Don’t count out Buddy Roemer just yet.
At least that’s the message the former Louisiana governor and little-known Republican presidential contender is preaching.
While most of his rivals for the GOP nomination have cranked up full-fledged campaigns in the last few months, Roemer's candidacy is officially in the exploratory stages. But in a phone interview last week, Roemer said he has made up his mind to run. He’s just waiting for an opportune moment to announce.
When will that be? Soon, Roemer said, but he hasn’t given himself any sort of deadline.
“What’s the hurry?" Roemer said. "I’m out developing my issues, listening to people.”
Despite a decidedly colorful Southern personality and a knack for not mincing words, Roemer has gotten little to no media attention since he formed his presidential exploratory committee in March. To make matters worse, he was excluded from the Republican debates in South Carolina and New Hampshire due to a poor showing (less than 2 percent) in national polls.
Roemer served as a Democratic congressman for four terms before being elected governor in 1987. He surprised many when he switched parties in his first term and subsequently lost the Republican gubernatorial primary to former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke.
Roemer has made campaign finance the centerpiece of his long-shot candidacy. He’s committed to taking only contributions of $100 or less, and thinks the message of taking special-interest money out of politics will resonate with voters.
“The other candidates think they can take the check and do the right thing and they can’t,” Roemer said. “I need one out of 100 Americans to give me $100 and in the age of the Internet, it’s very possible. That’s where I am.”