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Roemer speaks about possible run for presidency

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Thursday, February 17, 2011 - 7:18pm

BATON ROUGE, La (NBC33) -- If you've followed Louisiana politics for more than 20 years, you've no doubt heard the name Buddy Roemer. He was governor from 1988 to 1992. Now he's seriously thinking about running for the nation's top spot.

I had a chance to ask Roemer what's made him consider a run for the presidency.

“I'm in process of seeing whether it's a winnable idea," Roemer said in an interview with NBC33 News.

Nobody thought it was winnable in 1987 when Charles E. Buddy Roemer beat governor Edwin Edwards.

Roemer is now seriously considering a run for the presidency, with even bigger odds. The one term governor and former La. congressman has had a 20 year absence from politics. Roemer says he'll run on the same platform as he did in 1987, no big contributions so he's beholden to no one.

“Good men and women can do this job but they must be free to do the right thing,” he said. “They can't be on call to big banks, Wall Street, to special interest the pharmaceutical companies. They can't be at a fundraiser every night and do the right thing for Americans."

The Harvard business graduate and president of business first bank in Baton Rouge says he's been on the sidelines for the past two decades but hasn't been out of touch. He wants to take his financial finesse and straighten out the money mess in Washington.

"American’s are hurting. Washington is a boomtown. Why is that? The money. We’re going to take money out of Washington and fill it with people."

But launching a presidential campaign will take millions. And the 67-year old says he will not take any contribution over $100. He says that's the beauty of his plan. The rich are on the same plane as the poor.

"With a $100 limit every woman and every man every citizen of America can be right at the top with participation."

Roemer also believes with modern technology this goal of being president is a possibility. With smart phones and the Internet, you can reach so many with a message.

You think this is a long shot and I guess for a normal campaign it would be. We had the same conversation 20 years ago when I was running for Gov. Edwards would say he's a bright guy but can't raise the money. They might be right but I think they're wrong."

Roemer is testing the waters for a presidential run by attending some political events in some key states. His first stop is in Iowa in March. He'll be speaking along with republicans Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty. We’ll be following Roemer to see where this bid goes.
 

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