“President Buddy — that has a nice ring to it ...”

“My guest tonight is a former Democratic governor of Louisiana who is now a Republican candidate for president. I better get to the interview table before he becomes a federalist,” comedian Stephen Colbert joked in his introduction of former Gov. Buddy Roemer, who appeared on The Colbert Report Thursday night.

In a light-hearted exchange that touched on Roemer’s populist themes, namely his refusal to accept “special interest” campaign contributions, the former congressman and governor proved an affable engagement for the Comedy Central star.

“All my life I’ve studied economics and history and I’m proud to be an American,” Roemer told Colbert. “I think our country’s in trouble. We’re giving our jobs away, and special interests own Washington, D.C.”

Roemer explained his position not to accept donations greater than $100 and to accept no contributions from political action committees, which he sees as a corrupting influence in American politics: “I will not listen to the special interests with the big checks,” Roemer added, drawing applause from Colbert’s left-leaning studio audience.

Roemer recently took up residence in New Hampshire to campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Name recognition — and funding, based on his pledge not to accept PAC money — are his main hurdles. In fact, the former governor acknowledged that he’s not on the ballot in Iowa, the first primary state, because he doesn’t “have the PAC money” to mount a campaign. Roemer urged Iowans to donate to his campaign to get him on the ballot there.

See Part 1 of Roemer’s interview with Colbert here.

Part 2 can be viewed here

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