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Roemer's Run

9:00 AM, Aug 31, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roemer believes he's gaining momentum. "My best fundraising week was last week," the former governor and congressman from Louisiana tells Slate's Dave Weigel. "I raised enough money to buy a ticket to one of Obama's fundraisers."

Buddy Roemer

Roemer's primary issue has been money--and the role money plays in politics. He's capped donations to his campaign at $100 dollars a person, well below the legal limit, and promises not to take special interest money. He is, he tells Weigel, "running against corruption."

"I [want] to call attention to the corruption, set myself aside from the good old boys," Roemer says in the transcribed interview. "I like $100 because it's reachable by every person. There's not a person who will read your article who can't do $100. Now, on the other hand, I believe the six or seven major candidates, plus the president, will all have Super PACs, where there are no limits. It's supposedly OK, to them, when a former campaign manager can go off and run a Super PAC, and say, well, this is independent from the campaign. This is corruption! This is phony! This is a lie!"

When asked about religion and politics in the context of Texas governor Rick Perry's prayer event a month ago, Roemer does not hold back. "My problem with Perry is that I haven't heard a substantive speech from him on any issue, and I know he must have a view on those issues," Roemer says, tweaking the arguable GOP frontrunner. "I've been in many meetings where they've done prayers. The difference is the publicity that they tried to generate in Texas. I don't know, maybe I'm old-fashioned, but mixing politics and religion? My attendance at church is more important to me than political speeches, and I don't do both at same time."

And although his campaign has not yet garnered the attention of most major presidential candidates, Roemer's still optimistic. "If I can get on the debate stage and point at the other candidates, and ask them, 'Where are you getting your money?' then that'll be big. 'Who runs your Super PAC? How will you get done what you want to get done, because you're owned by your donors?' And then, once the prairie is ablaze, there's no puttin' it out. That can happen 100 days before an election, 30 days before an election."

Roemer has not appeared at any of the GOP primary debates because he has not met the various thresholds of support required for him to attend. 

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