WASHINGTON – Former Gov. Buddy Roemer said he is not giving up on his long-shot presidential bid even after the failure Tuesday of the third-party online campaign, called Americans Elect, to field any qualified nominees by its own rules process.
The deadline for any candidates to qualify for the nominating process of the centrist, third-party Americans Elect ticket was midnight Tuesday and, although Roemer led the pack, no one came close to receiving the necessary 10,000 online supporters.
But Kahil Byrd, chief executive officer of Americans Elect, said in a prepared statement Tuesday that the organization is still assessing whether to make adjustments or give up. “… under the rules that AE delegates ratified, the primary process would end today,” Byrd stated. “There is, however, an almost universal desire among delegates, leadership and millions of Americans who have supported AE to see a credible candidate emerge from this process.
“Every step of the way, AE has conferred with its community before making major decisions,” he added. “We will do the same this week before determining the next steps for the immediate future. AE will announce the results of these conversations on Thursday.”
Roemer said he is “pleased” that Americans Elect is still considering moving forward despite its “problems.”
“We might be slow, but we’re way ahead of the rest,” Roemer said in a phone interview.
He also encouraged potential supporters: “You don’t have to change your party to have an opinion. This is just the nominating process.”
Roemer said the goal is to have a viable third choice against President Barack Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, both of whom Roemer said are “bought and sold” by big business and the banking industry.
Under the existing Americans Elect rules, Roemer needed at least 10,000 “clicks” in his support — but also at least 1,000 clicks in 10 different states — in order to qualify for a nomination.
He led the field, but still only had more than 6,100 supporters late Tuesday afternoon.
Roemer has, in part, blamed the “necessary” but tedious registration and voter verification process on AmericansElect.org.
He said the process takes at least 10 minutes but that thousands of people have tried and failed because of computer problems or a lack of needed personal information.
In February, having failed to be included in the national GOP primary debates, Roemer switched from Republican to “No Party” to pursue the Americans Elect option.
In his own polling, Roemer said he is receiving 7 percent of the vote when in a field against Obama and Romney.
Roemer also said he is still pursuing the nomination of the national Reform Party and other organizations.