Haley Barbour may have opted against a White House run in 2012 but that doesn’t mean he is sitting out this election cycle.
The Mississippi governor – and noted political rainmaker – is joining American Crossroads, the well-funded conservative super PAC that includes Karl Rove and former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie among its roster of high-profile advisers.
The group, along with its nonprofit affiliate, Crossroads GPS, is aiming to raise a whopping $240 million during the 2012 cycle, something that would put the alliance “far ahead of its rivals on either side of the political spectrum,” the Washington Post reports. The groups raised a combined $71 million in 2010 and say they have already raised $24.5 million since the start of this year.
"Both Governor Barbour and Karl Rove are prodigious fundraisers and brilliant strategists, and we are honored to have them both engaged with us," Steven Law, president of both groups, said in a statement. "We are reaching high in our fundraising goals because we believe this is going to be a destiny-shaping election for our country."
Barbour is a well-known fundraiser from his time as chairman of the RNC during a four-year stretch in the mid-90s and of the Republican Governors Association from 2009 through 2010. As the Huffington Post notes, Barbour pulled in a record-setting $115 million for the RGA during the 2010 cycle after taking over in the middle of 2009 from Mark Sanford.
American Crossroads has said that it plans to sit out the primaries and save its resources for what will likely be an expensive general election fight against President Obama.
Still, the group appears to skew toward Mitt Romney, at least slightly. Rove has been sharply critical of Romney’s main rival, Rick Perry, and the group’s political director helped form a pro-Romney super PAC earlier this year. That said, many of the top donors in Barbour’s Rolodex have suggested they are Perry fans, the Post notes.