughout the South.

Barbour was meeting GOP activists as he tests the waters for seeking the Republican presidential nomination.