Roemer: It's a difficult road to the top
March 15th, 2011
10:37 PM ET
12 years ago

Roemer: It's a difficult road to the top

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."

Filed under: 2012 • Buddy Roemer • GOP
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. T'sah from Virginia

    ["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."]

    Then maybe you should hang it up right now because you will be BEATEN by the Koch Brothers who is willing and able to BUY the elections and other groups and/or corporations that do not have to disclose themselves and can donate any amount of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!!!!

    In reality, corporations and religion should STAY OUT of elections – LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE!!!

    March 15, 2011 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  2. Darth Vadik, CA

    For you it is Mr. whoever you are...

    March 15, 2011 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  3. al in memphis

    I guess this debt just became a problem right after the banks/wall street cashed their bailout checks. It's kinda of funny that I don't remember the last campaign being about the debt, maybe that's because all the bills where paid by the last president
    So tell me how was Obama adminstration suppose to rescue the economy from ruin (cause by private banks), fight two wars, keep the automotive infrastructure from callapse, and reduce the tax level to its lowest in 60 years - and in less than 2 years pay off the future debt. Right thnking people know you don't fix a 20 year problem in 2 years with tax revenue at it lowest and competing growth from other emerging countries.

    Ofcourse, we don't really send to many well thinking people to Washington - when we do we run them out as quickly as possible.

    March 16, 2011 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  4. Aaron

    He is correct. DC has been bought and paid for. The elected officials have lots of money...not from doing what is best for the American people...but from contributions, formerly known of bribes. Of course, promising to be an honest elected official may just be a propaganda ploy. 6 months in DC cures them all of honesty.

    March 16, 2011 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  5. Lesson One

    One wonders where he was when Bush turned the surplus into 500 billion dollars of red ink his very first term. And where he was when Bush left and it was over a trillion of red ink.

    You gotta give the newly annointed deficit hawks some credit though – they take advantage of peoples ignorance. Cutting what's left of discretionary spending (as if cutting port security and education is a good idea anyway) in the mdist of a contracting economy is just gonna throw it even further into the absyss. It won't save a penny because the money "saved" through spending cuts will be more than offset by the resultant reduced taxes from the salaries of the public (and subsequently affected) private sector. From the sales and consumption taxes they no longer spend and on and on. Its a domino effect when you start hitting the middle class and demolishing it. And we don't tax the wealthiest barons who are doing well. After all that would be socialism and besides we can all see how many jobs it's been creating now for 12 years.

    You'd think 12 years later people would UNDERSTAND this.

    March 16, 2011 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  6. PS


    Yeah, clearly. The man's got it. We should all strive to be like Louisiana as evidenced by the staggering unemployment rates , tar-blazen sands attracting tourists and their educational system producing next to the worst scores in the nation.

    March 16, 2011 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  7. Marie MD

    roemer? Who and what are these people? How many unknown rats (sorry rats) can one party have?
    Wow!!! It's pathetic and really sad that there are so many who think they can have the most important job in the world.
    Starting with the AK bimbo and now roemer?????

    March 16, 2011 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  8. LA, LA, LA

    Bawawawawawawhahahahaha. Another nut inside the jar.

    March 16, 2011 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  9. Name king

    These repugs are going to sit ariund and grapple about 12 percent of the budget, while the country's is at one of it's lowest point in history of collecting tax revenue, which is the only thing that can get us out of this crisis, when Clinton left office, he left it with high taxes, which was projected to give us 8 trillion dollars in surplus, this year. When bush took over the first thing he did was cut taxes, destroying that 8 trillion in surplus and added 14 trillion to the debt, low taxes alone cost America 500 billion plus every year. And yet all the dems allows the repugs to dominate the media spewing cut cut cut "12 percent of the budget", and cut cut cut "taxes for the rich". Which even the most conservative economist say, this policy will destroy our economy even more!

    March 16, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |