Barbour, a politician turned lobbyist, made the comment while speaking to clients of his BGR group on Thursday. He was remarking on how unlikely it is that the U.S. will elect a Democratic president after two terms of Obama.
“And then he said there is no one who will run for president who will endorse Obama’s issues, because Obama’s issues are ‘tar babies.’”
The term became famous with the 19th Century Uncle Remus stories in which the character Br’er Fox makes a doll out of tar.
“If someone takes offense, I regret it. But, again, neither the context nor the connotation was intended to offend,” wrote Barbour. “The Oxford American Dictionary defines the term as ‘a difficult problem, that’s only aggravated by attempts to solve it.’ This is exactly what I meant and the context in which I used the term.”
As Talking Points Memo noted earlier, Barbour’s high dollar clients at BGR include “Airbus Group, the American Health Care Association (a lobby group for hospitals and nursing homes), Amgen, Eli Lilly, and GalaxoSmithKline (drug companies), the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce, Caesars Entertainment (a gambling casino outfit), the Canadian National Railway, Caterpillar (the farm equipment manufacturer), Chevron (the oil giant and America’s third largest corporation), Consumer Electronics Association (an industry lobby), JetBlue Airways, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, Mortgage Insurance Companies of America, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (a union), PhRMA (the drug industry lobby), Raytheon (the giant defense contractor), the Republic of India, the State of Kazakhstan, Toyota, the University of Mississippi, the University of Florida, Xerox Corporation, the cities of Waukesha, Wisconsin, Johnsburg, Illinois, and Winter Park, Florida, and DuPage County, Illinois.”