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Buddy Roemer: Let me participate in the Republican debate

at 02:02 PM ET, 10/11/2011

It's too late for Buddy Roemer to get in on tonight’s Republican debate, but he has a simple pitch for whomever is planning the next one.

“I hope the sponsors and the GOP say, ‘Roemer has a degree in economics and maybe we ought to hear what he has to say about jobs in America,’’ he said. “That’s my pitch. I didn’t say I was the prettiest or the smartest or the best politician but I don’t think any of those things are going to get the country going again.”
Former Louisiana Gov. Charles 'Buddy' Roemer holds a news conference Thursday, March 3, 2012 in Baton Rouge, La., to announce that he is forming an exploratory committee for a 2012 White House bid. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Gerald Herbert - AP)

A former Louisiana governor and congressman, Roemer is in the odd position of running for president in a field where outsiders and former nobodys have rocketed in fame and polling (See Herman Cain). Yet Roemer has not managed to catch fire, though he says his third-quarter furndraising numbers of $126,000 were up 500 percent from the previous quarter. (A bit of context: Rick Perry raised $17 million in 49 days).

“I’m the only one talking about money and politics and I’m free from special interests,” he said. “Every politician has a Super PAC. Even [GOP candidate and former New Mexico governor] Gary Johnson has a Super PAC. Come on, Gary, you are not that guy.”

Roemer has spent the previous GOP debates from which he has been locked out tweeting away, sometimes answering questions from followers, and sometimes slamming his opponents 140 characters at a time.

Tonight, Roemer will likely do the same thing, as his Republican rivals tackle the economy. But he also has his eye on something else, the Occupy Wall Street protests, where he appeared on Tuesday.

He has been the only Republican candidate to voice support for the protests, tweeting today: “Officially occupying Wall Street. Very peaceful. A real mix of Americans. Going to walk around and talk to people.”

On Tuesday’s Washington Post/Bloomberg debate, Roemer said if he were sitting at the debate table, he would talk about the need for regulatory reform and to eliminate money from politics.

“If I get a chance to watch the debate, I’ll tweet,” he said “But you’ll call me one day and ask if I’m gonna be in that debate, and I’ll say yes, I’m gonna be up there. My campaign needs it.”

“I haven’t been included in any of the debates. At first it was because I wasn’t registering in any of the polls, but how can I register in a poll if I’m not included in the polls,” Roemer said. “Then I averaged at 1 percent in the average of polls, and I still couldn’t get in. But I’m not fussing.”

 
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