Governor Charles E. "Buddy" Roemer released the following statement following President Obama's State of the Union remarks:
Tonight's State of the Union address is a time-honored tradition, and I show utmost respect for the Office of the President of the United States and appreciate the words he shared with the country tonight. I do have the responsibility, though, as an American citizen, to ask some tough questions of the President. I have to ask why, Mr. President, Congress has not been able to pass a budget in two years? Why have tax reform, immigration reform, fair trade reform with China, the banking reform - all the policies you talked about tonight -- why have none of those things been accomplished, when you've had three years in office to make progress on them?
Now you say that you want to introduce a new unit to investigate abusive mortgage lending practices that led to the housing crisis, and a "trade enforcement unit' to tell us what we already know about China's manipulation of currency and unfair trade practices. There's a big difference between President Obama and myself -- I don't believe that the solution to the government's problems, and to the peoples' problems, is MORE government. The solution is better government, and smarter government -- adequate legislation to regulate lending, like that which Glass-Steagall provided, and tough action against China's practices rather than a bloated investigation. Instead, I wouldn't be surprised if the Obama administration started contracting with one of Newt's many firms to serve as consultants for this new mortgage unit.
I was surprised to hear the President use the words "money in politics.' That's my issue, and I've been talking about it since I declared my candidacy for the Republican nomination for president. But unlike President Obama, I live the message, not taking a single penny from PACs or Super PACs, which distort and corrupt our politics. Limiting stock ownership by elected officials, keeping bundlers from lobbying, banning insider trading by members of Congress -- which is illegal for EVERYONE, by the way, not just members of Congress -- those are great things, but as long as PACs and Super PACs are buying our elections, they won't mean anything. How can a president who is planning a billion dollar reelection campaign decry the influence of money in politics?
I have to say, I felt like the President and his speechwriters have been reading my website and brushing up on my speeches, because I've never had every idea I've been going around the country talking about stolen. Go to my website, and read my speech in front of the Chinese Embassy in Washington. Read my speech from the National Press Club. Read my speech from Iowa, where I talk about ending ethanol subsidies. Energy, fair trade, deregulation, immigration reform -- the President finally talked about all of them tonight, except for the most important one -- corruption. President Obama would have you believe that Washington is broken, but it is not. It is corrupt. And it will be corrupt as long as you are raising money from the same Wall Street one-percenters who got us into the very mortgage crisis you're now concerned about. After just two years in office, you have reverted to the job you do best -- being a full-time campaigner. The policies you proposed tonight, I agree with many of them. But they will never happen until we take the money out of the equation. The country is looking to you, Mr. President. They are looking to you for leadership, and for reform. Not for pretty speeches and gutless action. End the corruption, lest we continue our drift into economic mediocrity.