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Haley Barbour: Dems play ‘race card’

After a Republican National Convention briefing hosted by the GOP polling firm Resurgent Republic, former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour accused Democrats of playing the "race card" against Mitt Romney. 

"Name a campaign in the last 25 years where the Dems didn't play the race card," Barbour told BuzzFeed. "Surprise!"

Some Democrats and members of the media have argued that Romney's recent focus on welfare policy and birth certificate joke are coded appeals to white voters. On MSNBC Monday morning, Chris Matthews lit into Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, saying "it is an embarrassment to your party to ... play that ethnic card."

During the briefing, Barbour explained that voters don't know Romney yet and their perceptions are being distorted by Democrats: “Voters don’t know much about him.and have been told a lot of bad things. They think he’s a plutocrat married to a well-known equestrian.” 

Barbour, who knows from storms -- he was governor during Hurricane Katrina -- also offered his perspective on Tropical Storm Isaac. Right now, he said, "this does not look like it's going to be a major storm." But, he added, "there's one thing you can predict about hurricanes: they're unpredictable ... everybody here has got one eye on this storm. We're praying for the best and preparing for the worst."

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

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