Washington (CNN)-Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer admits that he's got a "difficult road to the top," on his journey to clinch the GOP nomination for president.
Roemer served as a "conservative" Democratic Congressman and then governor, switching parties before the end of his term in the statehouse. He has pledged to only accept donations in $100 increments. Claiming that "Washington, D.C., is a boomtown, and the rest of America is hurting," Roemer told CNN that "inaction is bought by money" on Tuesday.
"I'm one of the only congressmen, maybe the only one, who didn't take PAC money," he asserted. "All of my contributions come from names and addresses."
Roemer's path to the top will rely on his "business skills in the marketplace" and includes an ambitious fundraising plan.
"I need one out of 100 Americans to give me $100. That's $300 million. That's more money than Mitt Romney and John McCain spent," he said. "I think I can capture one in 100."
Roemer, who spent four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, prefers to fundraise in "clean, small sizes, representing a family or small business, one at a time."
But when it comes to the general election, he admits that he'll need a lot more money and may be outmatched. His fundraising goal doubles to "2 out of 100" for a presidential matchup against incumbent President Barack Obama. "He'll raise more, this campaign will win," Roemer stated.
And though his plan to raise money for a presidential campaign is detailed, a timetable to announce is not. Roemer insists that he is "genuinely exploring" and committed to travel to New Hampshire and South Carolina, both early primary states, to "basically live there for a while and explore."
When considering the GOP field and his potential rivals, Roemer expressed his affinity for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and businessman Herman Cain. But he took a swipe at former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is also exploring a run for the White House, when he warned that the national debt was a threat to the country.
"I'm not a fearmonger," Roemer said. "I don't think we can grow out of this like Newt Gingrich said. I don't think it's going to happen, I've seen the numbers. We're in too deep."
The one-term Louisiana governor now runs a small bank and became passionate about financial matters. He said that he would not support a vote to lift the debt ceiling without a plan from the president.
"I want to know what his plan is to remove the mountain of debt on my grandchildren's chests. I've heard nothing from the man. He gives a hell of a speech at the state of the union and does nothing," Roemer declared.
"This is an issue that will destroy our country. Talk to me as an old banker…I know how to account and balance the books."
He's not in favor of a government shutdown, but Roemer conceded that "sometimes you have to be skilled at pointing out what could happen if we don't have some action."
"I know I get passionate about this," he admitted. "But I've been there. I've done this before."