Roemer would want Lieberman for VP, open to bipartisan ticket

Alexis Levinson | Political Reporter

In an ideal world, Republican presidential candidate and former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer would like Senator Joe Lieberman as his running mate, but the Connecticut senator is not necessarily on the same page.

“Senator Joe Lieberman’s reputation as a reformer and a man of integrity is unrivaled in American politics. He is unequivocally my first choice for a Vice Presidential running mate,” said Roemer in the statement.

The two men’s differing party affiliations — Roemer is a Republican, Lieberman is an independent and formerly a Democrat, seems to actually be something Roemer sees as a plus. For one thing, he touted their shared history of switching parties — Roemer served as a Democratic congressman, and then switched to the Republican Party midway through his gubernatorial reign.

“He really wants to put country first before party, and he’s showing it by reaching across the aisle and willing to choose somebody of the other party as his running mate,” said Roemer’s campaign manager Carlos Sierra.

Incidentally, a bipartisan ticket like that would satisfy the guidelines for running as the candidate of Americans Elect, a group seeking to build the platform for a third party candidate to run in 2012 that requires any ticket to be bipartisan. Sierra previously told TheDC that he was looking into Americans Elect as an option, as the possibility of Roemer winning the Republican nomination becomes more and more remote.

In this case, however, Sierra said “honestly, that didn’t really cross his mind too much.”

“Party is not something he’s really looking at,” said Sierra. “Would he pick someone far left or far right? No. That’s just not what he wants.”

Still, Sierra insisted, the fact that Lieberman as Vice President would satisfy Americans Elect guidelines “was a coincidence.”

If Roemer did decide to go after the Americans Elect nomination, he could continue to run in the Republican primary, which Roemer would certainly do at least through New Hampshire, where, in Sierra’s words, the campaign is “going all out.”

Roemer has actually moved to New Hampshire for the election, and as soon as his campaign qualifies for matching funds, they will make ad buys in the first-in-the-nation primary state.

“I think they kind of compliment each other,” said Sierra of the Americans Elect nomination and the Republican nomination.

With Lieberman taking himself out of contention, however, Sierra said he was not sure who Roemer’s top choice of a running mate would be. When his supporters are asked, Sierra said, they appear to be looking for a “reform-minded person.”

Two names that came up are Dr. Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard professor who is best known for his calls for significant government reform, and who is a vocal advocate against political corruption; and Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont. Sierra added that Erskine Bowles would be another of Roemer’s choices.

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