in New Hampshire
HANOVER, N.H. –Republican businessman and former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer today formally announced that he will seek the GOP nomination for President in 2012.
“Today, I run for President of the United States. I run to reveal the control of special interests in Washington and to demonstrate that the freedom to lead only comes by refusing their money. I run to prepare America for job growth, beginning with the elimination of unfair trade practices and attacking the debt. I run as a proud Republican, but an even prouder American.”
“Manufacturing jobs now account for fewer than 10% of America’s workforce. ‘Made in America’ has disappeared. We have fewer jobs that pay less while China is having the greatest boom in history – and we are the ones paying for it. The government has failed to confront unfair trade and the boys at the top are living so well they’ve forgotten the rest of America.”
Governor Roemer has publically committed to limiting individual donations to $100 and refuses to accept campaign contributions from special interest groups or political committees.
“We must break the stranglehold of special interest money on our political system. It’s the special interests who use unfair trade and self-written tax loopholes to make their fortunes while stealing our future,” said Roemer, “The guys with the big checks don’t want reform or change because they’ve never had it so good.”
Buddy Roemer served four terms in Congress from 1981-1988 and was Louisiana Governor from 1988-1992. During his tenure, he enacted reforms that cut unemployment by approximately half, balanced the state budget every year, linked teachers’ pay to performance, established education accountability standards, confronted public unions, and passed sweeping campaign finance reform legislation.
Since leaving public office, Governor Roemer has served as founder, president and CEO of Business First Bank, a business community bank that did not take bailout money from the federal government. Governor Roemer lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with his wife, Scarlett, and is the father of three children. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his MBA from Harvard Business School.
FULL TEXT OF ANNOUNCEMENT SPEECH
Today, I run for President of the United States of America.
I run to prepare America for job growth, beginning with the elimination unfair trade practices and the abuse of our tax code that ships U.S. jobs overseas.
I run to reveal the control that special interests have over our nation‟s Capitol and to demonstrate the freedom that only comes from refusing their money.
I run as a proud Republican, but an even prouder American. I believe in America, its values, its future.
We are a nation at risk, but neither the President nor any of the other candidates for the office are addressing or offering solution to the major problems facing our country.
The first is unfair trade which is stealing our best jobs and stopping economic growth. This has resulted in a growing mountain of debt that we have to borrow to attempt to maintain our standard of living. Yet, no one has mentioned unfair trade or offered a solution.
The second unmentioned problem are special interest campaign donations which own Washington, DC, turning it into a corrupt institution where fat cat special interest checks write the tax code, write healthcare reform, and write bank reform.
Corporate profits are at an all-time high while these very same corporations send American jobs overseas, causing fear and pain in the families of millions of Americans. The guys with the big checks don‟t want reform or change „cause they‟ve never had it so good.
That‟s the reason why no one running for President talks about solving either problem – whether it‟s unfair trade that is stealing our best jobs or the institutional corruption of Washington, DC – they need the money to run.
I run for President and am not accepting any PAC or special interest money, any contributions over $100 per person, and I am remain committed to full disclosure.
We must break the stranglehold of special interests over the tax code, the budget, the debt, Wall Street reform and healthcare reform.
There is only one way to take back control of our country from the special interests - don‟t take their PAC money, their bundled money, their access money. A President must be free to lead, free to challenge special interests and free to change Washington, D.C.
And our current President? He is raising $1 billion while in office – much of it coming from the very Wall Street corporations and individuals he is supposed to regulate. The price tag? $35,000 a ticket and yet „too big to fail‟ is still on the books.
Manufacturing now accounts for fewer than 10% of jobs in America. „Made in America‟ has disappeared. Unemployed and underemployed seem permanently over 20%. We have fewer jobs and the one that are left pay less. China is having the greatest economic boom in history and we are paying for it.
We need trading jobs, but the trade must be fair or both nations suffer. Unfair trade uses child labor, prison labor, work without standards and without environmental scorecards, and pirates designs and products and plants in their countries.
