Failed Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roemer is blaming big money for ruining America's political system — and his own abandoned White House bid.
The former Louisiana governor, who bowed out of the race on Thursday, told msnbc's Rachel Maddow that the country's loose campaign finance rules have wrecked any chance for dialogue between Democrats and Republicans.
"Policy issues are moved by cash and big checks," Roemer said. "They're not moved by debate anymore...We're just talking at each other now. I think the driving force, Rachel, is the power of money."
Roemer, who never accepted donations over $100 to make a statement about the corrupting influence of money in politics, never caught on with voters, failing to rise in the polls, and missing out on invitations to the debates.
The former governor blamed a corrupt campaign finance system, arguing that he couldn't compete with big-spending billionaires and super PACs. Roemer also bemoaned that Democrats have long demanded spending limits, Republicans have long promoted disclosure, but today, we have neither.
Indeed, Maddow noted that today's rules make the laws in place in 2008 look quaint. After that campaign, John Edwards was charged with misusing nearly $1 million in campaign funds to hide an extramarital affair. (He was acquitted Thursday.)
Meanwhile, she noted, the Koch brothers are planning on spending $400 million on Republican campaigns this year.
In his statement calling it quits, Roemer said it was discouraging that 98% of the public doesn't give a penny in political donations.
He said the average citizen is a "spectator on the couch, watches a few debates and then makes a decision."
When Maddow encouraged Roemer, a former Democrat, to keep his political career and the bipartisan dialogue alive, he joked, "Yes madam vice president."
"Now that's a sure losing bet," Maddow shot back.