OTR Interviews

Former Louisiana Governor Roemer Joins the White House Race, Puts 'Clowns in Washington' on Notice

Former Louisiana governor explains why he has joined the 2012 presidential race


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," July 21, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: The 2012 presidential field is growing. Did you hear who just jumped in the race for the Republican nomination? Former Louisiana governor and former Democrat, Buddy Roemer. He made it official today he wants to be your president. But after a 16 year absence from politics, will he be able to connect with voters? Joining us is Republican presidential contender, former governor, Buddy Roemer. Good evening, sir.

BUDDY ROEMER, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE/FORMER LOUISIANA GOVERNOR: Hey, Greta, good to see you again. It was Iowa since we last visited.

VAN SUSTEREN: Indeed, it was. And I remember that well. Governor, I'm going to give you a hypothetical. Imagine you are president of the United States and you got cut, cap and balance on the table. Do you like that?

ROEMER: It has its moments. It's not enough. We need to cut one percent from the GDP, that's $140 billion dollars. It is real simple. Do away with all energy subsidies for big oil, ethanol. Then do away with the department of energy. Trump had it right on your show. We need to be energy independent. We can do it by the end of the decade, Greta. There is no leadership, Greta, none.

VAN SUSTEREN: Here's the problem. Let's say you go a Senate majority leader who says the one idea on the table is the worst legislation in history, calling conservatives who support it "weak and senseless." Then you've got a Republican congressman saying to a Republican congresswoman that she is vile and insults her in other ways and sends that e-mail around for leadership.

Then you have Senator Barbara Mikulski, one of the veteran Democratic senators, she's making insulting remarks about Speaker of the House Boehner, making cracks about his tears and about his golf. I can go on and on. How are you, as president, going to show leadership with essentially everyone being unbelievably obnoxious to each other on the Hill?

ROEMER: I'm the only guy running for president who has been a congressman and governor, the only one. I've been there, done that. Left there very happily. It's a circus. These people are clowns. They are wearing make-up. They don't tell the truth. There's no plan to reduce the deficit or to manage it.

Your earlier speakers were right. Karl Rove said it. This president has never submitted a budget. How can you have a president that doesn't show leadership?

By the way, none of this is the real problem. The real problem is two. One, we are getting eaten alive in international trade from unfair competition. We are losing our best jobs. We are giving away we let GE give away 15,000 American jobs and pay no taxes. We have a problem.


ROEMER: Washington is bought and sold. You know why we done do these things? You know why we don't revise the budget? You know why we don't check the books? You know why we have a tax code that you can read? Because the lobbyist are paying these guys.


VAN SUSTEREN: I don't disagree with you on that, but the people who have the vote who are going to help you get rid of these things are at each other's throats. How do you have the leadership to get these people to be sensible and not be at each other's throats and work with the leader?

ROEMER: A couple of things are going to happen in America. The clowns in Washington better pay attention, or they will be gone. America is in trouble. And it is going to get worse before it gets better. We have a debt that we cannot repay. And excessive debt shrinks a nation.

You lose the space program. Napoleon sells Louisiana to America because he has to pay a debt, and Jefferson buys it pennies on the acre. He doubles America and you can wave goodbye to France. Excessive debt shrinks a nation.

But the problem, Greta, please is that we are giving our jobs away. And the President of the United States will not protect American workers. It's a disgrace.

And number two, the reason that the big corporations sail jobs overseas is because they give money to the politicians. I'm telling you, I accept $100 or less that's it, no PAC money, just like when I was in congress. I ran three times and was unopposed in Congress. This is not hard work. But you have to be honest and be free. And you can't take money from the lobbyists.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, I hope you will come back. We have a lot to talk about.

ROEMER: Greta, Donald Trump was right. They are not even talking about the problem.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, you come back and we will talk more about that. Thank you,