Haley Barbour Admits That Abolishing Slavery Was a Good Thing

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Barbour has stood near Usher on at least one occasion. Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Because he is a portly, white Mississippian who's been pretty inept at handling racial issues recently, future presidential candidate Haley Barbour is probably going to keep getting asked about where he stands on long-settled questions regarding civil rights and black people. For example, whether it was a good thing that the Civil War abolished slavery:

“Slavery was the primary, central, cause of secession,” Barbour told me Friday. “The Civil War was necessary to bring about the abolition of slavery,” he continued. “Abolishing slavery was morally imperative and necessary, and it’s regrettable that it took the Civil War to do it. But it did.”

This is "big news," Politico says, because many Southerners still insist that secession was primarily about states' rights (to own slaves).

Haley Barbour, slavery and the Civil War [Politico]