During the Republican Leadership Conference, a prominent GOP conference held in New Orleans this weekend, almost every serious candidate for the Republican presidential nomination gave speeches to introduce themselves to the party faithful. Most, like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), focused their remarks on eliminating consumer and environmental protections, as well as promoting right-wing cultural crusades that spring up every election season. But one presidential candidate, former Gov. Buddy Roemer (R-LA), stood out for focusing on the issue that underlies all major political disputes: the undue influence of corporate power.
Breaking from Republican orthodoxy, Roemer pledged to stand up to the “corporate giants” that are exploiting America and corrupting the political system. Roemer echoed the words of “Inside Job” director Charles Ferguson and reminded the audience that the Wall Street banks rule Washington. The “banks are as greedy as ever,” Roemer said as he denounced the fact that not a single banker has gone to jail for causing the financial crisis:
ROEMER: I know when we’re getting taken advantage of, and I know our own corporate giants have never been more profitable than they are right now because they keep sending these high priced American jobs overseas. I promise that we’ll change the tax code and the spending policies and stop using your taxpayer money to defend the practice of, and enable the procedures of sending American jobs overseas. Fair trade. Fair trade. Fair trade. [...] Washington is bought and sold. The status quo will win, they’ll fight me every step of the way. Why? The political elite, the politically entrenched never had it so good. America’s hurting, and D.C. never had it so good. Wall Street is near an all time high. Unemployment is at nine and a half, nine point one. The Wall Street banks are as greedy as ever. No one’s gone to jail. Obama is raising a billion dollars for reelection at thirty five thousand a ticket. Obama didn’t cause this recession, he’s just made it permanent.
Earlier this year, Roemer spoke to ThinkProgress and explained to us how he plans to take on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other big business lobbying groups. Watch the interview here.