Politics
Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer speaks at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, Monday, March 7, 2011, at the Point of Grace Church in Waukee, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer speaks at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, Monday, March 7, 2011, at the Point of Grace Church in Waukee, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)  

‘Independent minded’ Roemer camp mulls third-party run

Photo of Alexis Levinson
Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

As his path to the Republican nomination for president looks increasingly impossible, former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer’s campaign is starting to mull a third-party run.

Last week, Roemer campaign manager Carlos Sierra told The Daily Caller that while he had been exploring other possible options for his candidate, Roemer himself was still focused on the Republican primary. But on Wednesday Sierra suggested that Roemer is aware of his actions and was beginning to consider the idea.

“The whole South Carolina and Florida thing — it’s definitely getting him thinking a little more about other options,” Sierra said.

Roemer will not be included on Republican primary ballots in Florida and South Carolina. One decision was made by the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. When Roemer’s campaign declined to pay the necessary filing fee in South Carolina, the second was made for him.

The former Louisiana governor has yet to be invited to appear in a single Republican presidential debate.

His campaign’s latest press release refers to Roemer as “Independent-minded Presidential Candidate Buddy Roemer,” which Sierra said was an intentional choice of words, but warned, “I wouldn’t read too much into it.”

“We want to really separate ourselves,” he told The Daily Caller in a phone interview. “We’ve always thought that the other candidates have been always trying to out-conservative one another, and that’s never really been Buddy’s comfort zone.”

Especially in New Hampshire, Sierra said, Roemer is focusing his campaign on independent voters. (RELATED: Group aims to generate bipartisan third-party presidential ticket)

“This is where he feels most comfortable, is people who aren’t hyper-partisan,” Sierra added. “I really want to emphasize that … we are more independent minded.”

Sierra also noted that he had attended a forum at Harvard University held by Americans Elect, a group that is working to build the necessary framework for a bipartisan third-party run in 2012.

That organization has already collected enough signed petitions to achieve ballot access in six states, and has signatures filed or ready to be filed in four more. Its plan is to have ballot access in all 50 states by election day.

Americans Elect will organize a nationwide online primary in which voters will nominate and vote for candidates. Any ticket must be bipartisan, meaning the presidential and vice presidential candidates must be of different parties.

“I’m trying to find out all the info I need to know through Americans Elect … just to make sure that if the governor ultimately makes that decision, we’re ready to move forward right away,” said Sierra.

“I’m doing my homework for him,” he said.

Roemer is nothing if not a non-traditional candidate. His platform focuses on removing the corrupting influence of big money from politics; his campaign accepts donations no larger than $100 from any individual. That message, he has pointed out, is very much in line with the message of “Occupy” protesters. Roemer visited the Occupy Wall Street encampment this month.

He has also found an unlikely ally in comedian Stephen Colbert, whose super PAC ran a satirical ad on Colbert’s show Monday featuring Roemer attacking the monetary influence of super PACs.

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