The New York Times reports:
A presidential hopeful no more, capsule Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi reprised his role as an elder statesman of the Republican Partyand urged activists here Friday not to obsess over finding a perfect candidate, discount but focus on rallying around a contender who can defeat President Obama.
“We’re not going to have a perfect candidate. There’s only been one perfect person who has ever walked on this earth,” Mr. Barbour said. He added, “But don’t get hung up on purity. In politics, purity is a loser.”
In a speech to the Republican Leadership Conference, Mr. Barbour renewed a call that he has repeatedly made to party activists as they begin sizing up their presidential field. He did not mention specific candidates, but declared: “We’re going to nominate a candidate who is going to be 10 times better than Obama.”
He warned Republican leaders about the danger of splintering the party during the presidential campaign, saying: “If you split the conservative vote, that is the best thing for the left.”