Former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer is expected to announce on Thursday that he will be forming an exploratory committee to potentially seek the Republican nomination for president against pro-abortion President Barack Obama.
Roemer was a four-term member of Congress from the Pelican State before winning an election to a term as governor in 1987. He decided to switch parties to become a Republican in 1991 and was rewarded by losing the gubernatorial primary election to former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke.
Earlier this year, Roemer said he was “doing my homework” in advance of a potential presidential run, according to National Journal. “I’m getting ready to make my case with the American people,” he told the Monroe News Star in January.
The Journal indicates WAFB-TV says he will make his announcement at a Baton Rouge bank he runs.
Roemer is apparently serious about the potential bid — enough to join potential presidential candidates who are thought by political observers to have a more legitimate chance at the nomination — Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum — at a forum hosted on Monday by the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition.
The former Louisiana governor is pro-life but drew the ire of pro-life advocates in July 1990 when he vetoed a bill that would have banned abortion in Louisiana, coming at a time when pro-life advocates thought the Supreme Court had enough votes to potentially overturn Roe v. Wade if a lawsuit against the law would have been taken to the high court.
Roemer told the Los Angeles Times at that point that the bill “does not meet even the minimum standards set by me long ago” and he criticized state legislators who he said rushed the abortion bill by attaching it to another bill that banned flag burning. That was the second time Roemer had vetoed a bill banning abortions — overturning one that limited abortions except for the life of the mother and another than contained the life of the mother and rape and incest exceptions. Louisiana lawmakers came up three votes short of overturning the veto.
At the time, Burke Balch, an attorney at the National Right to Life Committee, called Roamer’s veto “a betrayal by a governor who has been on the record as pro-life.”
State Sen. Mike Cross, a leader of pro-life legislators in the Louisiana legislator, told the Times after the veto, “I think he’s (the governor) trying to play all sides and I think politically it will catch up with him. He’s playing wishy-washy with the people of this state.”