INTERVIEW: Republican Presidential Ballot

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Will leaving Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry off the republican presidential ballot takes away the rights of voters in the March primary? One conservative group says yes and they are getting help from an unlikely source.

Former Democratic Party Chairman Paul Goldman agrees with Citizens for the Republic and believes that an honest and fair election can't take place after what happened in the republican petition process.

RYAN: Mr. Goldman thank you for being here.

GOLDMAN: My pleasure.

RYAN: You argue this is not so much to benefit the candidates like, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich, but the voters. How do you make that argument?

GOLDMAN: It's the franchise, the vote. The primary is held to allow republicans, in this case, to vote for their favorite candidate, and hopefully that candidate goes on to win the nomination. It is their right to choose. What has happened in Virginia is sort of totally taken it away. And I am hopeful that I can show, after I do a little bit more research and talk to the people, that there are flaws in the process that we ought to seriously consider changing right now.

RYAN: And you are saying before the March 6 primary?

GOLDMAN: That's correct. This is no academic exercise. I think, the things we should do, can do, must do, before the March primary.

RYAN: Now, these rules were set pretty far in advance. Candidates knew what they had to do to get on the ballot and some did not make the mark. Some did not choose to get into this. Why should you come in and bail them out?

GOLDMAN: Well, because it would not be me bailing them out. It is the public. You have to look at this as not for the candidates, or for the parties. It is for the people. It is the people's right to vote. It is their franchise. You should not set up the system, where they are effectively disenfranchised. You have credible candidates here. Mr. Newt Gingrich for instance, is the leader in the polls so you a process that produces a completely unfair result unjust to the average voter. Now, I don't want people to that's the way it is we'll fix it in 2016. We need to fix it now. Why do we always kick the can down the road? Now it is time to fix it in bipartisan way.

RYAN: Shouldn't there be some standard though to get on the ballot? My guess is that you want to loosen the standards up to make it easier to get ballot access which there is some merit to that. But one of the things Virginia prides itself on is that it is a difficult process and you need to get signatures from all over the Commonwealth in order to get on the ballot. Are you saying it should be easier? And how do you make that decision as to how difficult it is to get on the ballot?

GOLDMAN: Good questions. I have not really said, have I? Do not presume. I think by tomorrow afternoon, I will be ready after I have done enough of the talking to people, I talked to State Board today; State Board of Elections to find out just exactly what goes on. I talked to Democratic Party. I talked to the Republican Party, the people who actually looked at the petitions. What exactly are you doing? What are you thinking? I have got to talk to a few more people. By tomorrow afternoon, I think, I can show to the people of Virginia that we have a reason to change this now.

RYAN: All right. Paul Goldman we look forward to what you discover tomorrow. Appreciate you being on.

GOLDMAN: My pleasure.

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