Roemer Rouses ’em in Rochester
ROCHESTER – Presidential hopeful Buddy Roemer stood in front of the pulpit in Rochester’s Salmon Falls Church Monday night and acted like it was Sunday morning, giving a rousing sermon come stump speech with the energy of a preacher moved by the Holy Spirit.
“I’m from southern New Hampshire,” the former Louisiana governor deadpanned in his thick bayou accent to an audience of nearly 100 people at a meeting of the conservative Rochester 9/12 group.
“I’m not fancy at the politics,” Roemer insisted, belying a career that included being elected to congress four times before his election as governor in 1987. “I’ve been out of politics twenty years and I’m darn happy about it.”
He said that as governor, he’d said no to state agencies asking for more money, lowered unemployment from ten to six percent, and implemented testing of public school teachers and merit pay for those who tested well. Roemer also described his banking career serving small businesses.
Speaking of his fellow candidates, Roemer said, “I listen to them people and they lack experience.” The nation already elected someone with limited experience, he noted to knowing applause.
Commenting on the recent debt ceiling debate, Roemer called Washington “a circus run by the clowns.” Roemer said that he’d balance the federal budget by cutting spending by one percent per year, starting with eliminating ethanol subsidies and the Department of Energy.
Roemer is limiting campaign contributions to $100. “I’m the only person running who dudn’t take big checks,” Roemer said. He recounted his successful 1987 campaign for governor in which his opponent mocked him for not taking special interest money. “Hell that’s why I beat him,” Roemer said of his victory over Edwin Edwards. Edwards served four non-consecutive terms as governor and later served another term, this one in Federal prison on a racketeering conviction. Edwards was released to a halfway house in January.
Commenting that America “used to make things,” Roemer decried the decline of American manufacturing and spoke against free trade. “I don’t know if it was Bill Clinton or George Bush,” Roemer began before being interrupted by someone from the anti-establishment crowd who hollered, “Both of ’em!” The crowd cheered.
His six minute stem-winder concluded, Roemer left to strong applause, having brought about half the audience to its feet.
firstname.lastname@example.org, August 8, 2011