These unfair practices have cost us millions of our best jobs over the past 20 years – causing pain and angst in families across America. Our leaders have done nothing but talk about the wonders of free trade. So-called „free trade‟ has killed us. Trade must be fair.
American Presidents, starting with George Washington , have protected American manufacturing jobs from predatory trading practices for over 160 years. This is not a radical idea, it‟s what built America. It worked after WWII for Germany and Japan. Now, Germany is the largest economy in Europe and Japan number two in the world.
We must protect our best jobs from unfair trade practices and from U.S. companies who move jobs overseas using our own tax code to pay for it. They are free to go, but we will not pay for it.
And we can protect our critical jobs without the general use of tariffs, which, although successful, tend to be overly political in their formulation and application.
As a first step, I would amend the tax code to disallow a tax deduction for any expenditure for any goods produced, or services located outside the U.S. We could call this the „call-center fix‟. Companies can do it, but we taxpayers just aren‟t going to pay for it.
Next, I would eliminate the foreign tax credit loophole whereby huge corporations and wealthy individuals avoid paying taxes by moving their business and investments out of the country.
They are afforded the protections guaranteed to all U.S. citizens, but don‟t pay their fair share of tax for that privilege. Example #1 is GE, which made $5 billion in profit last year and paid zero income tax.
Finally, I would require a fair trade adjustment form to accompany imports. This form would show the economic difference necessary to bring the imports‟ manufacturing process up to minimum American standards. This difference will be paid by the importer as would the cost of the adjustment analysis.
Unfair trading nations will lose their unwarranted advantage. The fair competitor will suffer no ill effect. Trade will grow, but it will be fair.
These few changes would efficiently generate millions of American jobs, restoring needed growth in our lagging economy.
We need to deregulate small businesses so they can grow again.
We need to be energy independent and create a million new jobs.
We need to reduce Federal spending by 1% of GDP a year for 5 years.
We need immigration reform that seals the borders, but allows legal immigration.
We need tax reform that lowers the marginal rate with simplicity.
There is much we need to do, but the place to start is with special interest money and unfair trade – and no one is speaking of it.
We must break the stranglehold of special interest money on our political system so that we can address the hole in the economy caused by unfair trade through which our best jobs are disappearing. We must seal the hole and restore manufacturing jobs. This growth is essential to paying off the debt and getting us out of this financial trap in which we find ourselves. It is the special interests who use unfair trade and self-written tax loopholes to make their fortunes and steal our futures.
$100 limit. No PAC money. Full disclosure. Free to lead is the key. No other candidate can solve these two problems because they need their money.
All I need is you. 5 million Americans out of 310 million can make this happen. Stand with me on www.BuddyRoemer.com - you don‟t want to miss this campaign!
I am no one. A former Governor, a former Congressman, a successful community banker who returns to politics after 16 years in happy private life, in order to confront the institutional corruption of Washington, DC and the loss of our manufacturing base so critical to national defense and to the economic health of our great country.
A loss that stems in large part from the unfair trading practices by some nations and the deliberate manipulation of our tax code by some multinational corporations. I am no one, but I challenge a corrupt system. And at 67 I am old enough to know what to do, and young enough to get it done.
These are times that require bold action and fierce determination. I will do my part, but I have deliberately chosen a path requiring the help of many because that is the way to win and to get these mighty things done after the election. Stand with me against the special interests. Spread the word!
Even with the obvious failure of government to confront unfair trade practices and make America strong, the boys at the top are living so well they've forgotten the rest of America. I have not.
I ask the 98% of Americans who do not currently give to a political candidate to stand with me. Together we can restore America‟s promise to our children and grandchildren.
Free to lead a rising America.
We start today in New Hampshire where the state motto is “Live Free or Die”. It‟s a good beginning.
May God bless America, and each and every one of you.
BATON ROUGE, LA - Former Louisiana Governor Charles “Buddy” Roemer today announced the formation of a 2012 Presidential Exploratory Committee for the Republican nomination and pledged he would not take any PAC and special interest money, will cap all donations at $100 per person, and will report all names and addresses of givers, although not required for small donors under the current law.
