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Goode Hoping His Chances Are 50-50

ROCKY MOUNT – Former Fifth District Congressman Virgil Goode will learn Saturday whether his name will be on the ballot as a candidate for the President of the United States of America.

The Constitution Party began its nominating convention in Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday and will name its nominee this weekend.

Goode described his prospects for the nomination as “mixed” during a phone interview Wednesday as he drove from Rocky Mount to the convention site.

“I hope they're 50-50,” he said of his chances.

He added that “right many” delegates have said they support him but he doesn't know if the remaining delegates might “coalesce” behind another candidate during the convention.

The Constitution Party, which embraces paleoconservativism (old school conservatism), was founded by Howard Phillips in 1991 as the U.S. Taxpayers Party. The Party's credo is to “restore our government to its Constitutional limits and our law to its Biblical foundations.”

The party's candidate appeared on the presidential ballot in 35 states four years ago.

Goode served in the Virginia State Senate from 1973 to 1997 and the House of Representatives from 1997-2009, beginning his career as a Democrat, becoming an Independent, and, in his last years in Congress, a Republican.

Goode is in a field of five declared candidates for the Constitution Party's nomination but he noted on Wednesday that the process is totally open and additional candidates could step forward in Nashville.

The convention rules require a simple majority of delegates. That's it. And no delegate is bound to a particular candidate.

Goode said he has visited 28 or 29 states in pursuit of the nomination, speaking with many who will be delegates this week.

Asked what has been the most enjoyable part of the experience, he replied, “just seeing people in different parts of the country and talking to them.”

Unlike the ill-concealed loathing many politicians seem to feel for their rivals for a party's presidential nomination, Goode praised the “respect” evident among those seeking the Constitution Party's mantle.

There have been more than half a dozen recent debates, many of them via an open conference call-like set-up, and they have allowed civilized discourse on the issues, according to Goode.

Chief among Goode's campaign themes are strict adherence to the Constitution to create a smaller government, reducing the deficit and debt while creating jobs, and combating illegal immigration, which sees him opposing any amnesty for those in the U.S. illegally.

“As President, I would immediately direct the Attorney General to support and not oppose the efforts of Arizona, Alabama and others to deal with the illegal problem in the states,” Goode declares on his campaign website.

Goode continues to support English as the official language of the U.S.

If he is elected he will also use the White House to advocate term limits for members of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate.

Goode would also limit himself to one term as President.

Term limits “are necessary for a Congress more responsive to the needs of our country and its citizens. Many members focus too much time and attention on raising money for the next election. Term limits will result in members caring more about the general good for the (country). If elected President,” he pledges on his website, “I will serve only one term and not focus on raising money and getting votes for the next election.

“The country,” Goode states, “will be first.”

Earlier this year Goode told The Herald that without term limits members of Congress are always focused on the next election.

As for debt, he describes Democrats as “tax and spend” and said a lot of Republicans are “scared to cut.”

Goode's relationship with the Constitution Party goes back to 2008 when he was asked to speak to a national party gathering. He had to decline, he recalled, because Congress was in session but he was able to accept a speaking invitation in 2009 and was subsequently offered a seat on the National Committee, which he also accepted.