WILL: Haley, George Will. In the last five election cycles, the Republican presidential candidates have received 79 percent of their electoral votes from the South, defined, I think, as the 11 states of the old Confederacy plus Kentucky and Oklahoma. That -- weigh that against the fact that this election's apt to be won or loss in the North, that Obama has to carry at least three of four of the following states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, all of which elected Republican governors in 2010. Now, do you think that Rick Perry is a good candidate to win those states in the North?
BARBOUR: Look, he's had a very good record as the governor of Texas. Been governor a long time and a very good record in a very large state. I would just say to you, George, we've got to win back Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. And then, you're right, this election will be decided in the industrial quadrangle, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan. We've got to win back Indiana, for that matter, Wisconsin.
I think any Republican who can win the nomination -- and I'm not saying everybody in the field could win -- but any Republican who wins the nomination is going to be very competitive in that. And whether Romney, because he's from the Northeast, has a little bit of edge, this election should be a referendum on Barack Obama. When we -- when we have presidents up for re-election, it's supposed to be a referendum on that president, his record, and the performance that he's gotten from his policies. If that's the case, I think Rick Perry will do just fine in Ohio.
BRAZILE: Governor Barbour, you addressed the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders when they came to Mississippi, and you talked about the mistreatment they received. Do you think that Rick Perry, given this problem with the rock in Texas, should he also address this issue in the context of his campaign?
BARBOUR: You know, it's funny, Donna. Rick Perry appointed the first African-American chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court. I mean, that speaks a whole lot louder than making some speech. Rick Perry's got a great record of appointing Hispanics and African-Americans.
And so whether or not he wants to make a -- make a speech like that, for us in Mississippi, it wasn't that I wanted to make a political speech. It was the fact that it was the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders coming to our state, being mistreated. And it was an opportunity for us to talk about how Mississippi's changed, changed considerably for the better.
BRAZILE: I know -- I know he's a former Democrat and I know his appointments, but don't you think this will help him dispel some of those issues that have come up in the campaign? And I often believe, Governor, as you well know, as a southerner myself, that we often address these issues in the Democratic Party, but isn't it time for the Republicans also to talk about the civil rights era? And this could really help Rick Perry.
BARBOUR: Well, as you say, Rick is a former Democrat. It just proves why we believe in redemption, Donna.
BRAZILE: Oh, go LSU Tigers, Governor. I'm going to rub it in.
AMANPOUR: Very, very quickly, Governor, before we leave you, how much is at stake for him in this next debate this week? He zoomed to the top, and then, as we've discussed, he's had some very, you know, questionable performances since.