Former Gov. Buddy Roemer, right, on Wednesday told members of Fusion Five — Southwest Louisiana’s young professionals organization — that the future of the state and the nation is in their hands. (Lance Traweek / American Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:27 PM
Former Gov. Buddy Roemer on Wednesday told members of Fusion Five — Southwest Louisiana’s young professionals organization — that the future of the state and the nation is in their hands.
“You as young people are growing up in a better country than I grew up in,” Roemer said. “It has been great for me, but it will be better for you.”
Roemer was asked more than 20 questions posed by regional reporters, elected officials, members of Fusion Five and the public.
“We are facing a fiscal cliff,” Roemer said in response to a question about the nation’s spending. “We got here because of temporary fixes. I predict there will be another temporary fix. I don’t think we’ll fall off the cliff, but we’ll kick the can down the road.”
Roemer ran for president in the recent election, but said he will not run again in 2016. “I have aspirations for the country, but I am 69 years old,” he said.
He said he will continue to be an advocate for reform by pushing The Reform Project, a nonprofit group he started.
“We have people all over the country signing up,” Roemer said. “I will be involved but not as a candidate.”
Roemer said he does not think Americans were impressed with either candidate — Obama or former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
He said the country desperately needs leadership.
“This president can be that leader,” Roemer said. “Obama cannot run again, so he can put his country first and not his party.”
He said the take-away in the election is that the Republican Party needs to “broaden its appeal.”
“There needs to be a debate about the direction of the Republican Party — as to what we stand for and what we want to do going forward,” Roemer said.
He said Republicans can make a difference on immigration issues by working with Obama. He said there needs to be a comprehensive plan for immigration reform that does more than seal the boarders.
“A reasonable policy would let needed people come in and stand in line for citizenship,” Roemer said.
He said Gov. Bobby Jindal has a future in politics on the national level, but should focus on Louisiana in the meantime.
“I think he travels too much,” Roemer said in response to a question about the possibility for Jindal to run in 2016. “He spends too much time in Iowa and New Hampshire — that’s not smart. He needs to spend his time in Louisiana.”
Roemer said he sees the nation giving Jindal a chance.
“He’s bright. He’s honest. He’s hardworking,” Roemer said. “If he were to put Louisiana first the next couple of years, he would have a real shot at being president.”