Democrats Helping Gingrich Get on Virginia Ballot?

Paul Goldman on candidate's legal battle


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 27, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ERIC BOLLING, GUEST HOST: Well, here is something you don’t usually hear, a Democrat helping a Republican presidential candidate.

It all started when Newt Gingrich failed to qualify to get on the primary ballot in Virginia.

Now Paul Goldman, the former chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party, is trying to make sure Gingrich’s name is on the ballot in that very key swing state.

Paul Goldman joins me now via phone.

Thanks, Paul, for joining us.

First of all, let me ask you. I am sure Debbie Wasserman Schultz is asking the same question. Why?

PAUL GOLDMAN, FORMER VIRGINIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIRMAN: You know, this isn’t about party, it’s not about politics.

It’s about the right of the people to be able to choose who they want. I think the Democrats should have the right to choose who they want for the nominee. And I think the Republicans should also. That is what the system is supposed to want to do.

And in this case, what we have in Virginia is a real failure. There’s all kinds of Republicans that feel disenfranchised. And I think that this is not a partisan thing. This is something about the right of my state and my people. And so I am trying to make sure they get that right.


Paul, tell the viewer exactly what happened. Gingrich -- I believe Rick Perry also -- tried to get on and failed. They needed 10,000 signatures. Did they get the signatures? What happened?

GOLDMAN: Well, I am still looking into exactly what happened and getting all the facts.

I was talking to the Republican Party today, and the Democratic Party and the state boards of elections, and trying to get everyone’s facts straight. Let’s just say I think it was a really bad failure of both those parties, Perry and Gingrich. I believe folks like Bachmann and Santorum, they didn’t even bother trying.

We have the toughest requirements in the country. But it comes down to people focusing on this is the right of the people. You have to look at the right to choose. This is what we are supposed to give our citizens.

And this process just hasn’t worked for the people of Virginia and I think there is still time to change it. I know I am getting some criticism from my own party, but that’s OK.

BOLLING: Paul, are you going to help Rick Perry? He also failed to get the 10,000. I think he got the 10,000. They disqualified a few of the signatures, brought him below the threshold. Are you helping him as well?

GOLDMAN: Again, this is not candidate-specific.

Basically, we are trying to show that the process has sort of failed the public, and let’s see what we can do. Obviously, Perry and Gingrich tried, and they were not successful. Bachmann and Santorum and Huntsman, they didn’t even try. So maybe there is a different situation for those two groups.

BOLLING: Well, why would it be different for them, Paul? If you say the process doesn’t work, and it is not right, why wouldn’t it be equally not right for Bachmann, Santorum, and Huntsman? Maybe they deserve a shot to be on that ballot as well.

GOLDMAN: Well, as I said, I said it could be different.

Usually, if you don’t even try to participate, you don’t really have a lot of credibility when you say, hey, I deserve a second chance. Well, you didn’t even want you first chance.

But I’m not getting to that point yet. I still have to educate and I still have to convince the leaders of my state that, look, we have a process. It is failing. We have hundreds of thousands of our citizens who will be effectively disenfranchised because they don’t have their choice in the primary. It is not about who you are going to vote for in the general. It’s not about your political party or philosophy. It’s about doing the right thing for your own neighbors.

BOLLING: All right, hey, Paul, I got 30 seconds left. Have you heard from the Democratic Party? Have you heard from Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, or no?


GOLDMAN: No, but, if you want, I will give her my phone number over the line.

That’s fine. Folks can say what they want. I am still the guy, when the Democratic Party of Virginia didn’t want Doug Wilder to be the guy that was going to break the color line; I’m the guy who managed his campaign. So I ain’t too worried about my party.

BOLLING: Fantastic, Paul Goldman.

By the way, I am coming back to host on Thursday. Maybe Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants to come back and talk about that a little bit.

Thank you so much, Paul.

GOLDMAN: I will debate her. Take care. BOLLING: Thank you very much.

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