Buddy Roemer to make third-party bid

Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer is dropping his Republican presidential bid to make a third-party run.

Roemer, a former congressman, will seek to run on either the Americans Elect or the Reform Party ticket.

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“Tomorrow, I will formally end my bid for the GOP nomination for president of the United States,” he said in a statement on Wednesday. “As the GOP and the networks host debate number 20-something this evening, they have once again turned their backs on the democratic process by choosing to exclude a former governor and congressman.”

Roemer has been highly critical of the networks and the Republican Party for his exclusion from the primary process. He was not invited to a January debate in New Hampshire for failing to meet the polling requirements, even though Rick Perry, who likewise failed to meet the requirements, was able to participate.

“I have decided to take my campaign directly to the American people by declaring my candidacy for Americans Elect,” Roemer continued. “Also, after many discussions with the Reform Party, I am excited to announce my intentions of seeking their nomination. It is time to heal our nation and build a coalition of Americans who are fed up with the status quo and the partisan gridlock that infects Washington. Together, we will take on the special interests that control our leaders and end the corruptive influence of money in politics so we can focus on America’s top priority — jobs.”

Americans Elect, which has already raised over $22 million, is holding an online nominating convention in the hopes of getting a bipartisan ticket on the ballot in all 50 states.

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a current GOP candidate, former Utah Gov. and GOP candidate Jon Huntsman, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker have all been discussed as potential candidates for Americans Elect, although none of them had said publicly they would run on that ticket.

Some have speculated that the tumultuous GOP primary season shows that a third-party option could be influential in the 2012 general election.

Last month another former GOP candidate, reality television show host Donald Trump, withdrew from the Republican Party completely, threatening to run as an Independent if he was unhappy with the GOP nominee. He later endorsed Mitt Romney.