Barbour spokesman Dan Turner said the governor flew Thursday from
"He's got kind of a mixture of meetings in
Barbour and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are among the potential presidential candidates speaking during congressional Republicans' three-day retreat.
Turner said the governor is skipping the Republican National Committee meeting Friday in
Barbour was RNC chairman from 1993 to 1997, leading the party when Republicans captured majorities in the U.S. House and Senate in the 1994 midterm elections. He has remained active in the party's national political structure, and one of his nephews, Henry Barbour, serves on the RNC from
Haley Barbour, 63, who is entering his last year as
As head of the Republican Governors Association from June 2009 until last November, Barbour traveled extensively to campaign for his party's candidates.
State finance records obtained by The Associated Press showed Barbour was out of state for all or part of 48 days this past July, August and September. News reports show he was often campaigning for Republican candidates in other states.
Records also show Barbour was out of state all or part of 145 days - nearly five months - during the state budget year that ended June 30.