DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says Americans agree with Republicans on the important issues of health care and the federal budget and the party's presidential candidates need to come together and focus on those issues, not each other's personalities.
Barbour was the first of four potential presidential candidates to speak Saturday at a gathering of conservative Republicans in Iowa.
He rejected suggestions that President Barack Obama has moved to the middle, saying Obama's proposed budget calls for more spending and bigger deficits.
Barbour also is critical of the health care reform law pushed by Obama and Democrats. He says a government-run health care system benefits the government, not consumers.
Saturday's Conservative Principles Conference is organized by U.S. Rep. Steve King, a conservative Republican from western Iowa.
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