Haley Barbour: GOP Primary Race Taking Attention Away From Obama

WASHINGTON -- Former Republican Party chairman Haley Barbour said the fight for the GOP presidential nomination could go all the way to the convention.

The ex-governor of Mississippi said he doesn't think that's likely, but he noted in a CBS "This Morning" interview that none of the candidates has taken control of the race.

Barbour said, "The fact is, there is an outside possibility" the nomination fight might not be resolved until the party's August convention in Tampa, Fla.

He said such a scenario would be "unusual" but that "whoever we nominate, Barack Obama is the great uniter of Republicans."

He said the GOP race was distracting from President Barack Obama's policies. "And the other thing is, of course, when four Republican candidates are contesting each other for the nomination, a hard-fought race, attention is being taken away from Obama's policies and the results of those policies, which are mighty poor," he said. "And any time we're not talking about Obama's policies and the results of those policies, we're not talking about what's the best thing for Republicans in the election."

Barbour also said that "historically, these nomination contests don't start until February, so it's mighty early in the game." He says Republicans should focus on the "anemic" economy.

Barbour said that if former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) did not win Michigan then it would be "a real setback." "This is Romney's home state. He won it last time," Barbour said. "If he were to lose in Michigan and then Santorum, Gingrich or both have a big day on Super Tuesday, then you could see an election that goes all the way to the convention."