“Electability should not be discussed in terms of who can raise the most money, but rather who has the best ideas to raise America. We can reform American politics and here is my pledge to help us start: I will accept only contributions up to $100 per individual contributor. No PAC or special interest money will be accepted. Only individual contributions with a name and an address, and all will be reported although not required under the current law. Today, I declare my independence from special interests, and I ask you to join my battle. Reform will need to be embraced by ordinary Americans who are courageous enough to discuss how special interest money limits our President’s ability to make the tough decisions. I ask you to join me at www.buddyroemer.com and spread the word. Tell your friends and family that a seasoned warrior against special interest money is thinking about running for President. Tell them that he is old enough to know what to do and young enough to get it done. Tell them that he has been in business battles and political battles and is willing to stand up with you to confront America’s fiscal crisis,” said Governor Roemer.
“Today, I am announcing the formation of Presidential Exploratory Committee. I felt compelled to explore a potential candidacy for President of United States because I’ve never been more concerned about America’s future. Our national debt is swallowing the promise of America, wrongly impacting our foreign policy, and robbing a generation of Americans of jobs and opportunity. Washington, D.C. is not up to the task of leadership because it too has become indebted – indebted to special interest money. At a time of national recession, Washington D.C. never had it so good. Money has washed over it like a tsunami and drowned the voice of the people,” said Governor Roemer.
“We have traded access in our democracy for guaranteed special interest outcomes. This must stop. Name a problem or an opportunity – tax reform, spending discipline, jobs creation, Wall Street bailout, defense appropriations – and then follow the money and reveal its tentacles. Our political system, our decision-makers are indebted to all the wrong things – access money, fundraiser money, special interest money, bundled money, protection money – all of it corrupt and all of it making real change just a nice tag line in a speech,” said Governor Roemer.
“I saw how ugly special interest money tried to stifle the voice of the people when I was Governor of Louisiana. I have the political and personal scars to prove I am not afraid to challenge politics as usual. I love America, but I detest how special interest money has taken over American politics. To fix the financial crisis threatening our nation will require real leadership. I am the only person considering running for President who has been a Congressman, a Governor, a member of both parties, and a small business owner. I appreciate the enormity of what we face, but I am not afraid of the fight and my record proves it,” said Governor Roemer.
“If we are going to have real change in America, we need a President free to lead:
· Free to ask Congress to declare their independence from the special interest money and big funders.
· Free to have spending and tax revenue balance and reduce government to its proper size.
· Free to build a team to strengthen America economically, competitively, and militarily.
· Free to get the claws of tort lawyers, pharmaceutical manufacturers and insurance companies out of healthcare reform.
· Free to rewrite the tax code within a year to yield a simpler, clearer, and fairer tax system to help every American and every small business owner.
· Free to strive for energy independence by the end of this decade, creating millions of new jobs, and bringing our Marines home from “oil” duty.
· Free to enforce a level playing field in international trade, especially for small businesses that don’t get a fair shot.
About Governor Charles “Buddy” Roemer
Governor Roemer served four terms in the United States Congress from 1981 – 1988 as a conservative Democrat who often broke ranks with his party to vote with President Reagan, and was Louisiana Governor from 1988-1992 as both a Democrat and Republican. During his tenure in the Governor’s office, unemployment in the state dropped by approximately half, the state budget was balanced all years despite inheriting a huge deficit, teacher pay was linked to performance, education accountability standards were enacted, government unions were challenged, and sweeping campaign finance reform legislation was passed. Since leaving public office, Governor Roemer has been involved in a number of business ventures. Most recently, he served as the founder, CEO, and President of Business First Bank, a small business community bank with approximately $650 million in assets that took no bailout money from the federal government. Governor Roemer lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Scarlett, and is the father of three children. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. For further information, visit www.buddyroemer.com Also, you can visit him at www.facebook.com/buddyroemer, www.twitter.com/buddyroemer, and www.youtube.com/buddyroemer
Source: Buddy Roemer 2012 Exploratory Committee Website