Bayshore Tea Party Group Grills Roemer

Former Lousiana Governor Buddy Roemer dances with a question from a Bayshore Tea Party Group member.

Former Lousiana Governor Buddy Roemer dances with a question from a Bayshore Tea Party Group member.

A presidential candidate visiting New Jersey at this point in an election cycle is usually looking for money, like Mitt Romney will be doing in Parsippanny on Monday.

Why former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer requested to meet the Bayshore Tea Party Group yesterday remains a mystery.   If he wanted money, he never asked for it.  He touted the fact that he won’t accept donations over $100, and that his average donation is $55, but he never asked.  He boasted that he’s raised “a third of a million dollars.”

Asked why he was spending a Saturday in December in New Jersey rather than Iowa or New Hamsphire, Roemer responded, “I’m not in Iowa because it costs $2 million to compete there and I don’t have $2 million.  I am in New Hampshire.  A lot of people are going to be surprised by my showing in New Hampshire.”

Roemer’s conservative yet populist message would seem to be a perfect fit for the Tea Party crowd.  But Roemer clearly wasn’t prepared to be questioned by the group of 20 Tea Party members who are obviously as well informed as they are passionate.  He got himself in trouble with the group while embracing the Occupy Wall Street slogan of 1% vs 99%  while decrying the influence of money in the presidential campaign.  A debate ensued which devolved into bickering over whether or not corporations are people.  A Tea Partier arguing that corporations are shareholders, employees and customers.  Roemer arguing that a corporation has never been drafted into the military.  

No one born after 1957 has been drafted into the military either.

Roemer eventually backed off the 1% vs. 99% slogan, apologizing for “using the language of the day” to make a point.

Roemer said he was competing for the GOP nomination, while acknowledging that he has been in touch with Americans Elect 2012 about a third party candidacy.  That didn’t sit well with his audience either, who were concerned about a third party candidate helping President Obama get reelected and about Americans Elect’s funding from special interests.   Roemer acknowledged that he hadn’t vetted Americans Elect prior to allowing his name to be attached to the group.

The former governor and congressman was particularly critical of Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, decrying the special interests funding their campaigns.  He said Huntsman’s father is using legal loopholes to funnel $20 million to his son’s campaign.  Roemer really doesn’t like Gingrich, with whom he served in Congress.

“There is no president amongst the current GOP front runners,” Roemer declared.  There wasn’t a president at the Bayshore Tea Party Group office either.

At that’s too bad.  There is a great deal about Roemer’s core message that is attractive.

He favors a flat tax; 17% of all income for all, individuals and corporations, over the first $50,000 earned.  When asked about the fair tax, a national sales tax, Roemer said he could go that way too.

Roemer said he’s a fair trader, not a free trader.  He would use tariffs and economic sanctions to bring balance to our relationships with China and Saudi Arabia.  Tariffs on all oil importers, except Mexico and Canada, as well as the end of subsidies for unproven energy technologies, would be the keys to creating energy independence in a Roemer administration.

On foreign policy, Roemer said American should not be the world’s policeman.  That he would emphasize economic sanctions to advance our interests, but would keep a strong military in the background.  He was absolute that he would not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons.

Posted: December 11th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics, Bayshore Tea Party Group | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Presidential Candidate To Visit Bayshore Tea Party

Former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, a contender for the Americans Elect 2012 presidential nomination, will be visiting the offices of the Bayshore Tea Party Group this Saturday December 10th at 12:30 PM.

Roemer served in Congress from 1981 through 1988 as a conservative Democrat who often supported President Reagan’s agenda.  He served as the governor of Louisiana from 1988-1992 as both a Democrat and a Republican.

A Harvard MBA, Roemer bills himself as the only candidate with executive, legislative and private sector experience.

BTPG co-founder Barbara Gonzalez said Roemer’s visit does not imply the group’s support of his candidacy.  “We received a phone call from Roemer’s office stating that he would like to make our group his first stop while touring New Jersey, we polled our members and there is sufficient interest in meeting him.  We’ve also heard interest from people outside of our group expressed.”

The Bayshore Tea Party Group’s office is at 275 Highway 35, Red Bank (Middletown Twp), NJ  07701

Posted: December 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics, Bayshore Tea Party Group | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

Whitman A Leader Of Third Party Effort

Former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman will not be joining Governor Chris Christie on the campaign trail for Mitt Romney.

Whitman is a director of Americans Elect 2012, a PAC that converted into an educational group so that it would not have to disclose its donors.   The group wants Americans to nominate a “centrist” Independent presidential candidate via Internet voting. They are working to secure ballot positions in all 50 states.  So far they’re on the ballots in Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Nevada, Michigan, Florida, Ohio, and Utah.  There are reports that they’ve submitted petitions in California and Hawaii.

Despite their success in collecting signatures to get on ballots, there is a lot of controversy about the group that will likely hamstring their efforts going forward.  There is a clause in their by laws that allows the group’s directors to disqualify “America’s” candidate.  They’ve got a rule restricting how their nominee selects his/her vice presidential candidate.  The group says it doesn’t support or oppose any particular candidate at this point, but Whitman has been promoting Jon Huntsman as a third party candidate and Mark McKinnon, another director of the group, said Mitt Romney doesn’t have the cojones to be president.

Sounds more like a three ring circus than a third party.  Besides, the Republicans look as though they are going to nominate a centrist in either Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich.  

As an aside, how long will it be before a highly paid national pundit writes a column about what it means about America that the three front runners for president have weird first names?

Even without the other controversies surrounding Americans Elect 2012, Whitman joining their board should be a sign of that the group is doomed to fail.  Her legacy as New Jersey’s Governor and as Administrator of the EPA under President George W. Bush is beyond embarrassing. 

The messes that Governor Christie is cleaning up now….the broke pension system, broke transportation trust fund, broke unemployment insurance fund, Abbot and COAH, were all started or made worse by Whitman and her appointees.   Shortly after 9-11, EPA Administrator Whitman declared the air at Ground Zero safe to breathe, thereby sending clean up workers to slow deaths and long term disabilities.

It’s little wonder that candidate Chris Christie declared that he’s not a Whitman Republican.

Despite Americans Elect’s foibles, a third party presidential candidate might be a good news for those who want President Obama to be a one termer.

In modern times, i.e., during the lifetimes of anyone likely to vote in 2012,  there have been only two elected incumbent presidents denied a second term by the voters; Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush.  Both had significant third party challengers during their reelection bids.  John Anderson, a Republican Congressman from Illinois ran against Carter and Ronald Reagan.  Reagan won.   Ross Perot, the populist Texas billionaire ran against Bush and Bill Clinton.  Clinton won.

The bad news, from a historical perspective, is that Carter and Bush 41 also faced significant primary challenges prior to being renominated.  Carter was challenged for the Democratic nomination in 1980 by Teddy Kennedy.  Bush was challenged for the 1992 GOP nomination by Pat Buchanan.

Reagan’s primary challenge against Gerald Ford in 1976, preceding Carter’s election, may indicate that an incumbent’s problems within their own party may be more of a detriment to reelection than a third party challenge.  Unfortunately, there is no Democrat seriously challenging Obama.

New York Post columnist John Podhoretz says New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is “clearly eyeing” a third party run for president.   A Bloomberg run might be America’s best hope of defeating Obama next year.   The Mayor has the resources to make a credible run and a nanny state record to appeal to enough dissatisfied Democrats and left leaning Independents.

Posted: December 4th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »