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MSNBC "The Rachel Maddow Show" - Transcript


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MADDOW: Joining us now, Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roemer.

Governor Roemer, thank you for being here.

BUDDY ROEMER (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thanks, Rachel. Glad you had me again. Third time. That`s a record.

MADDOW: I talk about you behind your back. That`s what it sounds like.

What do you think of "The Concord Monitor" editor there saying that you have made this very substantive point on money and politics, the cause of your campaign? But she`s saying that it does not appeal to Republican voters, maybe to independents, maybe some Democrats. Republicans don`t want to hear it.

ROEMER: How do we know? I`ve not been invited to a single national debate.

Now, I`m the only person running who`s been a congressman and a governor. Not only was I governor, I was a governor in a state with high unemployment, crumbling infrastructure, a corrupt system where the current governor bragged about taking money. No problem. I limited my money, no PAC money.

I mean, I have the experience of what I think America needs. Now, let me be careful. I don`t know that America needs me.

But I`m the only person running who begins with the key to unlock success. No more special interest money. No more corruption.

Let President Obama put out his program. Not the special interests.

Let President Roemer put his program. Not the special interests.

We need balance. We need disclosure. We need cleanliness.

I`ll say this. This campaign is not about ideas. Have you listened to them?

It`s about money. It`s about money. It`s about money.

And they get it from insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies. How the hell are you going to have health care? They get it from those oil companies and ethanol companies who have a stake in energy. How are you going to be energy independent and be environmentally clean?

I challenge my party, stand with plain people, not with privileged people on Wall Street and let`s turn this country around.

MADDOW: People who are seeing you right now for the first time, who haven`t seen you the oath end couple times I spoke to you, haven`t seen you at the debates, when they hear that diagnosis from you about what`s wrong, what is the Buddy Roemer solution to that that they`ll remember if they`ve
never seen you before?

ROEMER: Say no to the PACs. Eliminate super PACs. Disclose all money that you collect when you run. Do it every 48 hours. Not every 120 days. Have criminal penalties for those who violate.

Don`t let the lobbyists bring a check. They can bring an idea, but no fund-raising.

You can clean it up, Rachel. And you can do it constitutionally. Read Citizens United. Money of speech. OK. But it also says the biggest threat to our country is corruption and the appearance of corruption.

And so super PACs have to be independent. You cannot name me a super PAC that`s independent.

I mean, Jon Huntsman`s father gives the money to his super PAC and he hides the fact. Mitt Romney has two super PACs. Rick Perry has seven. Barack Obama has two.

And they`re all run by campaign managers or former chiefs of staff. It`s not right. The first step, whether it`s jobs, immigration, foreign policy, oil addiction, the first step is campaign reform. The first bill,
I`ll have is HB1, campaign reform.

You say, you can`t pass it, Buddy. If you can win with an average contribution of $50 and have 5 million people stand with you, you will win this race. But I`ve got to get on the debate, Rachel.

Now, look, I don`t usually complain about this system, but the money runs deep in ways that go from beyond campaign contributions. They run big media, big corporations. They control who we get to vote on for president.

Do you think you can be elected president, Rachel, and not be on a single debate in the 21st century? It`s not possible. I`ve been shut out of every darn one. And I wonder why.

And you know the rules change, Rachel. At first I wasn`t an announced candidate. I announced in Dartmouth in August. Then it`s you need 1 percent. I got 1 percent. Then you need 2 percent. I got 2 percent.

Then you need to raise half a million dollars.

Is that the way we pick a president, how much money he raises or she raises? It`s not right.

MADDOW: Governor Buddy Roemer, former governor of Louisiana, former U.S. congressman, candidate for president not invited to the debates but a man who has pressed this cause and this issue I think farther than anybody expected you to at this point in the campaign. I know that you have planned a major announcement for your campaign tomorrow and I also know better than to ask you to preempt yourself tonight -- but I want to let everybody know that`s coming. And we`re looking forward from hearing from
you tomorrow.

ROEMER: See you tomorrow, Rachel. And that bar later tonight.

MADDOW: Yes, we will be at that bar. That`s right.

All right. The best new thing in the world is going to be that bar with me and Buddy Roemer later.


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