Tag Archives: Republican Presidential Debate

Governor Buddy Roemer on Missing Today’s Debate and Campaign Finance Reform

“My ideas are different. I talk about money, and its corrupting influence in politics. I talk about special interests, which do bank and healthcare reform but don’t talk about nation reform. And I talk about unfair trade, because I don’t think you can create jobs in America in the 21st century unless you get a level playing field. These are my issues and nobody else talks about them. I need a debate to get known what I feel about those things.”

- Former Governor Buddy Roemer on why he should be in tonight’s debate

An edited transcript of our discussion with Republican presidential candidate and former Governor of Louisiana, Buddy Roemer is below:

Chip Lebovitz: The guidelines for Wednesday night’s debate are that a candidate must have polled at four percent in a national poll since November 2010. Are those fair? Especially given the fact that candidates like Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich are averaging roughly 2 percent in the polls.

Buddy Roemer: Well it is arbitrary. No doubt about it. You know it; I know it. It could be higher; it could be lower; or it could be another test entirely. It could be activity in the primaries. If a candidate declares, is he active? Does he debate with other candidates? Does he meet in forums? Does he go town-to-town? There could be a determination of the veracity of a campaign. But they’re all arbitrary. I’m not overly anxious about it. I need a debate; there’s no question about it.

My ideas are different. I talk about money, and its corrupting influence in politics. I talk about special interests, which do bank and healthcare reform but don’t talk about nation reform. And I talk about unfair trade, because I don’t think you can create jobs in America in the 21st century unless you get a level playing field. These are my issues and nobody else talks about them. I need a debate to get known what I feel about those things.

Now, they don’t let me in, but I am growing. Depending on the poll, I’m at one percent and occasionally at two. I was once at three, and four weeks ago I was at zero. I am patient. This is marathon. The election is not tomorrow. I see candidates rise and fall weekly – I’m not into that. I’m into issue development, and I’m concentrating in New Hampshire. We’re building a precinct-by-precinct organization; it’s like I were running for Governor of New Hampshire. We have limited funds – One hundred dollars is my limit. We have to spend them wisely and well. We have money in the bank. Last week was my best campaign fundraising week – about 35,000, which is about one ticket to an Obama fundraiser (laughs). The debates are very important to me to get known after being 20 years out of politics. I am irritated (laughs) that I haven’t been asked, but I am patient.

Chip Lebovitz: David Weigel of Slate has argued that you and other similar candidates like Gary Johnson and Thaddeus McCotter suffer from this negative feedback loop. You aren’t in the debates because you don’t have the requisite support but don’t have the support because you lack the name recognition that comes with being in the debates. How do you break out of that cycle, in time for the September 22nd Fox News debate?

Buddy Roemer: I’m 67, so I have some experience at building banks, campaigns, and ideas. The tried-and-true method I’ve always enjoyed is persistence, patience, focus, and it will happen. Anytime I get a crowd, I do well. I went to the Tea Party Express in New Hampshire – I was the only candidate at all three forums, and I had a crowd, and I received such a terrific response. I must be opportunistic, flexible in my approach, but persistent. I work every day at this. I believe it will happen.

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Governor Gary Johnson on Being the Bubble Candidate

“Well that would just be real substance. Do you want to balance the budget? Ok, over what period of time? I would advocate balancing the budget immediately. What would you do when it comes to jobs? I would throw out the entire federal tax system and replace it with the fair tax.”

- Former Governor Gary Johnson on what will be missing from tonight’s debate

An edited transcript of our discussion with Republican presidential candidate and former Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson is below:

Chip Lebovitz: The guidelines for Wednesday night’s debate are that a candidate must have polled at four percent in a national poll since November 2010. Are those fair? Especially given the fact that you actually received more support than Jon Huntsman in a recent CNN poll.

Gary Johnson: I am getting excluded. I am the guy on the bubble every time they come up with their assessment on what these debates should be about. That is what it is. I’m working hard in New Hampshire. The focus for me is to do well in New Hampshire, hoping that a good showing there would give me an earpiece in other states.

Chip Lebovitz: Do you think you’ll have a better chance at making it into the Spetmeber 22nd debate?

Gary Johnson: I have no reason to believe that I’ll be included. I have no reason to believe. The things that I can control are how many people I get to talk to and meet-and-greet in New Hampshire. In essence, I’m running for President of the United States in New Hampshire.

Chip Lebovitz: Onto the debate itself, what should the candidates be discussing that you think might not be brought up?

Gary Johnson: Well that would just be real substance. Do you want to balance the budget? Ok, over what period of time? I would advocate balancing the budget immediately. What would you do when it comes to jobs? I would throw out the entire federal tax system and replace it with the fair tax.

Chip Lebovitz: One question that is almost guaranteed to be asked is how the candidates plan to reduce our deficit. You along with a majority of the candidates have signed the Cut, Cap, and Balance plan. Given this preponderance of support of the CCB, how do you set your deficit reduction plan apart from the rest of the field?

Gary Johnson: That pledge relative to my (overall deficit reduction) proposal doesn’t go near far enough. The pledge doesn’t really do anything besides moving forward in a positive way. I’m promising to submit a balanced budget to Congress in the year 2013, and I’m promising to veto legislation, in which expenses exceed revenues.

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Quick Announcement

I hope everyone is having a happy Labor Day. We’re going to delay the episode that was scheduled today with Jim Tankersly, economics correspondent for the National Journal, until tomorrow in honor of the holiday.

Also, this week on ChrossTalk, we’ll be doing a small mini-series. Eight presidential contenders will attempt to sway public opinion this week at the NBC/Politico Republican Presidential Primary Debate, but those eight do not comprise the entire field.  ChrossTalk will be talking to two other candidates, Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, and Buddy Roemer, former governor of Louisiana, to ask what they think the presidential candidates should be discussing this Wednesday night.

- Chip

The Talk: Minnesota Vice

The Talk: Minnesota Vice
August 12, 2011

Ross Freiman-Mendel: Iowa State University was home to the third Republican debate last night. Chip, what struck you the most about last night’s proceedings?

Chip Lebovitz: How much the candidates value a good performance at the Ames Straw Poll this Saturday. Middling candidates like Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum had two credible options in the debate to increase their stature — attack Mitt Romney the front runner or attack Michele Bachmann the straw poll leader (Romney is not actively taking part in the straw poll). All the candidates piled onto Bachmann, signifying that they think an Ames victory Saturday is more important then making up ground in the national polls.

Ross Freiman-Mendel: I think that’s a slight oversimplification, but true none the less. The debate last night was politics as performance at its best — Pawlenty played the rich card against Romney and Gingrich cleverly rebuked the Fox panel on more than one occasion. I thought Bachmann’s performance was underwhelming, and at points she seemed an empty metallic grey suit.

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